cleaning gaming computer keyboard

Steps for Cleaning Your Gaming Computer’s Keyboard

There are several important components that make up a gaming computer setup, and the keyboard is at or near the top of any such list. And while selecting the proper gaming keyboard is extremely important, so is the care and upkeep of this item — especially periodic cleaning.

At Xidax, we’re here to not only provide our clients with high-quality gaming desktop and laptop setups, plus all the accessories they might require, but also to offer expertise on the proper care and usage of all our equipment. Why is the keyboard one of the most important components to maintain proper cleaning frequency and methods for, and how can you go about cleaning your gaming keyboard without any risk of damage or other concerns? Here’s a basic primer.

Why is Keyboard Cleaning So Important

The keyboard isn’t the only important gaming computer component, not by a long shot. So why would many in the gaming computer world tell you that cleaning the keyboard is even more important than certain other accessories?

The answer traces back to the simple frequency with which keyboards pick up dust, dirt, and all sorts of other unsavory bits. It’s easy for these things to get lodged in between the keys, where they can cause all sorts of problems. Grime will buildup over time and can even start to smell bad; dead skin cells, makeup, and other residue can easily build up on the keys and create an non-hygenic environment in which bacteria can thrive; and worst of all, tiny pieces of dust can actually get into the internal workings of the keyboard and cause all sorts of malfunctions.

Given how often people use their keyboards, it’s no wonder that regular cleaning is essential for both hygiene and function reasons. While you might be able to get away with cleaning other gaming computer components less often, it’s best not to take any chances with your keyboard.

Our next several sections will go over the basic steps we recommend to gamers on cleaning their keyboard.

Removing Dirt, Dust and Debris

Not only are issues like dust and debris the most common type you’ll find with regard to keyboard cleaning, they can be extremely risky to your machine if they aren’t removed on a regular basis. All of that grime and gunk can easily cause your keyboard to overheat, as well as impede its performance.

The first step in cleaning your keyboard is to remove all the dirt, dust and debris that has built up between and on the keys. You can do this by using a compressed air duster or vacuum cleaner. Make sure to hold the vacuum cleaner nozzle close to the keyboard and use gentle, sweeping motions to get everything out.

If there are any particularly stubborn pieces of dirt or debris, you can try using a toothpick or other small, stiff object to dislodge them. Just be careful not to damage any of the keys in the process.

One tip we can offer here, and which might seem silly but is actually often effective: When you’ve performed your other cleaning methods, simply turn the keyboard upside-down and give it a good shake (as long as there aren’t any components that may fall off if you do this). You might be surprised at how much dirt and dust falls out.

Cleaning the Keys

Now that all the big pieces of dirt, dust and debris have been removed, it’s time to clean the keys themselves. This can be done with a microfiber cloth or special keyboard cleaning wipes.

Again, make sure you use gentle motions when cleaning the keys. You also want to pay attention to the specific types of keys, as some will require different cleaning methods followed by a gentle buffing with your microfiber cloth.

Remember that you can easily scrub off any lettering on your keys if you use a harsh motion or improperly clean them, so make sure to take all necessary precautions and test out your cleaning methods on a less important key before getting too far down the rabbit hole.

If you don’t have any cleaning wipes handy, another great option is to use a slightly dampened cloth and carefully wipe each of the keys. Make sure not to get this cloth too wet and be very careful that you don’t let water drip into the cracks between or below the keys.

Removing Grease, Spills or Water Marks

If a specific issue like a grease stain, a beverage spill or even general water marking takes place on your keyboard, it’s best to take care of it as soon as possible. This is because these types of marks can be harder to remove the longer they’re left untreated.

The first step here in each of these cases: Unplug or turn off your keyboard. Some liquids, for example, can damage the circuitry inside your device if they’re not cleaned up before powering it back on again.

From here, get a lint-free cloth and dip it into some isopropyl alcohol or a similar cleaning solution. Again, make sure you do this with the keyboard turned off and without spilling any of the cleaning solution onto the keys themselves.

After your cloth is soaked, gently wipe away as much of the mark as possible from the surface of your keyboard. If you come across a stubborn spot or can’t clean it all off, simply repeat this process until the mark is gone. Some people will also use a cotton swab or Q-tip to reach into smaller crevices.

Once the keyboard is dry, you can plug it back in or turn it on and test it out. If all goes according to plan, your keyboard should be looking (and working) as good as new.

For more on how to clean your gaming computer keyboard on a regular basis, or to learn about any of our gaming computers or gaming workstations, speak to the staff at Xidax today.