Clean a Greasy Keyboard
Clean a Greasy Keyboard

How to clean a greasy keyboard? We can help you with this.

You may see that your laptop keyboard or an external (wired or wireless) keyboard becomes greasy or sticky with time due to regular use.

This may lead to annoyances when using the keyboard and concerns such as keys not clicking correctly or the keyboard releasing unsanitary vibes. As a result, learning how to clean a greasy keyboard is mandatory to keep the peripheral in optimum functioning and sanitary condition.

A laptop keyboard can be washed with a Q-tip and a dampened cloth soaked in dish detergent and water. Q-tips and a dampened fabric with rubbing alcohol should be used to de-grease an external keyboard. You should also take off the keycaps and wipe them with a moist or dry cloth before reinstalling them (for a mechanical keyboard with removable keycaps).

Let’s take a closer look at the process and any helpful hints.

How to Clean a Greasy Keyboard?

Grease and oils on a keyboard are common problems that people often face. Here’s how to clean and restore its condition whether you use a laptop keyboard or an external one.

Cleaning Your Greasy Laptop Keyboard

How to Clean a Greasy Keyboard

Here is the procedure to clean a greasy laptop keyboard:

Items You Need:

  1. A Bowl
  2. Dish Detergent
  3. Microfiber cloths
  4. Q-tips
  5. Rubbing Alcohol

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Q-tips Safety Swabs, Family Size, 625 ct (Pack of 2)

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MR.SIGA Microfiber Cleaning Cloth,Pack of 12,Size:12.6" x 12.6"

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Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap (4x19oz) + Non-Scratch Sponge (2 Count), Original Scent

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The Cleaning Process:

  1. Before beginning the cleaning process, please turn off the laptop and unplug it from all power sources. Disconnect the other cables and devices connected to it as well.
  2. Tilt the laptop upside down when holding it in your hands. Then give it a gentle shake. This would aid in the removal of any sizeable sticky food particles or other traces that may have been lodged in the keyboard’s nooks and crannies.
  3. Fill a bowl halfway with warm water and apply some dish detergent. Mix all in thoroughly.
  4. Soak a piece of microfiber cloth in the mixture for a few minutes.
  5. Then, by pressing and twisting, squeeze out the excess liquid. The outcome would be a damp cloth.
  6. Wipe off the laptop keyboard with the cloth, getting into the crevices. Since the detergent combination will strip the grease from the keyboard, it will look smooth.
  7. When you’ve finished wiping the keyboard, dry it with another cloth.
  8. Additionally, gently wipe the sticky soil between the keys with Q-tips.
  9. You can start using your laptop when the keyboard has dried completely.
  10. Finally, sanitize the keyboard with rubbing alcohol by wiping it down with a sterile microfiber cloth or cotton buds.

Cleaning Your Greasy External Keyboard

External Keyboard cleaning

Here is the procedure to clean a greasy external keyboard. Note that we will use rubbing alcohol as a solvent to dissolve the grease deposited on the keyboard.

Items You Need:

  1. Q-tips
  2. Rubbing Alcohol
  3. Microfiber cloths

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The Cleaning Process:

  1. Cleaning a wired keyboard, make sure the external keyboard is unplugged first. It would help if you also took out the batteries from a wireless keyboard as a precaution.
  2. Slowly turn and shake the keyboard while keeping it in your hands to remove oversized particles and other residues automatically.
  3. Dip a Q-tip into the rubbing alcohol to dampen it. The Q-tip mustn’t be too wet.
  4. Clean the area around the keyboard keys with it. As you will see, the Q-tip can gather debris, and you can need more than one Q-tip to clean the area around all the keys properly.
  5. Dispose of the Q-tips correctly until you’ve finished.
  6. Wet a microfiber cloth to ensure the fabric isn’t so wet with rubbing alcohol. Alcohol can otherwise cause critical harm.
  7. Clean the keys and areas between them using the damped cloth.
  8. Take another dry microfiber cloth and use it to remove the wetness on or around the keys. You will see that the keyboard appears cleaner than before and free of grease and oil residues.
  9. You should insert and plug the batteries (wireless for a wireless one) if you know there is no wetness left on the keyboard.
  10. Start using your clean keyboard again.

Cleaning a Mechanical Keyboard with Removable Keycaps

If you have a mechanical keyboard with removable keycaps, you can also remove them through a keycap puller.

Take a photo of the keyboard first, and then remove the keycaps. Next, use a dry microfiber cloth to rub all the keycaps gently.

You may use a bit of solvent like rubbing alcohol on the cloth but be careful not to overuse it; otherwise, it can affect the keycaps and the printed letters.

Allow the keycaps to dry completely before inserting them on the keyboard. The photo you took earlier would help you for this purpose.

The Causes of Greasy Keyboards

Over time, keyboards may get sticky or greasy. There may be a variety of explanations for this, and we’ll go through them here.

Natural oils formed by your fingers include a coating of oil and grease on the keys when you use them. If you have oily skin and use a laptop or an external keyboard, this can be a problem. However, since this will damage the peripheral, you can clean it daily and keep it free of oils and grease.

Another explanation is that people often eat while using computers. The oils from the food are passed to the keyboard through your fingertips, resulting in an accumulation of grease and oils on and around the keys. As a result, experts recommend that you should not eat or drink near your machine.

An oil leak on your desktop or external keyboard is also a probability. This may be more harmful, so you can turn off your screen and clean the keyboard as soon as possible.

It’s possible that the oil got under the laptop’s keyboard and damaged the internal components. As a result, you should take your computer to a reputable computer repair shop to get it cleaned.

Also Read: How To Clean A Laser Mouse

Final Thoughts

We hope that the knowledge given here on how to clean a greasy keyboard will assist you in maintaining the peripheral in good working order.

Following the procedures outlined above, the keyboard should be smooth, polished, and free of greasy or sticky stains.

Take notice that the techniques for desktop keyboards and external keyboards are distinct. As a result, observe the steps strictly.

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Kevin Johnson
Hi, I'm Kevin Johnson, an author for I'm obsessed with all things related to computer monitors, from LCDs to LEDs, touch screens, and gaming. I've been writing about these topics for years and am passionate about helping people learn more about the latest in computer monitor technology. From selecting the right monitor for your needs to troubleshooting any issues you might be experiencing, I'm always here to provide helpful guidance. I always look for the latest monitors to share all my findings with our readers. I am a computer geek and proud of it. From building my custom rig to figuring out what's wrong with your PC, you can count on me for top-notch service at an affordable price. Whether you're looking for someone who knows his way around technology or wants help fixing the basics, like setting up email accounts, I'm here to serve. So if you need a reliable tech support professional in Denver, call Kevin today!