Mechanical keyboards are beloved by many for their tactile feedback, durability, and customizable features. However, like other electronic devices, they require regular maintenance and cleaning to ensure longevity and optimal performance. This article will discuss how often you should clean your mechanical keyboard and provide some tips and tricks for keeping it in top shape.
Why Cleaning Your Mechanical Keyboard is Important
Before diving into how often you should clean your mechanical keyboard, it’s essential to understand why it’s crucial. Over time, dust, dirt, hair, and other debris can accumulate on and under the keys, leading to various issues such as:
- Reduced Performance: Dirt and debris can interfere with the key’s mechanical action, causing it to stick or become unresponsive, leading to missed keystrokes.
- Health Risks: Mechanical keyboards can harbour bacteria and germs, especially if you share your keyboard. Regular cleaning can help prevent the spread of illness and disease.
- Aesthetic Appeal: A dirty and dusty keyboard is unappealing and can be off-putting to others who may use your computer.
How Often Should You Clean Your Mechanical Keyboard?
Now that we’ve covered why cleaning your mechanical keyboard is essential let’s answer the critical question: How often should you clean it? The answer to this question depends on several factors, such as:
- Usage: How often you use your keyboard and for how long can affect how quickly it gets dirty.
- Environment: The environment in which you use your keyboard can also affect how often you should clean it. For example, your keyboard may get dirtier quicker if you live in a dusty area.
- Personal Preferences: Some people are more sensitive to dirt and debris than others and may prefer to clean their keyboards more often.
Based on these factors, we recommend cleaning your mechanical keyboard at least once every three to six months. However, if you use your keyboard frequently, you may need to clean it more often. In general, it’s better to err on caution and clean it more often than not often enough.
How to Clean Your Mechanical Keyboard
Now that you know how often to clean your mechanical keyboard, let’s discuss the different ways to do it. Here are some tips and tricks to help you clean your keyboard effectively:
- Unplug Your Keyboard: Before cleaning your keyboard, unplug it from your computer to prevent any accidental keystrokes or damage to your computer.
- Remove the Keycaps: The first step in cleaning your mechanical keyboard is to remove the keycaps. You can do this using a keycap puller, a small tool that fits over the keycap and pulls it off the switch. If you don’t have a keycap puller, you can use a flathead screwdriver, but be careful not to scratch the keys or the keyboard.
- Clean the Keycaps: Once you’ve removed them, you can clean them using a soft-bristled brush and a mild detergent solution. Ensure not to use harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can damage the keys.
- Clean the Switches: To clean the switches, you can use a can of compressed air to blow out any dust or debris inside. Alternatively, you can gently use a soft-bristled brush to remove any dust or debris.
- Clean the Keyboard Casing: You can clean the keyboard casing using a damp cloth and a mild detergent solution. Ensure not to get water inside the keyboard, as this can damage the electronics.
- Reassemble the Keyboard: Once you’ve cleaned all the parts, you can reassemble the keyboard by placing the keycaps back on the switches.
Rule of cleaning your mechanical keyboard
Mechanical keyboards have become popular among gamers and typists due to their durability, performance, and customizable features. However, to maintain their longevity and performance, cleaning them regularly is essential. So, how often should you clean your mechanical keyboard?
The answer depends on factors such as your environment, usage, and personal preference. If you work in a dusty or dirty environment, your keyboard may accumulate more debris, requiring more frequent cleaning. Similarly, if you use your keyboard extensively for gaming or typing, you may need to clean it more often than someone who uses it sparingly.
A general rule of thumb is to clean your mechanical keyboard at least once a month, regardless of your usage or environment. This will help prevent the buildup of dirt, debris, and oil, which can affect the performance and lifespan of your keyboard.
To clean your mechanical keyboard, start by turning off your computer and unplugging your keyboard. Then, remove any keycaps that are easy to remove and use a soft-bristled brush or can of compressed air to remove debris from the switches, keycaps, and board. For stubborn debris, you can use a keycap puller and a damp cloth to wipe down the switches and board.
If you have spilt any liquids on your keyboard, it’s essential to clean it immediately. Liquids can damage the switches, rust the metal contacts, and cause the keys to stick. To clean a liquid spill, remove the keycaps and use a cloth to soak up any excess liquid. Then, thoroughly clean the switches and board using a can of compressed air or a damp cloth. Allow the keyboard to dry completely before plugging it back in.
In addition to regular cleaning, consider deep cleaning your keyboard every six months to a year, depending on your usage and environment. Deep cleaning involves removing all the keycaps and cleaning the switches and board thoroughly with a damp cloth or cleaning solution. This will help remove any dirt, debris, and oil buildup that may have accumulated over time.
When it comes to cleaning solutions, it’s essential to use one that’s safe for your keyboard. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that may damage the switches, keycaps, or board. Instead, use a mild cleaning solution or isopropyl alcohol and a microfiber cloth to wipe down the switches and board.
How often you should clean your mechanical keyboard depends on your environment, usage, and personal preference. While a monthly cleaning routine can help prevent the buildup of debris and maintain the performance of your keyboard, deep cleaning every six months to a year can help remove any accumulated dirt, debris, and oil. With regular cleaning and maintenance, you can ensure that your mechanical keyboard stays in top condition for years to come.