How to Clean an Apple Keyboard

Three Parts:Prepping the ComputerCleaning the KeyboardDisinfecting the Keyboard

Microbiologists have tested keyboards and found they harbor five times more germs than the average toilet seat.[1] Although regular cleaning and disinfecting is important for your health, it’s important to use special procedures when cleaning laptops and other electronic equipment to avoid damage. Apple’s keyboards are often white, showing more dirt than other models.

Part 1
Prepping the Computer

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    Unplug the computer from the power cord if your keyboard is inside your laptop. Turn the computer off.
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    Disconnect the keyboard from the Apple computer if it is a peripheral item.
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    Remove any batteries from the laptop and/or separate keyboard. Set them aside until your keyboard is clean and dry.[2]

Part 2
Cleaning the Keyboard

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    Tip the keyboard over and shake it into a sink or trash can. Eating at your desk can cause crumbs to lodge inside the keyboard. It also increases the bacteria on your keyboard as the crumbs decay.
    • Apple’s modern keyboards are much thinner, with shallow keys. It is harder for food to become lodged in them than in the Apple keyboards of the 1990s.
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    Keep the keyboard tipped upside down. Spray some compressed air horizontally across the surface to try to coax more crumbs out. Keep the air can at least six inches (15 cm) away from the keyboard to keep condensation at bay.[3]
    • Apple doesn’t recommend the use of compressed air, because it may push particles further into the keyboard if sprayed above the keyboard perpendicularly onto the keys.
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    Run a microfiber cloth over the surface of the keyboard. Dust particles are attracted to these electronic cleaning cloths and you will remove the base layer of dust.
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    Purchase a package of glass cleaner wipes to remove surface stains. You can also wet a lint-free cloth with water and squeeze it as dry as possible. Run the damp lint-free cloth over every surface of the keyboard.[4]
    • If you have a white keyboard, take extra time to scrub the dark, brown areas that tend to develop on the spacebar and where your fingers rest.
    • Glass cleaning wipes are excellent at getting stains off slick surfaces; however, they don’t provide the disinfectant element of cleaning your keyboard.
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    Wet a cotton swab lightly with glass cleaner. Scrub hard to reach areas and the tops of keys with this precise implement.[5]
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    Dry it with another clean lint-free cloth.

Part 3
Disinfecting the Keyboard

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    Buy a pack of disinfecting wipes. 3M, Clorox and Lysol make acceptable products for kitchens. You want a product that has disinfectants but does not contain bleach.[6]
    • If you can’t find a package of disinfecting wipes, the next best cleaner is rubbing alcohol. It can be used to disinfect screens and other surfaces. Dip a lint-free cloth in rubbing alcohol, squeeze it to remove excess moisture and run it over the surface of your keyboard.
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    Squeeze the wipes into the sink to remove excess moisture.
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    Scrub the surface of your keyboard and keys lightly with the disinfecting wipe. Make sure to get all the areas on and around the keyboard.
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    Reach smaller areas by dipping a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and squeezing out excess moisture into a paper towel. Scrub tops of keys or areas around ports.
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    Wipe the surface dry with a dry lint-free cloth.
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    Allow your keyboard to dry for five minutes. Reinsert the batteries and plug it back into your computer. If you are cleaning a laptop, wait 10 minutes to turn it back on.
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    Clean your keyboard and mouse once per week to improve your desktop hygiene considerably.

Tips

  • Avoid getting excess moisture in any part of your computer or keyboard. Make sure any cleaning agent is squeezed out and will not drip once applied.

Warnings

  • Never scrub the inside of ports. It can ruin your keyboard.

Things You'll Need

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Air duster (compressed air)
  • Lint-free cloths
  • Water
  • Glass cleaner wipes
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Cotton swaps
  • Glass cleaner
  • Rubbing alcohol (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Hardware Maintenance and Repair