If you spend most of your workday typing at your computer, you’ve probably noticed that your keyboard starts to get dirty and smudged up after just a couple of months.
If you don’t clean it regularly, things can get pretty gross quickly, especially if you eat while working or have pets. There are several reasons why keyboards get so dirty, including everything from soda spills to the build-up of oils from your skin.
You can prevent future keyboard disasters in your home or office by learning more about these reasons.
Have you noticed your keyboard getting dirty and you wonder, “Why do keyboards get so dirty?” We know the 6 main reasons why!
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6 Main Reasons Why Keyboards Get So Dirty
There are many reasons that keyboards get so dirty and smudged, including everything from mistreatment to just plain neglect. Below are some of the most common causes.
#1: Dirty hands.
The most common reason keyboards get so dirty is that somebody’s hands haven’t been washed before they started typing. If you eat while working on your computer, you should always ensure your hands are clean before you start typing or clicking on your screen.
#2: Spilled drinks.
Computer keyboards are located near beverages because most people like to keep their drinks nearby. The problem with this is that many people spill their drinks while typing or even carrying them around the office.
#4: Pet hair and fur.
Pets tend to shed their hair all over our furniture and carpets, but they also shed on our computer keyboards. If you have pets in the house, ensure you’re cleaning up after them to keep your keyboard free of hair and fur.
#5: Dust and dander from the office or home environment.
Whenever you type or click on your computer mouse, dust and other particles will become airborne and eventually settle down again on your keyboard. As this dust collects, it will eventually create quite a mess you need to clean up.
#6: Sticky residue build-up.
Just as your hands can leave behind an oily film on your computer keyboards, they can also leave behind what’s called “sticky residue.” This is difficult to remove because it causes your hands to stick together after you wash them.
This sticky residue can also be left behind on your keyboard and cause it to get dirty over time.
How can you be aware of the dirtiness of your keyboard?
The easiest way to tell if your keyboard is dirty is by looking at it with a critical eye. Try looking for smudges, smears, and other dirt on the keys. When you find these stains, you should clean them off immediately to keep your keyboard clean and usable.
How do you clean your dirty keyboard?
There are several ways that you can clean up a dirty keyboard and have it working like new again. Some people may recommend using soap and water or rubbing alcohol to get rid of the dirt and grime, but this can cause permanent damage to your keyboard if done improperly.
Instead, you should always use a “keyboard cleaning kit,” specifically designed to get rid of dirt and grime without causing permanent damage to your keyboard. To clean your keyboard properly, you should follow the steps below.
Step 1: Remove excess dirt and grime from your keyboard.
The first thing you should do is carefully remove all of the debris on your keyboard to make sure that it can be cleaned properly. Be sure not to shake or vibrate the keyboard too much, as this may cause dirt or debris inside of it to shake loose.
Step 2: Soak your keyboard in the quality cleaning solution.
The next step is to soak your keyboard in a quality cleaning solution, such as Simple Green, which will help to loosen up the dirt and grease without damaging your keyboard.
Step 3: Remove dirt and debris with a vacuum.
After soaking it in the cleaning solution, take off any remaining particles using a vacuum cleaner or, if you don’t have that, you can use a soft fabric (such as an old t-shirt) that’s free from lint and dust.
Step 4: Wipe clean with a soft cloth or paper towel.
The next step is to wipe off the dirt with a soft cloth, such as an old t-shirt or similar fabric. Once you’ve cleaned all the dirt and debris, use a paper towel to dry the keyboard completely.
Step 5: Clean the top portion of motherboard surfaces.
To clean the motherboard surface on your keyboard, you’ll need to remove the keys from your keyboard first, which can be done with a simple screwdriver. Once the keys are off, use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean the area around your computer’s motherboard.
It’s important to be thorough here because any dirt or grime left on this surface could cause hardware problems in the future.
Step 6: Put the keyboard back together and re-install the keys.
Once your cleanings are done, you can back your keyboard together again and then re-install all of its keys. If you want to avoid putting your keyboard back together properly, you can simply go to a computer store and ask them to fix or clean it for you so that it’s pristine again.
Step 7: Test the keyboard to make sure it works properly.
Once you’ve put your keyboard back together, test it out before reusing it to ensure that everything is working as new again.
What should you avoid doing when cleaning a keyboard?
To clean a keyboard properly and keep it working like new, there are a few things you must avoid doing to help keep your keyboard in top condition.
#1: Don’t use too much pressure when cleaning.
If you apply too much pressure when cleaning a keyboard, dirt can build up on the keys and cause them to stick together and become unusable. So, when you clean your keyboard, be sure not to use too much pressure.
#2: Don’t clean a keyboard in the sink.
Some people believe that you should always wash a keyboard in the sink, but this is dangerous because it can cause water to get caught inside of it and cause damage. Instead, you should always use paper towels and alcohol on a flat surface to properly clean your keyboard.
#3: Don’t try to remove keys with too much effort.
Removing individual keys can be difficult if you don’t have the right tools for the job. If a key on your keyboard is stuck, then you should always avoid trying to remove it too much. Instead, visit the computer store and ask them to fix or replace your keys.
#4: Don’t use any sharp objects to clean your keyboard.
If there are any stains or grime on your keys, you might be tempted to try using a sharp object to get rid of them. However, this can cause serious damage to your keyboard if you aren’t careful, so be sure not to use any sharp objects to clean up your keyboard.
#5: Don’t rub too hard when cleaning with a cloth or towel.
Some people believe you should rub your keyboard with a cloth or towel to get rid of the dirt and grime, but this can cause permanent damage to your keyboard if done improperly.
Instead, you should also avoid rubbing your keyboard too much because doing so can damage the plastic keys of the keyboard and make it unusable.
Why Do Keyboards Get So Dirty? Final Thoughts
In conclusion, keyboards get so dirty over time that they become dangerous to use, which is why cleaning them regularly is so important. Although you may be tempted to try and avoid cleaning your keyboard altogether, the fact is that if you don’t clean it, it will get dirtier and dirtier over time.
And in the end, no one wants that to happen. So, be sure not to wait too long before cleaning up your keyboard and ensure that it stays spotless for as long as possible.
If you enjoyed this article, check out our “Do Keyboards Matter for Gaming?” article here!