How to Clean Your Computer Keyboard

Tips on Keeping Your Computer and Desk Area Clean

Some experts say keyboards are even dirtier than the toilet. Let that one sink in for a minute.

Because keyboards are such a high touch item, it’s important to keep them as clean as possible. This will help keep everyone protected from the bacteria and microbes that make us your computer keyboard

Particularly in shared desk environments, you’ll want to make sure that the keyboard at your desk is cleaned and sanitized. The good news is that cleaning and disinfecting your keyboard and desk space only takes a few minutes each day. Another thing to keep in mind is that a dirty work area has also been shown to decrease employee morale and productivity.

If the keyboard at your desk is dusty, sticky and full of crumbs, follow these steps to get it looking and feeling fresh again.

What You’ll Need

  • Clean microfibre clothes (1 damp with water, 1 to use with disinfectant, 1 dry)
  • Can of compressed air meant for use with electronics.
  • Toothbrush, clean mascara brush, toothpick, Q-Tip or whatever you have on hand to reach between the keys.
  • Cleaning slime or clear tape.

Best Way to Clean an External Keyboard

  1. First, you want to clean dust debris from between the keys. To do this, use a can of compressed air with a narrow nozzle. These are specially designed for sensitive electronics since they clear out crumbs and other “junk” without the use of chemicals or moisture.
  2. Hold your keyboard at a 75-degree angle and spray the compressed air from left to right in a zigzag pattern.
  3. To clear out anything left behind, unplug the keyboard if needed. Gently flip it over and tap the bottom. This should dislodge anything left behind.
  4. Give it another once-over with the compressed air.
  5. Next, dampen a clean microfibre cloth with water and gently wipe the tops of the keys.
  6. For any of that stuck on residue, take a Q-tip or clean mascara brush and gently brush each side of the keys.
  7. Finally, use your favourite disinfectant and wipe the keys with the damp cloth.
  8. Let dry for 5 minutes and then gently wipe with a fresh microfibre cloth.

Best Way to Clean an Internal (Laptop) Keyboard

  1. Turn off your laptop.
  2. Very gently flip your laptop upside down.
  3. Use a can of compressed air to blow debris out from between the keys.
  4. Adjust the angle of the keyboard and spray from left to right in a zigzag pattern.
  5. Use cleaning slime or clear tape to gently pick up any debris or grime left behind.
  6. Give the keypad a gentle wipe with a clean lightly damp cloth.
  7. Wipe the keys with your favourite disinfectant.
  8. Let dry for 5 minutes and then gently wipe with a fresh microfibre cloth.

How to Keep Your Keyboard Clean

You’ll want to wash your hands after all meal and bathroom breaks. The germs from our hands like to latch onto surfaces like a keyboard (lots of places to hide!) Also, the naturally occurring oils on our skin can degrade the print on the buttons over time. Have you ever noticed certain keys have a shiny finish to them? That’s caused by the oils on our fingers.

Try not to eat at your desk. You need and deserve a proper break and it’s much more hygienic to eat in a space meant for meal breaks. Otherwise, you’re more than likely to find coffee drippings or those toppings from your “everything” bagel embedded between the keys.

Crumbs accumulate so quickly and can really muck up a computer keyboard. If you really don’t have an option, try a keyboard cover or “skin” to shield the keyboard from any debris. A good quality silicone skin can also be thrown in the dishwasher or hand washed and you can choose any style or colour to personalize your laptop or desktop computer.

You’ll want to sanitize your keyboard (and mouse) daily. Keeping your bleach solution on hand for a quick wipe down before you leave for the day is an easy way to maintain a clean workspace. Alternatively, you can use pre-soaked sanitizing wipes. Any of the high touch areas at your desk and around the office can benefit from a daily sanitizing.

This daily sanitizing has a hidden benefit: it keeps clutter at bay. It’s easier to clean a tidy desk space, so you’ll be more likely to keep items tucked away and organized. This, in turn, will make it easier to do your job.

Other High Touch Areas That Should Be Cleaned Regularly

  • Headsets
  • Keyboard shelf
  • Desk surface
  • Phone
  • Doorknobs
  • Stationary trays and pencil holders

While you’re in the mood to clean your desk space, PC Mag has an excellent article on how to clean all your electronics, from mobile phones to smart speakers.

Since a full-time office job means you spend upwards of 40 hours a week at or near your workstation, keeping it tidy and germ free goes a long way towards keeping you and everyone around you healthy. At Mayfair Building Services, we’ve been serving the Greater Vancouver area for over 30 years, specializing in commercial office cleaning. Whether you’re looking for daily, weekly or monthly janitorial services, we will work with your schedule and budget to create a solution that works best for you. Curious? Give us a call or send us an email  to get a free quote today.