How to Clean your Keyboard and Mouse

How to Clean your Keyboard and Mouse

Your keyboard and mouse are essential devices that allow you to interact with your computer. However, they can also accumulate dirt, dust, crumbs, and germs over time, which can affect their performance and lifespan. Dust particles don’t just make our devices look dirty—it can potentially damage or even destroy parts of your computer.

Cleaning your keyboard and mouse regularly can help you keep them in good shape and prevent potential health risks. In this article, we will show you how to clean your keyboard and mouse using simple tools and methods that you can find at home. Follow these steps to make your keyboard and mouse look and feel like new.

Why You Need to Clean Your Keyboard & Mouse

You need to clean your keyboard and mouse regularly because they can harbor dust, dirt, crumbs, food particles, and germs that can affect your health and the performance of your devices. Here are some reasons why you should clean your keyboard and mouse:

  1. Performance

Keeping your keyboard and mouse clean is important for making sure they work well and last longer. Dirt and dust can get into your keyboard or mouse and make it not work as well. For example, if there’s dust around the sensor, it might not move smoothly, or if there’s gunk under the buttons, they might not click properly.

These problems can be really annoying, especially if you’re trying to do something precise like drawing in design software or playing fast-paced games where every movement counts. Cleaning your keyboard and mouse helps them work better, so you can be more accurate and efficient, whether you’re typing, designing or gaming.

  1. Hygiene

Cleaning your keyboard and mouse can prevent the spread of diseases, especially if you share them with others. Some studies have found that keyboards and mice can have more bacteria than toilet seats. Disinfecting them with alcohol or bleach-free wipes can kill harmful microbes and reduce the risk of infections. Proper sanitation helps prevent the spread of disease, especially if you share your computer with another person.

  1. Aesthetics

Cleaning your keyboard and mouse regularly can make them look and feel better. The oils from your hands can make surfaces sticky, greasy, or discolored. A simple wipe with a microfiber cloth and soap can effectively remove stains, making them more comfortable to use.

Keyboard & Mouse Cleaning Supplies 

You can easily clean your keyboard and mouse using items you already have at home, so there’s no need to buy special cleaning supplies. Here are a few options to consider and some common household alternatives you probably already have.

  1. Compressed air or a keyboard brush to blow out dust and crumbs
  2. Microfiber cloth or disinfecting wipes to wipe down the surfaces
  3. Isopropyl alcohol or soap and water to remove stains and grease
  4. Cotton swabs or toothpicks to clean the gaps and crevices
  5. Keycap puller to remove the keycaps (for mechanical keyboards only)
  6. Screwdriver (optional)

You can also check for some of the best keyboard cleaners available on Hardware Village for faster cleaning. 

How to Clean a Mouse (DIY)

Cleaning your mouse is easy and can be done with most mouse types and brands, including wired, wireless, and vertical models from Logitech, Microsoft, SteelSeries, and Razer.

Step 1: Disconnect and Remove the Battery

  1. If you have a wired mouse, unplug it from your computer.
  2. For wireless mice, either turn it off or unplug the USB dongle.
  3. Open the battery compartment and take out the battery.

Step 2: Clean the Mouse Body

  1. Use cleaning wipes or apply a cleaning solution to a microfiber cloth to gently wipe dirt off the mouse.
  2. Use a toothpick or brush along seams to remove stubborn grime.
  3. Use compressed air to blow dust from seams and crevices.

Step 3: Clean Under Mouse Buttons

  1. Some mice have removable shells for cleaning under the buttons.
  2. For those without, gently lift the buttons with a fingernail and blow compressed air underneath.
  3. Use a small amount of solution on a cotton swab to wipe away any sticky residue.

Step 4: Clean the Mouse Scroll Wheel

  1. Turn the mouse upside down and roll the wheel to dislodge hidden debris.
  2. Blow compressed air around the scroll wheel seams.
  3. Wipe the wheel with a cloth as you roll it to remove remaining dirt.

Step 5: Clean the Mouse Sensor

  1. Apply cleaning solution to a cotton swab and clean around the optical or laser sensor.
  2. Gently sweep the lens with a dry cotton swab.
  3. Use compressed air to remove any lingering dust.

Usually, these steps should suffice to get your mouse clean. If you want a more thorough cleaning, you might need to disassemble your mouse. Be aware that disassembling some mouse could void the warranty, so check your manufacturer’s guide first.

How to Clean a Keyboard (DIY)

It’s easy to clean up your keyboard yourself. First, turn off and unplug your computer. Clear some workspace and gather supplies like compressed air, small brushes, and microfiber cloths. 

For light cleaning:

  1. Gently shake and tilt your keyboard to dislodge debris
  2. Use a brush to sweep away dust and dirt  
  3. Blast compressed air into cracks to uncover hidden gunk
  4. Vacuum up anything loose

For Stubborn Grime:

  1. Use a slightly damp cloth or cotton swabs to wipe down keys  
  2. Try isopropyl alcohol if water doesn’t cut through grease (use sparingly)
  3. Rub gently with an eraser or magic sponge to scrub off marks
  4. Carefully pick at stuck-on gunk with a toothpick 

For Deep Clean (Mechanical Keyboards only):

  1. Remove keycaps and soak in warm soapy water
  2. Scrub with a soft brush and rinse  
  3. Use rubbing alcohol on stubborn stains
  4. Ensure parts are completely dry before reassembly

Remember to check your keyboard’s guide before taking it apart. Stop if you can’t fully reassemble it.

Simple Tips for Keeping Your Keyboard & Mouse Clean

You can keep your keyboard and mouse clean with these easy steps:

  1. Avoid eating or drinking at your desk to prevent crumbs and spills.
  2. Keep pets away to minimize hair and dandruff around your mouse.
  3. Keep a microfiber cloth handy to clean spills and crumbs before they become a problem.
  4. Clean your keyboard and mouse regularly: do a quick clean weekly and a deeper clean monthly.

A clean mouse improves performance, keeps germs away, and makes your desk look better. Cleaning takes just a few minutes, and regular maintenance prevents productivity or gaming issues due to build-ups.

Conclusion

Keeping your keyboard and mouse clean is an important part of device maintenance. Allowing dust, dirt, and debris to build up can negatively impact performance, spread germs, and make your desk area look unkempt. Fortunately, you can easily clean both devices using common household items like compressed air, isopropyl alcohol, microfiber cloths, and cotton swabs. 

Set aside a few minutes each week to use compressed air and a small brush to dislodge particles from your keyboard and mouse. Every month or so, you can carry out a deeper clean by wiping down all surfaces with a damp microfiber cloth or disinfecting wipe. Sticking to this simple cleaning routine will extend the lifespan of your devices and provide a better user experience. Remember to be gentle when cleaning to avoid any damage.