Gross Keyboard Cleaning

The initial state of the keyboard

You can see that this thing really needed some love. I’ve had my Das Keyboard Model S Professional for a while now (I love that thing! Though I am eyeing up a nice 60% Vortex POK3R V2), and ever since I switched to a mechanical, I wouldn’t want to go back. As you can see, though, my cats love it too. On top of that, you can see that little bit of grime at the bottom of each keycap. Disgusting!

Pulling off all the keycaps reveals the true horror.

Once I pulled of all the keycaps, you can see the extent of the damage here. So much cat hair, and even some peanut skins! I really do need to stop snacking at the PC. My first pass is always just using a set of tweezers to get that hair out.

The keyboard with the cat hairs plucked out
That’s just from the tweezers. Eww! The grid, by the way, is in half inches.

You can see that using the tweezers already makes a massive difference. Most of the discoloration is cat hair, but removing it reveals how much skin and crumbs are collected in the keyboard. So, the next step is using a small brush (I just use a small paint brush, because it’s cheap) to get the other crumbs out. Where necessary, I also used some Q-tips to help along.

That got out some more grime that was lying around.

Next up, I dip Q-tips into some alcohol to really wipe off that keyboard. It’s not a great solution by any means, but it mostly does the job. They tend to work on the larger surfaces, but once you get to the real edges I always tend to leave a little behind. I’m not quite sure what better tool to use for that yet, but it’s quite an improvement nonetheless.

Before . . .
. . . and after.

As you can see, there’s still a little bit of stuff left in edges, and I should figure out a better way to clean that out, nonetheless, if you compare it to the second picture on this post, it’s a massive improvement. Then, it’s time to deal with the keycaps. This is a pretty simple process, really. I just fill a bowl with some dish soap, put all the keycaps in there, and then one by one scrub them, take them out, dry them, and leave them to fully dry on a towel.

The keycaps laid out to dry.

Once that’s done, it’s just a case of putting the keycaps back on the switches, and voilà! Once again, my keyboard is clean enough for use.

It’s a day and night difference from that first picture.

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