Step-By-Step: Keep a Clean Keyboard

Basic Cleaning

1. Tap out the dirt.

Turn off your PC and unplug the keyboard. Put a large piece of old newspaper on a table, turn the keyboard over, and holding it a few inches above the paper, shake out any loose debris.

Photograph: Kevin Candland

2. Blow out the dirt.

This step is best done outside. Use a can of compressed air to loosen and remove dirt by directing the air stream between the keys. Then invert and shake out the keyboard again.

Photograph: Kevin Candland

3. Clean the key surfaces.

To remove finger oils and other dirt from the surface of the keys, make a diluted solution of standard liquid dishwashing detergent. (Do not use any harsh cleaning solutions.) Use a damp (not wet) lint-free cloth to gently clean off the key surfaces. If they're not particularly dirty, plain warm water will do. Then wipe the keys with a dry cloth.

Photograph: Kevin Candland

4. Vacuum the leftover dirt.

To remove loose dirt that the other steps missed, use the dusting brush on any standard vacuum.

Photograph: Kevin Candland

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