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Old 12-01-2010, 10:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation How to clean a dirty keyboard

Good morning everyone.

As this is my first post ever on this forum, I wanted to make something interesting.
I will therefore try to write an interesting and useful first thread, which, I hope, will answer some questions and create some new ones.

(I would like to add, for administrators, that I have searched on the forum first, to make sure this topic doesn't exist already, and checked for the best category to put it in. However, if I am at the wrong place, or if this topic already exists, please let me know or move it.)

My first thread is about Dirty Keyboards.

Do you know that there are three categories of dirts on your keyboard?
- Loose particles (dust, hair, pieces of bread and cookies, etc...)
- Stains (coke, sauce, or any other liquid leaving traces on your keyboard)
- Germs (bacteria, germs, viruses)

First question:

How to clean my dirty keyboard ? How do you guys clean your keyboard ?

You must know that each kind of dirt requires a different kind of cleaning action.
If loose dirts and stains sound pretty clear, what about germs?

The presence of germs:

You have to know that germs are not all dangerous. You have harmful germs (methicillin-resistant staphylococci, MRSA, Escherilia coli, etc...) as well as non-harmful germs (living on your skins and protecting it from other germs attack).
Lets make it simple: some germs protect you, some make you sick.
Therefore, the exact quantity of germs living on your keyboard is not a very interesting indicator, as it doesn't make distinction between harmful and non-harmful germs.
It is important (even more for young people and old people) that you regularly disinfect your keyboard.

A recent study shows that keyboards are more dirty (in terms of germs number) than an average public toilets seat. This is easily explained by the fact that public toilets seat would be cleaned once a day, and you most probably clean your keyboard once a year. Moreover, how many times do you clean your hands before using a keyboard ? How many people use your keyboard ? All those factors increase significantly the number of germs propagation on your keyboard (I won't communicate the link to this study, but by typing "keyboard + toilet seat" on google, you will find plenty of articles published on serious newspapers).

How can I clean my dirty keyboard?

We have seen earlier, there are three main kinds of dirt on a keyboard: loose particles, stains, germs.
Sadly, there is no solution (as far as I know) to clean all three with one product.
Here is a list of possible cleaning solutions:
- vacuum
- wet tissues
- wet alcoholic tissues
- cotton sticks
- washing-machine
- air-pressured can
- cyber clean like
- taking off all the keys, cleaning, building it back

Each solution would clean one, mostly two of those dirts, but none would clean all.
Lets review the best solution for each.

Best solution to clean a dirty keyboard:


Best solutions for removing loose particles from a keyboard:

1. Cyber Clean: it goes in between the keys, and gets the dirt that other cleaners usually fail to reach. It keeps your hands clean, is easy to use, and trap the dirt. Biodegradable.
2. Air-can: very efficient for removing lose particles, but spread dust and dirts all over the place. Moreover, pressured cans are bad for the environment and non biodegradable.
3. Vacuum: pretty efficient, but doesn't really reach things under the keys, just particles around.
4. Take off the keys or shake the keyboard: this is the worse solution, as it is extremely time consuming and risks to damage your keyboard
5. Washing machine: this is an efficient solution, however, time consuming (it takes forever for the keyboard to dry), not accepted by all keyboard (you risk to kill yours), and absolutly impossible with laptops keyboards.

Best solutions for removing stains from a keyboard:

1. Wet alcoholic wipes: those are the most efficient and easy to find on the market (ie: AVAREX, Wet Ones, etc...). Those clean stains efficiently.
2. Wet wipes: much less efficient than alcoholic ones, but also better for allergies suffering people.
3. Simple cloth: with a little bit of water, soap, and efforts, it would remove any stain within minutes.
4. Washing machine: for the same reasons as mentionned earlier, this is efficient, but not recommended.

Best solutions for killing germs and bacteria:

1. Cyber Clean: this product has a disinfecting power which kills germs and bacteria, even under the keys.
2. Wet alcoholic wipes: alcohol contained in those wipes disinfect efficiently, but only on surface, as it doesn't go between the keys.
3. Cloth with cleaning product: you can also use your own cleaning product, as glasses cleaning spray, but make sure that it disinfects, and that it won't damage your keyboard or erase the letters on the keys.

Global conclusion for cleaning a dirty keyboard:

1. Cyber Clean and Wet Alcoholic Wipes: this is the best combination for cleaning a keyboard. The Cyber Clean will trap the loose particles and disinfect under and in between the keys, and the wipes will removes stains and disinfect again on the keyboard surface.

Any other combination is acceptable, as long as it brings the three solutions at once, and doesn't harm or damage your keyboard and health.

I would suggest you to clean your keyboard at least once a month, as this is a very common way to spread germs all over your place. You must clean your keyboard as you clean your doors handles, your forks and knives, your cellphones, etc...


I hope I answered some questions in this thread, and I would be more than happy to debate it or answer questions if any of you has !

Thank you all, and hope to share another topic soon !
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to clean a dirty keyboard

A lot of us brave ones pop the keys off, take her apart, and hose it down really good, and the ones of us with a white one will take bleach to it with a light scrubbing.
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to clean a dirty keyboard

I bleached a black keyboard no noticeable colour difference.
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Old 12-31-2010, 11:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to clean a dirty keyboard

I use cheap dell ones I get from work, so when they get back, I throw them out and get a new one!
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Old 01-28-2011, 03:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to clean a dirty keyboard

I am using a normal way for that
I remove the buttons and keyboard cleaner
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to clean a dirty keyboard

Quote:
A tutorial on how to clean a dirty keyboard


I never knew you could throw a keyboard in a washing machine. I guess I figured that the water would somehow magically fry the inert electrical components. Personally, I prefer removing the keys and using a rag soaked in diluted bleach water for the old-style keys and a simple wipe-down with an alcohol pad for scissor keys - they're just too delicate for me to remove without destroying them.

Now keeping trackball mice clean, that's a royal pain.
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Old 03-25-2011, 03:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to clean a dirty keyboard

Some reason, now that I read this, it's more of an advertisement for that product than anything.
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to clean a dirty keyboard

I never clean it. Maybe twice a year I turn it upside down so all the crumbs and stuff fall out.

And I don't believe an ordinary healthy person can get sick by the germs. I am never sick and I have 3,010,980 germs and bacteria on my keyboard That's equivalent to the number of germs on 602 toilet seats.
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to clean a dirty keyboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaeanimus View Post


I never knew you could throw a keyboard in a washing machine. I guess I figured that the water would somehow magically fry the inert electrical components. Personally, I prefer removing the keys and using a rag soaked in diluted bleach water for the old-style keys and a simple wipe-down with an alcohol pad for scissor keys - they're just too delicate for me to remove without destroying them.

Now keeping trackball mice clean, that's a royal pain.


Thats the method I've always used!, however I also take the plastic covers off and soak them in bleach/rubbing alcohol solution then let it dry, resessemble the keyboard and blow it with airduster a few times. Long lie sparkly Keyboards!
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to clean a dirty keyboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMajor View Post
I never clean it. Maybe twice a year I turn it upside down so all the crumbs and stuff fall out.

And I don't believe an ordinary healthy person can get sick by the germs. I am never sick and I have 3,010,980 germs and bacteria on my keyboard That's equivalent to the number of germs on 602 toilet seats.
rofl!
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