PC Accessories

How To Clean Mechanical Keyboard Switches

A Mechanical Keyboard With Its Switches

Do you feel one of your keyboard’s keys is stuck? No matter how hard you press? Maybe it’s an issue with the keyboard or simply the dirt underneath. Before you take it for repairs, please give it a proper cleaning once. It just might start working! So what are the safe ways to clean mechanical keyboard switches?

Quick Answer

You should clean your keyboard stitches using a soft cloth every week or every 1 to 2 months. Apart from soft cloths that you can use, other materials help you remove dirt thoroughly, for example, a vacuum cleaner for eliminating deep dust and a disinfectant for keeping it germs-free.

In this article, we will show you the procedures to clean mechanical keyboard switches.

How To Clean Mechanical Keyboard Switches

Below is a step-by-step process showing you how to clean your mechanical keyboard switches.

Method #1: Cleaning Your Mechanical Keyboard Weekly

It is good to take care of your keyboard by giving it a once over every week. It keeps the keyboard free from dust and everyday grime.

  1. Unplug your keyboard from the processor.
  2. First, remove the dust from the keyboard plate. Do this using a handheld vacuum attached to a brush. Make sure to get the spaces between the keys and be gentle. 
  3. Now, disinfect and remove stubborn stains. Using a damp disposable wipe or a microfiber cloth, wipe the entire keyboard.
  4. Wipe away any leftover moisture with a clean, dry cloth.

Method #2: Deep-cleaning Your Mechanical Keyboard

A weekly cleanse is good. But what about the debris stuck below the keycaps. The dirt on the key switches is hidden. Deep cleaning is what the switches need to work properly.

  1. Remove or pop open the keycaps first and store them in a bowl. Click an image of the keyboard before removing the keys. You can use this photo to rearrange the keys post-cleaning.
  2. Spray compressed air over the key switches to remove dust and debris. Make sure to get the crevices and creeks. 
  3. Remove the remaining gunk and stains stuck inside the switches using a thin nylon brush.
  4. Dampen a soft cloth with a premixed solution of alcohol and water to remove stubborn debris.
  5. Use this to clean the switches thoroughly. Rub every part of the keyboard using it.
  6. Now, use the same damp cloth to clean the stabilizers. 
  7. Let all the components dry up by exposing them to air. Clean them with a dry cloth if they are still damp.
  8. Re-fit the keycaps over the key switches again. Use the photo you had taken earlier to place the keys in proper order.

Method #3: Cleaning a Sticky Mechanical Keyboard

Sometimes, you may accidentally spill a beverage on our keyboard. Maybe, you got too excited playing the newest version of Counterstrike. Your sticky keyboard now needs a good clean-up to work properly again.

  1. Unplug the sticky keyboard from the main processor.
  2. Carefully shake the keyboard firmly to let out any residual liquid.
  3. Clean the debris surrounding the key switch using canned air.
  4. Remove the keycaps as instructed in the previous section. Now clean the key switches underneath.
  5. Use a damp cloth soaked with cleaning solution or compressed air to remove stubborn, sticky grime and gunk on the switches.
  6. Leave them to dry for at least an hour. If they are still wet after an hour, clean them using a dry cloth.
  7. Replace the keycaps again and plug into use the keyboard once more! 

Conclusion

Keyboard cleaning and maintenance are simple if done regularly. A light weekly brush over is okay to get rid of dust settling over the keycaps. To clean the dirt stuck in various keyboard crevices, a deep clean is advised. Cleaning your mechanical keyboard switches once every month or two will keep them working for a long time. Also, immediately wash your keyboard in case of a beverage spill. Different types of key switches have different cleaning methods. The steps given above help clean all types of mechanical keyboard switches.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you clean mechanical switches with alcohol?

Yes, you can clean mechanical switches using alcohol. Dip a cotton swab in some alcohol and wipe it over the keyboard till it is clean. Remember to wipe between the keys to remove all the stuck grime and dirt.

How can you clean MX-style switches?

Follow the steps outlined above. To remove stickiness, soak a damp cloth with diluted liquid soap or a drop of isopropyl alcohol. Always use a cloth to clean it. Do not apply the solution directly on the keyboard.

Can you wash a mechanical keyboard with water?

It is not advisable to soak and wash your keyboard entirely with soap and water. This may damage the internal wirings and chips of the keyboard. You can, however, use a damp cloth or a small vacuum or brush to get the grime out.

How do you clean a mechanical keyboard without compressed air?

Use a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol. Make sure the swab isn’t dripping with alcohol. You can use more than one swab to clean your whole keyboard.

How often should you clean your mechanical keyboard?

It is advisable to give your keyboard a quick rub down once a week. Do this using a dry cloth. But every month or two, it is good to remove the keycaps of your keyboard and clean the switches underneath them.

How do you clean the inside of keyboard switches?

Using a Q-Tip, dip it in alcohol and wipe away the grim along the top and bottom of the switch. Once cleaned properly, let the switches and keyboard air dry for an hour.

Can you use hand sanitizer to clean a mechanical keyboard?

Yes, you can. Simply add a small amount of hand sanitizer to a wet wipe. The wipe should not be dripping. Now clean the keycaps, switches, and surface of the keyboard using the wipe. Use lint-free wipes to avoid more dirt from piling on the mechanical keyboard switches and keycaps.

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