Mechanical keyboards have become increasingly popular among gamers, programmers, and other users because of their tactile feedback and durability. However, these keyboards require maintenance to keep them functioning correctly. Over time, mechanical keyboard switches can become dirty or dusty, which can affect their performance and longevity. In this blog, we will give a step-by-step guide on how to clean mechanical keyboard switches to keep your keyboard in excellent working condition.
Why Clean Mechanical Keyboard Switches?
Over time, dust, mud, and other particles can accumulate on your keyboard switches. This buildup can decrease the switch’s responsiveness or even cause them to stop working. Additionally, the accumulation of dirt and mud can cause a mechanical keyboard to become sticky, making typing uncomfortable.
Regular cleaning of your mechanical keyboard switches can help to maintain their performance, increase their lifespan, and prevent any buildup of debris that can hinder their performance.
What You Need to Clean Mechanical Keyboard Switches
To clean your mechanical keyboard switches, you will need the following tools:
- Keycap puller or paperclip
- Soft-bristled brush
- Can of compressed air
- Rubbing alcohol
- Microfiber cloth
Tools You Will Need to Clean Your Mechanical Keyboard Switches
Before you begin cleaning your mechanical keyboard switches, it is essential to gather the necessary tools to ensure a thorough cleaning. Here are some tools you will need:
Rubbing alcohol is a critical ingredient in cleaning your mechanical keyboard switches. It helps remove any dirt, grime, and other contaminants accumulated on the controls over time. Use at least 90% isopropyl alcohol, as lower concentrations may be less effective.
A soft-bristled brush, such as a toothbrush or a makeup brush, can gently scrub the switches and remove any debris stuck between them.
A microfiber cloth can wipe down the keyboard and remove any leftover debris or dust. A soft, non-abrasive cloth is essential to avoid scratching the keyboard’s surface.
Keycap Puller or Paperclip
You will need a keycap puller or a paper clip to remove the keycaps from your keyboard. Using your fingers to remove the keycaps can cause damage to both the keycaps and the switches.
Compressed air can be used to blow away any debris that may be trapped in hard-to-reach areas, such as under the keycaps or in between the switches.
How to Clean Mechanical Keyboard Switches
Cleaning your mechanical keyboard switches involves the following four steps:
The first step to cleaning your mechanical keyboard switches is to remove the keycaps. Using a keycap puller or a paperclip, gently pull each keycap off the keyboard. Ensure you keep the keycaps organized and safe to prevent them from getting lost.
Cleaning the Keycaps
After removing the keycaps, use a soft-bristled brush to remove any dust or litter from the surface of the keycaps. You can also use a can of compressed air to blow out any rubbish that may be hiding under the keys.
Next, dip a microfiber cloth in a small amount of rubbing alcohol and gently wipe the keycaps. This will help to remove any oils or residue that may have accumulated on the keycaps.
Cleaning the Switches
Once the keycaps are removed, you can clean the switches themselves. Use a can of compressed air pressure to blow out any debris that may be in the switch housing.
Next, dip a soft-bristled brush in rubbing alcohol and use it to scrub the switch housing gently. Be careful not to use too much pressure, which may damage the switch.
After cleaning the switch housing, you can use a clean microfiber fabric to wipe the surface of the switch. Repeat the process for all the buttons.
Reassembling the Keyboard
After cleaning the keycaps and switches, it’s time to reassemble your keyboard. Carefully place each keycap back on the button, ensuring it is secure and in the correct orientation.
Test the switches to ensure that they are functioning correctly. If any keys are sticking or not responding, you may need to repeat the cleaning process for that specific switch.
Tips for Maintaining Your Mechanical Keyboard
Here are some tips for maintaining your mechanical keyboard:
- Keep your keyboard clean and free of dust and debris.
- Avoid eating or drinking over your keyboard to prevent spills and crumbs from getting inside.
- Regularly clean your keyboard switches to prevent any debris buildup that can hinder your keyboard performance.
- Use a keycap puller or paperclip to remove keycaps instead of using your fingers to avoid damaging them.
- Avoid harsh chemicals or solvents when cleaning your keyboard, as they can damage the switches and keycaps.
Tips for Maintaining Your Mechanical Keyboard After Cleaning
Once you have cleaned your mechanical keyboard switches, it is essential to take steps to maintain their cleanliness and prolong their lifespan. Here are some tips for keeping your mechanical keyboard after cleaning:
Wash Your Hands Before Using Your Keyboard
Washing your hands before using your keyboard can help to prevent any oils or dirt from transferring onto the switches, which can cause them to become dirty more quickly.
Avoid Eating or Drinking While Using Your Keyboard
Eating or drinking while using your keyboard can cause spills and crumbs to accumulate on the keyboard, which can be challenging to clean and can cause damage to the switches.
Store Your Keyboard in a Clean, Dry Place
Storing your keyboard in a clean, dry place can help prevent debris or dust from accumulating on the keyboard when it is not in use.
Use a Keyboard Cover
Using a keyboard cover can help to protect your keyboard from spills, dust, and other contaminants that can cause damage to the switches over time.
Cleaning your mechanical keyboard switches is a simple process that can help to maintain their performance and increase their lifespan. Regular maintenance can prevent any buildup of debris that can hinder your keyboard’s performance and make typing uncomfortable. Following the actions outlined in this guide, you can keep your mechanical keyboard in excellent working condition for years.