Food crumbs, water splashes, pollen, and moisture are examples of particles that might obstruct switch contacts from working correctly. Frequent upkeep and cleaning can stop the computer from overheating and from storing data that could be damaged. Accidents involving computers that have not been cleansed are more likely to occur. Typical problems like sticky keys may be avoided with routine cleaning. Cleaning keeps the keyboard in excellent operating order and helps get rid of any potentially harmful microorganisms.
Essential Tools for Keyboard Maintenance
Blower Air: As surface dust and other particles build up between the keys over time, using an air blower is a great method to keep your mechanical keyboard clean without having to remove the keys. It is not advised to use a hair drier or any other device that shoots hot air since the plastic parts might get melted and damaged.
Keycap Puller: The first step in mechanical keyboard cleaning is to remove all of the keys and wash them to reveal all of the filth below. For this reason, a keycap remover is very necessary. You may also clean each keycap separately with soap and water to get rid of any dirt if you remove the keycaps. Using a keycap puller guarantees that you don't damage them and makes the process simpler than trying to remove them by hand. Because the larger keys, such as Enter and Space Bar, have more stabilizers, handle them with particular caution.
Brush Set: All loose dust particles, pet hair, or food crumbs stuck between your keys may be removed using a set of soft paint brushes or specialized mechanical keyboard cleaning brushes with soft bristles. To make sure that the loose particles are eliminated, you must thoroughly brush over the spaces after removing the keys. Because mechanical keyboards are generally well-built, you don't need to move too carefully. It may take some forceful strokes to get some of the particles off.
Rubbing Alcohol: Although water may also be effective in removing stubborn dirt, rubbing alcohol, sometimes referred to as isopropyl alcohol in science, has more than 70% alcohol and will thoroughly clean your keyboard and stop any potential fungus growth. If you are not cautious, water can potentially seep into the circuits and cause damage. This is far less common since alcohol evaporates fast. Avoid putting water or rubbing alcohol directly on the keyboard.
Microfibre Cloth: And the mechanical keyboard maintenance and other peripherals in your setup may be made easier with the help of a high-quality microfiber cloth. To dry your keys after washing them with warm water and soap, you'll need a microfiber cloth. By using this cloth, you may avoid scratching any keys. Additionally, you need to make sure the material you use absorbs water rather than repels it.
Cleaning Kits and Their Uses
Everything may be cleaned using a microfiber cloth, including the back, sides, front, and rear of the board as well as the keys and keycaps. Generally, your keyboard will appear much better after using a microfiber cloth and a small amount of your preferred cleaning solution. Another way to manually mechanical keyboard cleaning on your computer is with brushes. If you are careful in every detail of your job, using brushes is advised. There are several varieties of brushes to select from. Each person is responsible for a certain duty. Soft, flexible bristle brushes may be used to clean the inside of keys without removing them. Moreover, certain brushes are designed especially for scrubbing and have stiff bristles.
DIY Tools You Can Use
- Denture tablets: Use denture tablets to create a cleaning solution for the keys.
- Baking soda: Using baking soda might extend the life of your keyboard.
Routine Cleaning and Care
- Vacuum the keyboard once a week or once a month with a soft brush attachment.
- At least once a year, remove the keycaps, wash them, and clean the spaces between the switches using cotton swabs.
Supplies for cleaning
- Make use of a mild cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth. Additional choices include pressurized air or a toothbrush with gentle bristles.
Maintaining the keycaps
- Soak the keycaps in warm water containing soap or denture cleaning tablets for a minimum of five to six hours. Before replacing the keycaps, they should be well-cleaned and allowed to dry. This may need one or two days.
Tidying up the keyboard
- Wipe the keyboard off with a damp cloth afterward. Once a week, you might also apply a disinfecting wipe.
Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Keycaps
Take off your keyboard's keycaps. After placing the keycaps in the container with warm, soapy water, let it sit for at least half an hour. Make sure the water covers every keycap in the set. Use a damp towel to wipe away any dirt that has accumulated and a little quantity of compressed air to blow away dust from your keyboard. Once your keycaps are suitably saturated, rinse them. To pat dry the keycaps, use a cloth. You should leave the keycaps alone so they can dry overnight. When the keycaps have dried, replace them in your keyboard.
Maintaining Keyboard Switches
Using a syringe, inject a tiny quantity of lubricant into the opening. Press the switch many times. Remove any extra lubricant residue from the keyboard. Change the keycap. Additionally, you may use a disinfectant wipe once a week to clean the surface of your keyboard. Every 4-6 weeks, give everything in between the keycaps a thorough cleaning.
Advanced Maintenance Techniques
Maybe you decided to buy a used keyboard. Suppose that it was used in a musty cellar and that the previous owner generously sandwiched Cheetos between the keys. Perhaps you were that prior owner. We aren't here to pass judgment, particularly if you just want things to be tidy. This manual applies to external and internal mechanical keyboard cleaning. If your warranty is still in effect, doing so will nullify it.
Put two denture pills in the cleaner, add half of your keycaps, cover them with water, and operate the machine for six to ten minutes. Make careful to adhere to any further directions that your machine may have provided, such as a minimum fill line. To guarantee that every keycap is in contact with the ultrasonic transducers, stir every two minutes.
With the plus-shaped stem facing up, place the completed keycaps on a drying rack. The leftover water may take some time to totally evaporate.
Dealing with Spillages and Sticky Keys
Electronic Maintenance and Soldering
The following advice can help you solder a mechanical keyboard:
- The soldering iron should be used with a temperature control feature. The ideal temperature range is 350 to 390 degrees Celsius. It's typically a good idea to start soldering the smallest components in place when soldering things to a PCB. Desoldering will be more difficult if there isn't much lead in the solder wire.
The following supplies are necessary for desoldering a mechanical keyboard:
- Desoldering pump by hand: To remove the solder, prime the plunger, heat the solder on the switch pad to a temperature of approximately 390 to 400 degrees Celsius, and then release the plunger.
Troubleshooting Common Issues
You may also attempt these actions:
- Unplug then plug back it in the keyboard
- Download and reinstall the most recent version of the companion software from the manufacturer's website
- Restart your computer.
- Put the keyboard driver back in place.
- Modify the keyboard's settings.
- Modify the arrangement of your keyboard
- Take the battery out.
Identifying and Solving Key Chatter
To clear the switch of debris, try using compressed air or a soft-bristled brush. Change the keycap: Occasionally, the problem may lie with the keycap itself. Examine the keycap for wear and damage after removing it. It could be necessary to replace the keycap if it is damaged.
Connectivity and Software Issues
Try unplugging and then plugging your keyboard back in, either wirelessly or with a cable. Try all of your available connection options if you have any. Try downloading and reinstalling the most recent version of the companion app from the manufacturer's website if this doesn't resolve the problem. Also, try restarting your computer.
Long-Term Care and Preservation
Tips for mechanical keyboard cleaning:
- In the event that your keyboard is wired, unplug it.
- Take the keycaps off.
- To remove any loose particles, use compressed air.
- To remove obstinate debris, use a toothbrush with soft bristles.
- Use a moist towel to wipe the keyboard off.
- Soak the keycaps in warm water with soap.
Storage and Environmental Considerations
Storing the membrane keyboards requires another approach. Even if they are not as disassembled, there are still crucial procedures to follow to guarantee safe storage. What you should do is as follows:
- Disconnect and clean the keyboard: It is imperative that you clean your membrane keyboard to get rid of any collected dust, dirt, or debris before storing it. For a gentler approach, you can use a soft brush or a can of compressed air to remove the particles from the surface in between the keys.
When to Seek Professional Help
Slide the keyboard casing open carefully. Make sure the screws are in a container. Organizing them will aid in the reassembly process if their sizes differ. If any cords need to be disconnected, do so with caution. If you are having problems keeping track of where things belong, snap pictures using your phone. A one-year manufacturer's guarantee is provided by some models of mechanical keyboards.
FAQs about Mechanical Keyboard Maintenance
How often should I clean my mechanical keyboard?
Ideally, you should wipe off your keyboard's surface often. Use a disinfectant wipe to clean the keyboard once a week.
Can I wash my keycaps in water?
To clean your keycaps of any dust or filth, soak them in warm, soapy water. Ideally, give them a good stir for the first five to ten minutes, and then let them to soak for a full forty-five minutes.
What is the best way to lubricate keyboard switches?
Depending on the lubrication method, you can use an aerosol spray lubricant or a mechanical keyboard switch lube.
How do I deal with a keyboard key that keeps sticking?
Clean the plungers and keys using a cotton swab that has been moistened with alcohol. Return the cleaned keys to their original locations.
Should I attempt to fix a broken switch myself or seek professional help?
Replace the switch. If all else fails, changing the switch will usually fix the problem. Before being replaced with new ones, soldered switches need to be taken out and desoldered. Hot-swappable switches may be taken out and replaced without the need for soldering if the right tool is used.