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How to Clean a Laptop Keyboard – Step by Step Guide

How to clean a laptop keyboard

My laptop keyboard is a mess! How do I get it to look like new again?

The keyboard of a laptop is susceptible to dust, grease, and other dirt particles. Usually, the keyboard is the primary tool used to issue commands to the computer. Therefore, it needs to be cleaned regularly to enhance efficiency and neatness.

How to Clean Your Laptop’s Keyboard

How to clean a laptop keyboard - macbook

Whether you own a MacBook, HP, or any other laptop brand, follow these steps to ensure that your laptop’s keyboard is always sparkling clean:

1. Shut down the laptop and unplug it

Before you start cleaning any part of a laptop or any other electronic device, always ensure that it is not connected to power.

Shutting down your laptop before you clean it is essential. Since you are dealing with a computer, turning it off helps to avoid unintentionally issuing commands. Besides, you’ll prevent damage to the computer due to any moisture that may get inside the computer.

How to clean a laptop keyboard - unplugging the laptop

There are several ways you can use to shut down the laptop:

  • Click on the Windows button or press the Windows button on the keyboard the select the “Shut down” option on the power menu
  • Press the buttons Ctrl+Alt+Del and select “Shut down” on the power menu

Lastly, if the laptop has a removable battery, remove it before you start cleaning. remember to also disconnect all external devices such as flash drives.

2. Tilt your laptop upside down, shake it while tapping gently

Why do you turn and shake your laptop while open? The answer is easy, to make the work easier. This step helps to dislodge the large particles on the keyboard and reduce to work to be done in the other steps.

3. Remove the smaller particles that remain

Here, you can use a soft hair-like brush or compressed air to remove the soft particles that remain after shaking the laptop. When using a soft brush, make sure to turn your laptop upside-down. The reason is to avoid pushing the small dirt particles inside the computer.

While using compressed air to clean the laptop, spray the keyboard when slightly tilted. Ensure you spray from one end to the other to remove any debris that might be present. You can also use a computer vacuum to remove dust and other particles from the keyboard.

How to clean a laptop keyboard - Metro Vac computer vacuum
Metro Vac computer vacuum

4. Use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe through the keys

Lightly wet the microfiber cloth and pass it across the keys. The fabric will quickly wipe out greasy particles in the keyboard. Usually, damp microfibers are positively charged, therefore they have a higher efficiency of picking up small dust particles since they are negatively charged.

How to clean a laptop keyboard - wiping

5. Clean any grimy parts

To do this, dip a cotton swab in isopropyl alcohol and gently wipe the parts that have grime.

Alcohol helps in dissolving the grimy particles on the keyboard. Notably, alcohol is preferred over water since it evaporates faster, reducing the chances of getting inside the laptop. However, be sure to dry out the alcohol to avoid accumulated moisture getting in the keyboard.

Caution! Do not pour alcohol directly into the keyboard. Instead, pour some alcohol into the microfiber cloth or cotton swab then use it to clean the keyboard. Also, if your skin is sensitive, put on disposable gloves before you use any solution to clean the keyboard.

Can you Clean A Keyboard By Disinfecting It?

Yes, you can clean a keyboard by disinfecting it against germs. When many people use the same laptop, you may need to prevent the further spread of germs. In such a case, use liquid disinfectants by applying them onto a cloth before wiping the keyboard.

However, avoid using disinfectants that can discolor the keys.

How to clean underneath the keys

How to clean a laptop keyboard - pry off the keys

To clean laptop keys, you need a butter knife or any flat blade, rubbing alcohol, and cotton swabs. Follow these steps for excellent results:

  • Research on the computer model to know whether the keys can be pried off. You can find this information on the user manual or online.
  • If yes, identify the keys you want to clean underneath.
  • Please take pictures of the keys or mark the keys before you remove them-this helps to ensure that each key returns to its position as required.
  • Use a small and flat tool to remove the keys and avoid bending them.
  • Use a microfiber cloth dipped in alcohol to wipe underneath the keys.
  • Follow the pictures you took and return all the keys appropriately.


If you live in a dusty neighborhood, always use a computer vacuum to remove any dust before you start working on your laptop. Also, do a thorough cleanup once in a while by following the steps provided above.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

In the meantime, CNET has done a great YouTube video on how to clean your laptop as a whole. Watch below:

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