Cleaning a keyboard is a must. Especially, the mechanical keyboards must be cleaned thoroughly to avoid dust and debris getting stuck under the keycaps and switches. But how to clean the keyboard? Do you have to use a brush? Or can you vacuum a keyboard?
In this article, we can explore the possibility of vacuuming a mechanical keyboard and the best way to clean it properly. Also, we shall discuss the different ways to protect the keyboard from dust, debris, and spills.
You can vacuum a mechanical keyboard but instead of using a regular carpet vacuum, you must use a small USB-powered vacuum cleaner. Because mechanical keyboards tend to have pop-up keycaps which can be easily sucked into the cleaner if it is powerful. So, using a small vacuum cleaner, you can remove the dust and debris effectively from a mechanical keyboard.
Benefits of Vacuuming Mechanical Keyboard
While there are many cleaning methods for removing dust from mechanical keyboards, it is highly efficient to use a vacuum. The following are the top benefits of using a vacuum for a mechanical keyboard:
- Vacuum can completely remove the dust and debris from the keyboard. Even small particles of dust can be easily removed.
- If you use a small USB vacuum, you don’t have to remove the keycaps for cleaning. You can simply vacuum the keyboard and make it tidy.
- You don’t have the risk of ruining the circuit or damaging the board in any manner. It is very effective in taking away dust.
- Other cleaning methods might involve the use of a wet cloth which has the risk of damaging the board. Vacuuming avoids all the dangers.
- If you regularly vacuum the board, dust buildup will be very minimal and you don’t need to spend a lot of time cleaning.
Due to these benefits, regularly vacuuming the mechanical keyboard will increase its life span and doesn’t lead to any technical issues.
What are the different methods to clean a mechanical keyboard?
Vacuuming is the first step in cleaning a mechanical keyboard. Despite the different methods available, you must start cleaning the keyboard by thoroughly vacuuming to ensure the removal of dust and debris. Once you have vacuumed properly, you can go for further cleaning with the following methods:
Using Microfiber Cloth
Vacuuming will remove most of the dust. But at a microscopic level, there will be fine dust particles sticking to the keyboard. In such cases, you can use a microfiber cloth to get rid of them.
After vacuuming the keyboard, take a fresh microfiber cloth. Sprinkle some water onto it so that the cloth is slightly damp.
Wipe the keyboard thoroughly with the keycaps on it. After that, remove each keycap and clean it individually.
Don’t use the damp cloth in a naked switch. So, clean the keyboard with keycaps on. When you want to clean the caps individually, you can remove them.
After cleaning the keyboard with a damp cloth, use a dry towel and wipe it clean. Make sure to dry the keyboard thoroughly. If you had removed the keycaps for cleaning, make sure to dry them and fix them back before using the dry towel.
Using Small Brush
Sometimes, you need to perform a deep cleaning with the mechanical keyboard to make it tidy. The vacuuming will not be sufficient and you have to remove the caps for a deep clean.
To perform this deep clean, you will need a small brush. Remove the keycaps and place them in a bath to wash them thoroughly.
Now using the brush, dust away the minute particles surrounding the switch. Don’t disturb the switch stem to avoid damage.
After dusting the particles, you can use the vacuum again to remove the particles completely. Instead of a brush you can also use a Q-tip but make sure to slightly dampen the tip so that the fibers don’t get stuck to the key switches.
At the same time, you can wash the keycaps using dish soap and remove the dirt in the intricate areas. After thorough washing, let it dry completely before you install the caps on the keyboard.
These are the methods by which you can clean the keyboards along with vacuuming. Try these to get the best results.
Can I use compressed air to clean my mechanical keyboard?
It is not recommended to use compressed air or canned air to clean the mechanical keyboard. Because compressed air tends to be cooler and when sprayed onto the keyboard, it may condense on the switches causing trouble.
Also, it is never safe to blow air to remove dust. Because the dust may settle deeper into the keycaps and cause disturbance while typing. Sometimes it may even affect the switch mechanism and you cannot use the keyboard properly.
Therefore, it is best to avoid compressed air cans to remove dust and debris from the keyboard. Instead, you can use a simple keyboard vacuum cleaner and get rid of the dust effectively.
How to prevent the keyboard from dust?
It is better to prevent dust accumulation in your keyboard rather than trying to clean it hard. The following tips will help you to avoid dust accumulation in your mechanical keyboard:
- Don’t set up your PC near an open window or near a dust-prone area. Because the dust can easily sediment frequently over your keyboard and you might have to clean it regularly. So, avoid such places.
- Don’t eat at your computer desk. Most of us have the habit of consuming food over the keyboard and it will ruin it badly.
- Don’t leave your keyboard uncleaned for long period. Try to remove the small dust regularly.
You can use a vacuum cleaner on your mechanical keyboard to remove dust particles effectively. You can also use the other recommended methods to clean the keyboards along with vacuuming. Make sure to follow the precautions and avoid using any solution directly on the keyboard while cleaning them. This way you can prolong the life of the keyboard.