How to clean sticky keyboard keys with alcohol

Written by melissa rae Google
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How to clean sticky keyboard keys with alcohol
Clean your keyboard keys at least once a week for best results. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Food crumbs, drink spills and dust can wreak havoc on your keyboard. Even if the keyboard manages to survive a sugary spill, you're sure to experience sticky, malfunctioning keys. Regular cleaning can remove dirt and debris from the key tops, but you will need to remove the key caps to clean underneath. Dissolve sticky residue with isopropyl alcohol to restore the keyboard's functionality.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Compressed air
  • Flat screwdriver
  • Soft cloth
  • Cotton swabs
  • Isopropyl alcohol

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  1. 1

    Turn off the computer and unplug the keyboard if necessary.

  2. 2

    Hold the keyboard upside-down over the trash and shake out any debris.

  3. 3

    Spray compressed air underneath the keys to remove any trapped dirt or dust.

  4. 4

    Shake the keyboard over the trash once again to remove any loosened debris.

  5. 5

    Dampen a soft cloth and cotton swabs with isopropyl alcohol. Wipe the sticky key tops with the cloth. Clean between the keys with cotton swabs.

  6. 6

    Lift the sticky keys from the keyboard with a flat screwdriver. Remove the keys gently to avoid breaking the hinges or key caps.

  7. 7

    Wipe the key assembly and key caps with an alcohol-dampened cotton swab. Allow the keyboard and key caps to dry for at least two minutes.

  8. 8

    Place a key cap in its original position on the keyboard and press down firmly until it snaps.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not remove laptop keys or large keys such as the spacebar, "shift" and "enter" keys. Clean around them with cotton swabs.

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