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Due to continuous use, your laptop’s keyboard can get filled with dust and grim. If you use your laptop for work, it is possible that you might have touched the keyboard with oily or dirty fingers. Food crumbs can gather between the keys over time. Cleaning your keyboard is not only a hygienic practice, but it also ensures that the keyboard’s performance does not go down with time.

Basic Cleaning for Your Laptop’s Keyboard

If you are worried about the cleanliness of the keyboard, you can clean it from time to time, by using a basic cleaning method. Before you start cleaning, shut off the laptop. This will ensure that you do not damage the laptop while cleaning and that you do not accidentally press the wrong keys or delete a file that you really need. You will need the following supplies:

  • Microfiber or lint-free cloth
  • Compression air
  • A surface to keep the laptop on

Put the laptop upside down and shake it gently. If any food crumbs or debris are stuck between the keys, they will be dislodged in this way. If you are doing this on a carpet, you can just go in with a vacuum cleaner and clean the mess. Otherwise, keep a towel underneath the laptop so that you can clean the dirt easily afterward.

You can buy compression air from any home or office supplies store easily. Hold the can of compression air upright and spray between the keys. Do not spray in a full stream and go in with short bursts for the best results. Compressed air will further dislodge any stubborn particles that are stuck in the keyboard. Do not hold the can upside down while spraying as this will lead to the propellant getting into the keyboard and damaging it.

After this, take a microfiber cloth and go over the keys. Since microfiber attracts dust, any remaining dust will be removed in this way. If there are any stubborn buildups on the keys, wet the cloth a little and then wipe the keys with it. Make sure to wring out all the water from the cloth before you touch your laptop with it.

Using alcohol

If the grime is too stubborn to be removed by water, you can use isopropyl alcohol to get rid of it. Take a cotton ball and put a few drops of alcohol on it. Do not directly pour the alcohol on the keyboard as it will damage the inner components. Use the cotton ball to remove any dirt or grime. Alcohol will also remove any oil stains or residue left on the keys by your fingers. Since alcohol evaporates much quicker than water, it is considered a safer alternative for cleaning a keyboard.

How to Disinfect Your Keyboard?

If you were using your laptop while sick or you were worried about germs, you could disinfect your laptop without worrying about damaging the keys. For this, you will need the following supplies:

  • Disinfectant
  • Disinfecting wipes

First of all, spray the disinfectant onto the wipe. Then, wipe the keys using the disinfecting wipe. Do not directly spray disinfectant on the keys as there is too much liquid. Also, do not use bleach for this as it can damage the keys.

How to Clean Laptop Keyboard by taking the keys out?

If there is something big stuck under the keys that you cannot get out using compressed air, you can take the keys out and then clean the keyboard. Before you do this, make sure that the keys of your keyboard actually come off. You can do this by searching for your laptop’s model online and checking if the keys are removable. If they are, you can start doing the steps below.

  • Pry the keys of your laptop using your fingernail or a small screwdriver. Be gentle in this step as you do not want to break off any key.
  • If you are worried that you will forget the placement of the keys, take a picture of the keyboard before Step 1.
  • Keep the keys together in a bowl so that you do not lose them.
  • Take a cotton swab or a lint-free cloth and dip it in alcohol. Rub the inner lining of the laptop and clean any mess that you see.
  • Avoid using any liquid directly as the keycaps are not there to protect the inner component, and the keyboard is more vulnerable.
  • Put the keycaps back in place the way they were. Push them gently until they are secure in their place.

How to Clean Laptop Keyboard in Case of a Liquid Spill?

If you are in an unfortunate situation where you have accidentally spilled a liquid onto the keyboard, you have to act fast. First of all, turn off the laptop completely. Then, take out the battery as you have to protect the important parts of the laptop.

Now, open the laptop as wide as you can and put it upside down on a towel or any other absorbent material. Wipe the back of the laptop with a microfiber cloth and make it as dry as you possibly can. Let the laptop dry for about two days. There is no need to rush because the laptop might look dry on the outside, but there is a liquid buildup on the inside.

Do not dry the keyboard using a hairdryer as this will accumulate a lot of dust particles in the keyboard, preventing it from working. After the laptop has dried, put the battery in, and check if it is working. If it is, then you are in luck. If it is not, you can do the following things:

  • Let it dry for another day and then see if it works.
  • If the laptop is working, but the keyboard is not functional anymore, use a USB keyboard.
  • If the laptop does not start, take it to a professional cleaning service. They charge a lot, but if you have important files on your laptop or your laptop is too expensive, do not shy away from spending a couple of hundred bucks on its cleaning.


In this guide, we have mentioned the common methods for cleaning your laptop keyboard. Hopefully, now you will know how to clean the laptop keyboard at home, with just a few cleaning essentials.