How to Clean a Mac Keyboard


Microbiologists have tested keyboards and found that they can harbor more germs than a toilet seat![1] Because of this, it is important to regularly clean and disinfect your keyboard. If you have a Mac keyboard, you will want to take special caution when cleaning your keyboard to avoid causing any damage. By turning off your device, using microfiber cloths and disinfecting wipes, being gentle, and avoiding getting liquid in any openings, you will be able to keep your Mac keyboard clean and free from germs.

Part 1
Removing Dirt and Debris

Removing Dirt and Debris on How to Clean a Mac Keyboard

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If your keyboard is part of your laptop, shut down the laptop before you begin cleaning. This will help prevent damage from occurring during the cleaning process.

Removing Dirt and Debris on How to Clean a Mac Keyboard

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If the keyboard is part of your laptop, unplug the laptop entirely. Otherwise, disconnect the keyboard from your computer, laptop, or tablet.[2]

Removing Dirt and Debris on How to Clean a Mac Keyboard

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First, carry your keyboard over to a trashcan and tip it upside down. Gently shake and move it side to side to dislodge any loose dirt or objects. Run your hand gently over the keys to loosen dirt that may be stuck.

Removing Dirt and Debris on How to Clean a Mac Keyboard

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First, turn the keyboard at a 75 degree angle, so it is not quite vertical. Then, spray some compressed air left to right across the surface of the keyboard. Keep the straw of the air compression can about ½ inch away from the keys. After spraying the whole keyboard, rotate it 90 degrees to one side, and spray all keys again from left to right. Repeat this until you have sprayed the keyboard at all angles.[3] Apple doesn’t recommend the use of compressed air for all keyboards, as it may push particles further into the the keyboard. This step is specifically for MacBook laptops from early 2015 or later.Our Expert Agrees: First, youwant to remove the bulk of anydirt or dust from the keyboard.To do that, take a can ofcompressed air and spray it alongthe side of the keyboard. Go upand down the rows, firstvertically, then laterally. Thatwill help you get a lot of thecrumbs and normal day-to-daystuff out of there.Our Expert Agrees: First, you want toremove the bulk of any dirt or dustfrom the keyboard. To do that, take acan of compressed air and spray italong the side of the keyboard. Go upand down the rows, first vertically,then laterally. That will help you geta lot of the crumbs and normalday-to-day stuff out of there.Our Expert Agrees: First, you want to removethe bulk of any dirt or dust from thekeyboard. To do that, take a can ofcompressed air and spray it along the sideof the keyboard. Go up and down the rows,first vertically, then laterally. That willhelp you get a lot of the crumbs and normalday-to-day stuff out of there.Our Expert Agrees: First, you want to remove the bulk of any dirt ordust from the keyboard. To do that, take a can of compressed air andspray it along the side of the keyboard. Go up and down the rows, firstvertically, then laterally. That will help you get a lot of the crumbsand normal day-to-day stuff out of there.Our Expert Agrees: First, you want to remove the bulk of any dirt or dust fromthe keyboard. To do that, take a can of compressed air and spray it along theside of the keyboard. Go up and down the rows, first vertically, thenlaterally. That will help you get a lot of the crumbs and normal day-to-daystuff out of there.

Removing Dirt and Debris on How to Clean a Mac Keyboard

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Get the cloth damp, and then ring out any excess moisture before touching your keyboard with it. Run the cloth gently over the surface of the keys to remove dust and dirt. Be sure that you don’t get any excess moisture in between the keys in this process.[4] Try using alcohol to wet yourcloth. After you use compressedair to blow out the keyboard,wipe it down with paper towels ora microfiber cloth dampened witha little 91% alcohol. Alcoholwon't damage any of theelectrical components that areunderneath those keys.Try using alcohol to wet your cloth.After you use compressed air to blowout the keyboard, wipe it down withpaper towels or a microfiber clothdampened with a little 91% alcohol.Alcohol won't damage any of theelectrical components that areunderneath those keys.Try using alcohol to wet your cloth. Afteryou use compressed air to blow out thekeyboard, wipe it down with paper towels ora microfiber cloth dampened with a little91% alcohol. Alcohol won't damage any of theelectrical components that are underneaththose keys.Try using alcohol to wet your cloth. After you use compressed air toblow out the keyboard, wipe it down with paper towels or a microfibercloth dampened with a little 91% alcohol. Alcohol won't damage any ofthe electrical components that are underneath those keys.Try using alcohol to wet your cloth. After you use compressed air to blow outthe keyboard, wipe it down with paper towels or a microfiber cloth dampenedwith a little 91% alcohol. Alcohol won't damage any of the electricalcomponents that are underneath those keys.

Removing Dirt and Debris on How to Clean a Mac Keyboard

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For stains on your keys or keyboard, use a bit of pressure to scrub them off. Get the cotton swab or cloth slightly damp, and then apply it to the stain. You can rub in a circular motion, gently, until the stain is gone.[5] If you have a white keyboard, take extra time to scrub the dark brown areas that tend to develop on the spacebar and where your fingers rest.Our Expert Agrees: Try spraying acotton swab with alcohol, thenuse that to clean spots from themetal area surrounding thekeyboard.Our Expert Agrees: Try spraying acotton swab with alcohol, then usethat to clean spots from the metalarea surrounding the keyboard.Our Expert Agrees: Try spraying a cottonswab with alcohol, then use that to cleanspots from the metal area surrounding thekeyboard.Our Expert Agrees: Try spraying a cotton swab with alcohol, then usethat to clean spots from the metal area surrounding the keyboard.Our Expert Agrees: Try spraying a cotton swab with alcohol, then use that toclean spots from the metal area surrounding the keyboard.

Removing Dirt and Debris on How to Clean a Mac Keyboard

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Consider using a microfiber cloth for this step. Run it over the keyboard to remove any remaining moisture or dust that may have collected.

Part 2
Disinfecting the Keyboard

Disinfecting the Keyboard on How to Clean a Mac Keyboard

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While disinfecting, be sure that your laptop is turned off and unplugged. If the keyboard is separate from the computer, be sure that it is disconnected from any power source.

Disinfecting the Keyboard on How to Clean a Mac Keyboard

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Some types to consider are Clorox or Lysol. You will want wipes that do not include any bleach, so be sure to check the labels before you make your purchase. Bleach can damage the finish on your keyboard.[6]

Disinfecting the Keyboard on How to Clean a Mac Keyboard

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Sometimes you’ll grab a disinfecting wipe that is very wet. Be sure that you squeeze it out to make it only slightly damp before using it on your keyboard.[7]

Disinfecting the Keyboard on How to Clean a Mac Keyboard

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Place the wipe over one finger. Using that finger, gently massage each key and the area between the keys. Be careful not to push too hard or move your finger too fast so that you don’t damage the keys.[8]

Disinfecting the Keyboard on How to Clean a Mac Keyboard

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This is an important step that is easily overlooked. Be sure that you use a clean, soft, lint-free cloth to remove any moisture from the keyboard after disinfecting it. Also, make sure that you do not hold the wipe on the keyboard for too long. After you wipe each key, discard the wipe and dry the keyboard gently.

Disinfecting the Keyboard on How to Clean a Mac Keyboard

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Waiting a bit will give the keyboard time to fully dry. Once it is completely dry, you can turn your keyboard back on and enjoy the cleanliness!