Thu, 11 Feb 2021 08:09:40
Your laptop keyboard can carry 20,000 times more bacteria than your toilet seat. And with so much work, school, socializing, and entertainment now taking place online, you are probably using your laptop more than ever.
Whether you’re struggling with crumbs, dust, fingerprints, pet dander, or sticky residue, you should be able to clean your keys with materials you already have on hand. And if you share your device with other family members, you can also prevent the spread of germs. It will only take a few minutes from your day, and your pc or laptop keyboard will look brand new.
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Here’s what you can do.
TURN IT OFF
Before you get started, turn off your computer. You don’t want to accidentally hit a hotkey combination that leads to disaster. Unplug it too to reduce the risk of a short circuit if there is moisture in it. And make sure you have all the essential backups in case something goes wrong. (This, of course, is good practice, whether you’re cleaning the keyboard or not.)
GET RID OF CRUMBS
To clear out the biggest crumbs, dust, or other debris that wandered into your keys, turn your laptop upside-down and allow them to fall out. Gently tap the bottom of the chassis to dislodge any stubborn particles. You can also press cleaning slime into the spaces between your keys, which sticks to and picks up debris.
If that doesn’t get everything, give the keyboard a once-over with a vacuum. Make sure that you use a small attachment and the lowest power setting. (The last thing you want is to suck up one of your keycaps.) If you have a small handheld vacuum, even better.
You can also use a can of compressed air. Spray the air in a zigzag pattern so you don’t miss any nooks and crannies, and make sure you hit all sides of each key. If you don’t have compressed air, you can try another device that blows air (such as a blow dryer). Do not spray air directly under the keycaps; it could damage delicate electronics.
If you’ve done all of this and still have some gunk under your keys, you may need to pop the keys off. Whether you can do this will depend on your laptop model. In some cases, it won’t be possible to do without breaking the keys, and you’ll want to speak to a professional. If you need to remove your keycaps, look up your laptop model and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
REMOVE SMUDGES AND DISINFECT
Next, clean the surface of the keyboard itself to eliminate germs, smudges, and stains. First, wipe everything down with a disinfectant wipe. Avoid any wipes that contain bleach. If you don’t have wipes, a soft cloth with some rubbing alcohol can also work. Wipe the keycaps one at a time, as well as the areas between them, to make sure you get every spot.
You want to avoid getting any liquid under the keys, so don’t use any cloth that’s dripping wet. If needed, wring your wipes out before you use them. Do not spray water or any cleaning liquids directly on the keyboard.
Next, go over everything with a damp cloth (again: damp, not trickling). Ideally, you’ll want to use a microfiber cloth. If you don’t have one, another material is okay. Try to avoid anything abrasive that could scratch the keys, like a paper towel.
Finally, dry the area with another soft cloth. Here it is — your laptop keyboard is clean!
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