Keeping Your Mac’s Keyboard Clean

mac laptop

Everyone who has a Mac laptop knows how easy it is for the keyboard to become dirty and dusty. Maybe there are occasionally some crumbs dropped in between the keys, it’s okay we all do it sometimes. So how do we get our Mac’s keyboard dust and debris free without damaging it? Here are the best ways to clean your keyboard, and some tips on how to keep it clean.

Before You Start


When you’re getting ready to clean your Mac’s keyboard, take a moment to properly shut down your laptop. You should also be sure to remove any cables or wired attachments from your device so they don’t get in the way or get damaged. If you use a wired or wireless keyboard with your laptop, make sure it is turned off and consider removing the batteries as well for an extra layer of safety. Once you’ve powered everything down and removed any wires from the laptop, grab a few lint-free cloths and a can of compressed air and we can start the cleaning process.


Using Compressed Air to Clean

Compressed air is one of the best products you can use to make sure all the debris from your keyboard is removed. You can find this at many electronics or office supply stores for a reasonable price, so maybe you can grab a few cans to have just in case. Compressed air cans come with a long straw that can be attached to the nozzle in order to get a more precise blast of air into your devices. Here are the recommended steps to cleaning your keyboard with compressed air:

  • Hold your laptop or keyboard at about 75 degrees facing the ceiling, making sure you have a good grip on the device so you won’t drop it.
  • Use the straw attachment with the compressed air can to spray across the keyboard from top to bottom. Make sure to only use the spray upright and about an inch away from the keys themselves.
  • Now rotate the device or keyboard so that the arrow keys and shift keys are at the top, and maintain the 75-degree angle while repeating the same spray pattern from before.
  • Repeat the process if there is still visible debris within the keyboard.
  • For a deeper clean, you can place the tip of the straw in the space under a key and spray a short burst of air.
  • Be sure to wipe away any debris left on the surface with a lint-free cloth while holding the device at the same 75-degree angle to avoid debris from falling back in between the keys.


Sticky Spills



We’re all at risk of drink-related accidents near our laptops, it happens more often than we think. Spilling coffee, tea, or soda anywhere can leave a sticky residue let alone on laptop keyboards. In order to safely remove any sticky mess from the keys start by making sure the device is fully turned off and wipe away any remaining moisture with a clean, dry, and lint-free cloth. Once the keyboard is dry, you can use a new lint-free cloth to lightly apply some rubbing alcohol to the corner of the cloth, but make sure the cloth is not fully saturated and dripping onto the keys. You can also try screen-cleaning fluid, which is usually alcohol based and safe to use on devices. However, don’t spray the cleaner directly onto the keyboard, instead, spray the cleaner lightly onto a cloth. Use the cloth to lightly wipe the sticky residue from the keys, making sure not to get the alcohol under the keys. After the stickiness is removed from the keyboard, wipe the surface of the keys with a dry cloth.


Extra Tips and Tricks



Keeping your Mac’s keyboard clean and tidy can be a constant battle. Here are a few more suggestions for the upkeep and cleaning of your keyboard:

  • When cleaning, never spay a liquid cleaner directly onto the keyboard. Also, be sure to never use an aerosol spray, bleach based product, or an abrasive cloth or sponge to clean the keyboard.
  • For cleaning sticky keys in a pinch, you can use a leftover packaged alcohol wipe if you have one. It is recommended that you use 70% or 75% rubbing alcohol when cleaning your Mac’s keyboard.
  • If your keyboard is still quite dirty and some of the keys are not working properly after the cleaning, we suggest that you reach out to either a electronics cleaning and repair service or to Apple customer support for their care advice.

If you are busy working with your laptop, or just keeping the keyboard clean, and the rest of your home needs some attention, we’re here for you! We may not be able to help you fix your laptop but for help with home cleaning chores, give us a call or reach out to us on our website. We’re happy to help you with any of your home cleaning projects.


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