How must I clean my laptop’s keyboard?

Friday, April 10th, 2009 | laptops

The keyboard of your laptop is possibly the most awkward part of the machine to clean. Since the keys are often very close together it is difficult to clean between and underneath them.  Yet it is important to do so since dirt can render the keyboard useless – if too much dirt accumulates the keys simply won’t function.

Unlike the keyboard of a desktop PC, the keyboard of a laptop cannot be replaced. It is expensive to fix – the sensible thing is to keep it in optimal functioning condition.  Keeping it clean is one way of doing this.

If big pieces of dirt are visible, turn the laptop upside down and gently tap the bottom to see if some of the dirt will fall out (of course, the laptop must be switched off before you do this).

Use compressed air to get rid of dust and smaller pieces of dirt underneath the keys.

Use cotton swabs (ear buds) to clean underneath and around keys.  This is a tedious job – but do not let this deter you from doing it.

If keys can be removed (check in the manual if this is possible) do so carefully so that you will know where to replace them.  Remove one key at a time, clean underneath and then replace the key – otherwise your letters may be mixed up.

Some people use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and dirt from the keyboard, but caution is required.  Some keys are not clipped tightly into position and may be sucked off by a strong vacuum cleaner.  If you find it necessary to vacuum clean the keyboard, first pull a piece of strong netting across the keyboard to keep the keys securely in place, and then use the vacuum cleaner.

When you become aware of dirt in your keyboard, for instance when you dropped crumbs or had a coffee spill, clean it immediately.  If you do not remove all stickiness, dust will settle there and before long you will have sticky keys.

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1 Comment to How must I clean my laptop’s keyboard?

Bart van Deventer
Tuesday, 16 August, 2011

A laptop keyboard can be replaced, it is just more difficult because you have to open the machine to get to it.

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