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How to Clean your Keyboard:

Cleaning the keyboard can be a very tedious task. There are different methods of cleaning the keyboard from using q-tips to using the dishwasher (don't do that). Some people tend to forget the little things when it comes to their PC, and that is simply cleaning it.

Here are the basic supplies you will need:

  • One to two cans of compressed air. Cans of compressed air can be found at Wal-mart, an office supply or electronic outlet. Also I know Costco stores carry compressed air in sets. They generally run about $4-5 dollars a can, but Wal-mart does carry an off-brand for less. It also works great for other cleaning projects around the house as well. Be sure to also keep them out of reach of children, as they can be quite dangerous if used incorrectly.
  • An anti-static cloth for dusting. When cleaning the keyboard use a anti-static cloth, rather than an old rag. Some materials can cause static electricity and it's possible this could transfer to the computer system.
  • Q-tips for small areas. When cleaning the small areas of the keyboard, using q-tips and some cleaning solution will help.
    Slim flat tip screwdriver: This tool will be used to remove the keys from the keyboard when doing a thorough cleaning.
    Solution of ammonia and water. This solution can be used along with the anti-static cloth or the q-tips in areas needing a more through cleaning. Keep in mind, however, always apply the solution to your cloth or q-tips first, not directly to the parts you are cleaning. You want to avoid any drips of the solution in the keyboard.
  • Computer wipes. These are ready-made cloths to use on the easy areas. They come in handy when you need to do a fast clean up or want to avoid mixing a solution up yourself.
  • Vacuum with correct attachment. If you find the compressed air is not doing the trick, you can always resort to using a vacuum in cleaning very dusty areas. If possible, use a small vacuum which are designed especially for computers, or make sure the right attachment is used and the lowest setting. Using high powered suction on delicate parts of your computer system would not be good.

Now that you have the right supplies, here are the steps to get you started.

  • Decide if the keyboard needs a simple quick clean or a thorough cleaning. Secondly, make sure you have a picture of how the keys are aligned so the keys can be put back in the correct positions.
  • Before starting any cleaning around your computer, shut down your system and unplug the unit from the wall. Should any liquid fall into your keyboard or computer, this would eliminate the chance of shock and ruining any hardware.

To quickly clean your keyboard:

  1. Start by holding it up at an angle so any dust or debris will fall away from it, rather than further in.
  2. With one hand holding the keyboard up, use your other hand to use short quick sprays from the compressed can of air. Most compressed air cans come with a long straw to attach to the nozzle, which makes it easy to reach in between individual keys.
  3. Your final step is to use your anti-static cloth and ammonia cleaning solution for wiping down the external parts of the keyboard.

To thoroughly clean the keyboard:

  1. Start by doing the "Quick Clean" method to get rid of any loose debris and dust.
  2. Choose one side of the keyboard to start, gently use the screwdriver beside a key pry up on the side of the key. It should pop out. If needed gently use the screwdriver down on the other side of the key to free it.
  3. Repeat this process so there are several keys removed in a small area approximately 1 1/2 to 2 inches to work with.
  4. Clean the area you just uncovered using a slightly moist q-tip. Clean the bottom of the keys as well the same way.
  5. To insert the key back into position, set the key in the proper position keeping the key aligned, press on top of the key until it snaps into place. Test the next key to be sure it is properly set in place.
  6. Repeat this process for the whole keyboard

Most quality keyboards are cheap enough to replace if you don't want to go through all of the trouble of cleaning them.



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