The average keyboard gets far dirtier than you can imagine — even toilet seats have fewer germs.
Aside from that pretty gross statistic, a dirty keyboard feels unpleasant to use. It affects how fast or accurate you can type, too.
Keep reading to learn how to clean your ergonomic keyboard effectively, and why it should be part of your regular cleaning routine.
Why should you clean your keyboard regularly?
Whether it’s the stifling summer weather or your morning cycle into work, sweaty hands make for a dirty keyboard. Over time, the sweat can leave a film on your keys, attracting dust and grime.
Do you eat your mid-morning snack while you’re catching up on your emails? Those muffin crumbs are falling right between those gaps between keys and can get stuck underneath. Over time, keys can’t press down as far as they should, leading to more typos and stuck keys.
Most of us slurp a hot beverage at our desks, but even a dribble of your cappuccino can make your keyboard sticky. Not only is this unhygienic but it makes your keyboard malfunction and even stop working altogether.
Cleaning doesn’t have to be tricky
With daily use, it’s a good idea to make cleaning your keyboard a priority — just like you’d throw that apple core and sandwich packet in the trash to keep your desk clean.
Fortunately, you only need a few simple items to keep your keyboard hygienic.
How to clean your keyboard
To remove crumbs
Dry crumbs and fluff sitting underneath your keycaps don’t require a lot of elbow grease to remove.
You can try:
● Canned air
● Electronic air blower (like a CompuCleaner)
● A keyboard brush
To loosen crumbs with air, aim the nozzle underneath the keycaps and blow bursts of air sideways. It might help to lift your keyboard up on its side so crumbs can fall out easier. Work your way along the rows until your keyboard is crumb-free!
If you prefer using a keyboard brush, you can tip the keyboard on its side again. Make gentle strokes with the bristles underneath the keys down towards the surface of your desk. This encourages lint to lift out from under the keys.
For sticky residues and grime
Air won’t blow away stubborn stickiness, so you’ll need to clean your keyboard more thoroughly to remove it. How you do this depends on what kind of keyboard you have.
Goldtouch V2 keyboards have removable keycaps. This means you can take them off to clean individually. You’ll need:
● Soapy water
● Letter opener
Use a letter opener or another tool like a small flat-head screwdriver to gently pry off the keycaps. Soak in warm soapy water to lift grease, sweat, and dirt. Once they’re clean, make sure they’re fully dry before you replace them. You can use a towel to get most of the moisture off, then leave to air dry.
Note: Take one keycap off at a time, or take a photo of the keyboard layout, before you remove the keys. This will help you remember where they go!
If you don’t want to remove the keycaps, you can try another method. For this, you need:
● Microfiber Cloth
● Screen Mom
● Cotton swabs
Spray Screen Mom (or another gentle cleanser) directly onto a microfiber cloth. Then wipe your keyboard clean using this solution. (Do not spray cleaner directly onto the keyboard, be sure to spray it onto a microfiber cloth).
Another option for grime caught further between the keys is to dip a cotton swab tip in Screen Mom so it’s wet but not dripping. Gently rub the tip in between the keys along the sides of the keycaps. This can help remove dirt without soaking the keyboard in liquid.
Please remember never to submerge the keyboard itself in water! It destroys the electronics inside and causes permanent damage.
Goldtouch Go!2 ergonomic keyboards require a different cleaning method. Do not remove the keycaps on the Go!2 keyboards. Instead, you can use a gentle cleanser made for peripherals. We like Screen Mom — spray some onto a lint-free cloth and wipe the keyboard down to remove spills and dirt.
Avoid spraying the cleanser onto the keyboard directly.
How often should you clean your keyboard?
Fit cleaning your keyboard into a regular cleaning routine to keep your desk area clean and tidy.
Once a week is fine for a quick surface wipe-down with some cleaner on a cloth. For a deeper clean to prevent buildup, follow the above steps every two to three months.
How can you prevent your keyboard from getting dirty?
One of the simplest ways to keep your keyboard clean is to avoid activities that make a mess! Prevention is better than a cure — and it’ll make your new weekly cleaning session much quicker.
Avoid eating at your desk
Take your food and sit in a kitchen or dining area if you have one — it has an added benefit of helping you savor your food and eat slower.
If you can’t avoid desk-snacking, make sure to leave messy foods for a different area, or use a plate to catch crumbs.
Avoid drinking near your keyboard
If you’re prone to spilling your drink or condensation from a can or glass drips all over your desk, try using another drinks container. You can put a Koozie around your cup to absorb drips, or use a cup with a built-in straw to make spillage less likely.
Don’t let pets sleep on your keyboard
We know that cats sometimes make the best coworkers, but they shed a lot of hair and dander. If they love stretching across your keyboard, you’re likely to experience clogged hair underneath your keycaps. Invest in a comfy pet bed nearby so they know your keyboard’s not for naps.
Wash your hands regularly
Hands go through a lot — keep them clean to avoid dirt, sweat, and oil buildup on your keys. Wash them after you eat or handle anything dirty to keep your keyboard clean.
Keyboards get filthy with daily use. Whether it’s from crumbs, drinks, or sweat, your keyboard may become sticky and even stop working properly.
You can clean crumbs and fluff with a brush or canned air. For stubborn residues, try removing and soaking the keycaps on your V2 ergonomic keyboard, or wiping down your Go!2 keyboard.
By cleaning it gently once a week, with a deeper clean once every couple of months, you can keep your keyboard in top condition.
Want more keyboard advice? Check out the Goldtouch blog!