PC Accessories

How To Clean Oily Keyboard

Cleaning A Keyboard

Have you accidentally gotten your keyboard oily because you were finishing a fast food meal while working? Fortunately, there are ways you can use to get rid of oily keys within minutes.

Quick Answer

To clean an oily keyboard, switch off your laptop or unplug the keyboard from the desktop computer. Take a microfiber cloth, soak it in warm water and wring out the excess. Now, gently wipe the surface of your keyboard and the keys to get rid of the oil within minutes.

To make things easier for you, we’ve created a comprehensive, step-by-step guide on how to clean an oily Keyboard without any hassle. 

Why Is My Keyboard Oily or Greasy?

Getting oily keys on the keyboard is quite normal, and the shocking part is that sometimes the cause behind it is not just fried chicken. While using the keyboard, our hands sometimes get sweaty, and the oils on our fingertips transfer to the keycaps, making them gleam.  

Additionally, not cleaning your keyboard frequently adds to the plate. With time, the oil from your fingertips starts accumulating and coats the keycaps with grease. Therefore, to avoid this issue, ensure cleaning the keyboard regularly.

Cleaning an Oily Keyboard

If you’re struggling with how to clean an oily keyboard, our following 6 step-by-step methods will help you go through this process without facing much trouble.   

Method #1: Using a Microfiber Cloth

To clean an oily keyboard with a microfiber cloth, follow these steps.

  1. Take a microfiber cloth, soak it in warm water and wring out the excess.
  2. Press the damp microfiber cloth on the surface of the desktop or laptop keyboard.
  3. Swipe it back and forth to remove oil on the keys or keyboard surface.
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Method #2: Using Disinfectant Wipes 

If you want to clean your desktop or laptop keyboard with disinfectant wipes, do these steps.

  1. Unplug your desktop keyboard or turn off your laptop.
  2. Take a disinfectant wipe and start by cleaning the surface of the keyboard.
  3. Move on to the keys and press them down while cleaning each one thoroughly.
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Method #3: Using a Water and Detergent Concoction

Use the following steps to clean your desktop or laptop keyboard with water and disinfectant.

  1. Unplug your desktop keyboard or turn off your laptop.
  2. Add warm water along with a drop of detergent in a bowl.
  3. Soak a soft cloth or a cotton pad and wring it until it’s damp.
  4. Scrub the keyboard with a cloth lightly to remove the grease.
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Method #4: Using Isopropyl Alcohol

To clean your oily keyboard with isopropyl alcohol, follow the given steps.

  1. Unplug your desktop keyboard or turn off your laptop.
  2. Take a cotton swab or a pad and dip it in isopropyl alcohol.
  3. Make sure that it is wet but not dripping.
  4. Run it through your keyboard to make it oil-free.
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Ensure to dry the keyboard before using it.

Method #5: Using a Cleaning Gel 

Cleaning gels are more effective in eliminating dirt from the keyboard than oil. However, you can use them to remove minimal grease with the following steps.

  1. Take a handful of cleaning gel and drop it on your keyboard
  2. Let it sit for a while.
  3. Pick it up and enjoy typing on your clean keys!
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While using cleaning gel, ensure not to press too hard, as it can get under the keys, causing them to jam. 

Cleaning Your Desktop/External Keyboard

If you use an external keyboard with your laptop or a desktop computer with a standard keyboard, you can remove the keycaps and clean the oil on them in the following way.

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  1. Unplug your keyboard and hold down on a keycap you want to remove.
  2. Stick a flat object like a car key gently under the key.
  3. Twist the object with light pressure until the key pops off.
  4. Repeat the same process to remove all the keys that have oil on them. 
  5. Soak the keycaps in warm soapy water, rinse gently with your hands, and take them out after 20-30 minutes
  6. Let the keycaps air dry (You can also use a hair dryer to dry them).

Gently put the keycaps back into the keyboard; you are good!

Preventing an Oily Keyboard

Now, let’s discuss some tips you can use to avoid getting oil on your keyboard.

Tip #1: Using a Keyboard Cover

One way to protect your keyboard is by using keyboard covers! Since they are made of silicone, they work effectively to save keyboards from oil and dust

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Tip #2: Cleaning Your Hands

After eating, it is recommended to rinse your hands thoroughly before you start typing. This will help keep your keyboard squeaky clean and without any trace of oil!

Tip #3: Cleaning the Keyboard Occasionally

If you cannot use a keyboard cover or are not in the habit of eating while using the keyboard, try cleaning it at least once a week with the methods discussed above to save it from dirt, dust, and grease


This guide discussed how to clean an oily keyboard using a microfiber cloth, isopropyl alcohol, disinfectant wipes, and cleaning gel. We have also discussed why your keyboard may be getting oily, along with ways to prevent this from happening occasionally. 

Hopefully, your question has been answered in this article, and now you can type away without feeling icky about a sticky, slippery, or shiny keyboard or its keys!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are my keycaps getting so shiny?

Shiny keycaps on the keyboard often mean you are typing with oily fingers. To avoid this from happening, you can either start wearing gloves while typing or clean your hands thoroughly before use.  

What do I do if I’ve spilled coffee on my keyboard?

If you have spilled coffee on your keyboard and it is not working, the best option is to take it to a repair shop immediately. However, if that’s not possible, unplug it from the CPU or turn off the laptop. Then, use a clean cloth to dry your keyboard and leave it for a few hours to dry itself out.

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