A Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Mechanical Keyboards

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Mechanical keyboards are known for their durability and exceptional typing experience. However, dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate between the keys, affecting their performance and responsiveness. Regular cleaning can significantly improve your keyboard’s lifespan and ensure a pleasant typing experience.

1. Tools and Materials Required

Before starting the cleaning process, gather the necessary tools and materials. You will need:

  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Keycap puller or a flat tool (like a credit card)
  • A soft brush or compressed air can
  • Microfiber cloth or lint-free cloth
  • Container for soaking keycaps
  • Cotton swabs
  • Tweezers

2. Precautions Before Cleaning

Before diving into cleaning, unplug your mechanical keyboard to avoid any electrical mishaps. If your keyboard has a detachable USB cable, remove it. This step is crucial to prevent damage to your keyboard or any accidental input during the cleaning process.

3. Removing Keycaps

Use a keycap puller or a flat tool to gently lift the keycaps from the switches. Start from one corner and carefully work your way around the keyboard. Place the removed keycaps in a container with warm, soapy water for cleaning.

4. Cleaning the Keycaps

Let the keycaps soak in the soapy water for about 15-20 minutes. Then, use a soft brush or a toothbrush to gently scrub the keycaps to remove any dirt or grime. Rinse the keycaps thoroughly with clean water and let them air dry.

5. Cleaning the Keyboard Surface

With the keycaps removed, it’s time to clean the keyboard’s surface. Hold the keyboard upside down and shake it gently to dislodge loose debris. Next, use compressed air or a soft brush to remove any remaining dust or particles.

6. Dealing with Stubborn Stains

For stubborn stains on the keyboard surface, dampen a microfiber cloth with isopropyl alcohol and gently wipe the affected area. Avoid using excessive alcohol or any harsh chemicals as they may damage the keyboard’s finish.

7. Cleaning the Switches

Cleaning the switches directly is not recommended for beginners, as it requires disassembling the keyboard further. If you’re comfortable with this, use cotton swabs lightly moistened with isopropyl alcohol to clean the switches. Exercise caution and patience during this process.

8. Reassembling the Keyboard

Once everything is clean and dry, carefully place the keycaps back on the switches. Ensure each keycap is properly aligned and seated. Double-check for any missing or misaligned keycaps.https://techkeyboard.com/n-key-rollover-in-mechanical-keyboards-explained/

9. General Maintenance Tips

  • Regularly clean your mechanical keyboard every few months to maintain its performance.
  • Avoid eating or drinking over the keyboard to prevent spills and crumbs from causing damage.
  • Store your keyboard in a dust-free environment to minimize dust buildup.
  • Consider using a keyboard cover when the keyboard is not in use to protect it from dirt and debris.


Cleaning your mechanical keyboard doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a little effort and the right tools, you can keep your beloved keyboard in top-notch condition. Regular maintenance will ensure a satisfying typing experience and extend the lifespan of your mechanical keyboard.


Q1. Can I use soap and water to clean the switches directly? A1. No, it is not recommended to clean the switches directly with soap and water, as it may damage the electronics. Stick to isopropyl alcohol for safe cleaning.

Q2. How often should I clean my mechanical keyboard? A2. Cleaning your keyboard every few months is generally sufficient, but it may vary depending on your usage and environmental factors.

Q3. Can I use a dishwasher to clean my keycaps? A3. It is not recommended to use a dishwasher, as the high temperatures and detergents may damage the keycaps. Stick to hand-cleaning with warm, soapy water.

Q4. What should I do if a keycap is damaged during cleaning? A4. If a keycap is damaged or broken, you can usually find replacement keycaps online. Mechanical keyboards often have keycap sets available for purchase.

Q5. Is it safe to use a vacuum cleaner on the keyboard? A5. While it may be tempting, using a vacuum cleaner can generate static electricity and potentially damage sensitive electronic components. It’s better to use compressed air or a soft brush for cleaning.