SEARCH

How-To Geek

How to Clean Your Filthy Keyboard in the Dishwasher (Without Ruining it)

sshot-386

We’ve already shown you some great ways to get your keyboard clean. For geeks that aren’t faint of heart, check out how to make your keyboard dishwasher safe and clean it with half the work and in half the time.

Keyboards can be, and often are, literally dirtier than toilets. But taking off keys and swabbing with alcohol can really be time consuming and painstaking work, where making a keyboard dishwasher safe is a simple ten or fifteen minute job. Here’s how to clean and sanitize your keyboard the How-To Geek way!

DSC_0155

This is a very common PS2 keyboard, as you can see from the prominent Dell logo. You may have a slightly different keyboard, but the fundamentals of this how-to are going to be the same for virtually all readers.

(Author’s Note: As with any how-to involving opening up equipment, you’re risking damaging it if you don’t know what you’re doing. However, most keyboards are extremely simple, so this is more or less safe for anyone with enough skill to operate a screwdriver. Still, DIY is only for the brave at heart!)

DSC_0167

Start with a dirty keyboard, full of caked on food, drink, bacteria, sneeze, and whatever else you might have done to it over the years since you either bought it or—ahem—cleaned it last.

DSC_0158

Don’t’ worry about all the dust bunnies, etc that live between the keys. Pretty much, for our purposes, the dirtier, the better. But, if you like, you can always give it a quick blast with a can of compressed air, or spend some time pre-treating it to get it extra clean.

DSC_0160

Flip the keyboard around to the back, where we’ll need to pop out several of the screws holding the keyboard case together.

DSC_0162

You’ll find there are rather a lot of them. Check all of the visible screw holes, including some of the deeper, counter sunk ones hidden beneath the outer surface.

DSC_0166

An ordinary Philips head screwdriver will get the job done for nearly all keyboards. You may find that some Apple models or various other keyboards may use less common screw heads like hex or torx, in which case you’ll need an allen key, or some other tool. However, most keyboards should be assembled with basic screws and require only basic screwdrivers.

DSC_0169

They keyboard assembly should basically fall apart without the screws. Your keyboard may have a snap or other catch that allows the assembly to fall apart, but most likely if it does not immediately come open, you’ve still got screws holding it together.

DSC_0174

Let’s take a quick look at the parts inside the keyboard. This is the back of the actual “keyboard” part of the keyboard, made with purely mechanical buttons and keys. Nothing but plastic and metal here.

DSC_0170

This is the controller and the dome-switch membrane. You can easily reach in and pull out the membrane with your hands—it is likely not attached to anything.

DSC_0175

The controller will be held in by several screws and attached to the PS2 or USB cable that leads out of the case. Your same screwdriver should remove them without issue.

DSC_0178

Gently remove the cable and controller in one piece, then remove the flexible circuit board beneath. These are the only parts of the keyboard that are water sensitive. Put them away where they’ll be safe, so you can put them back together in this same order.

DSC_0179

Here is the disassembled, disgusting keyboard case.

DSC_0184

And your various parts, including the flexible circuit board, controller and cable, dome-switch membrane, and all the various screws. Again, keep these in a safe place. You won’t be cleaning these.

DSC_0196

And—yecch—here’s a bunch of the dirt that fell off during this process.

DSC_0199

Toss the board in the dishwasher just as if it was a ketchup-covered plate, and wash away. Once it is dry, simply re-assemble it the same way we took it apart, taking care to install the flexible circuit board, controller, dome-switch membrane, and finally keyboard top properly. Not re-installing any single part will cause your keyboard to not work. However, it’s not terribly sensitive, so simply try again until it does.

It may seem sort of risky, but this method is no more likely to ruin your keyboard than spilling alcohol on it while swabbing the keys. The total time taken, apart from the time it takes to run it through the dishwasher, is around 15 minutes, and that is if you’re really taking your time. All things considered, this is quite a fun way to learn about how keyboards work, and get it clean and sanitized without a lot of effort.

Eric Z Goodnight is an Illustrator and Graphics Geek who hopes to make Photoshop more accessible to How-To Geek readers. When he’s not headbanging to heavy metal or geeking out over manga, he’s often off screen printing T-Shirts.

  • Published 06/13/11

Comments (106)

  1. Groff

    My guitar tech cleaned my amp’s circuit board like this. The previous owner spilled soda on it, and it was a mess. He covered the transformers with plastic bags and ran it through. Cleaned it with some alcohol after to get anything left behind. And the amp was like brand new lol. Never had a problem with it.

  2. Alex Standiford

    That’s…brilliant! Why didn’t I think of this?!

  3. Cambo

    Why would you go through this when you can buy a cheapy new one for around $10?

  4. Hatryst

    Where did you get such a filthy keyboard from? :D
    Awesome technique, I’m going to try it right now !

  5. CraigB

    I just threw my disgusting (lent out) microsoft keyb mouse combo into the dishwasher as the they where.
    blew out excess water. left in sun to dry for a day.
    they work brilliantly now and are very clean!

  6. BSR

    I used to work in IT for a construction company. Once a job site closed down (typically after 6-24 months) most of the computers used at the site would come back to be cleaned and redistributed.

    The computers and mice just took a can of air and a wipe down to look presentable, but the keyboards…..wow!

    So I just put them in the break-room dishwasher 6 at a time…..no disassembly. Keys faced down towards the water sprayer, and I only used half the normal amount of detergent. Then I let them air-dry for about 72 hours to make sure all the moisture was really gone.

    I would lose about 1 in 10 keyboard that wouldn’t work afterwards. But the other 9 were squeaky clean and looked great! Since it wasn’t cost effective to spend half-an-hour cleaning a $10 keyboard this was a better alternative than just throwing them in a landfill and buying new.

    I always loved the double-takes I would get in the break room when someone walking by saw what I was putting in the dishwasher! Priceless….

  7. Nathan

    This is genious!!!

    But I dont think I can do this because I have a Logitch G15 which has an LED screen :(.

    So in all honesty, im jealous!

  8. Aaron Pace

    This is for people who really love their keyboard. When my keyboard arrives at the “dag nasty” stage, I usually just toss it for a new one with better features anyway. Of course, I’m not generally an eat over the keyboard kind of person.

    And, where did you get such a nasty keyboard anyway? Those leftovers look like a mouse made its home inside the keyboard.

  9. John Merrow

    This process does work well & cleans a keyboard with very little effort. Just one thing to keep in mind, disable the drying cycle. The high heat of most drying cycles can cause some plastics to warp & deform. I found this out the hard way a few years ago. I used to just toss them in without disassembly as well, but lost about one out of four. I’ve always disassembled my Microsoft Natural keyboard as it cost quite a bit. It is still working well, and looking good, after numerous washings.

  10. SalemCat

    I just fill the Bathtub with warm water, detergent, and then use a soft brush on the Keyboard.

    I then rinse it with fresh water, and shake the water out. If I see really filthy water coming out I repeat the process.

    Then – very important – I give it a few days to dry – preferably in the Sun. Every few hours shake it to help any remaining water exit.

    To be extra cautious I check the dried Keyboard out on an expendable older computer.

  11. beachbumfun

    waste of time…if its that dirty, toss it buy another one

  12. Ian R

    Truly amazing. Saves you buying a new one again. I have a Microsoft Multimedia Keyboard that the F8 key does not work. I was wondering if it is fixable since you can pull them apart? This one has Phillips head screws through out the base. I have not tried opening it yet. Does anyone know if I can fix the F8 key??

  13. Linda & Monkey

    I like this idea but I think I would just unscrew the front and put it through the dishwasher. I don’t think the bottom part gets that dirty and the smooth surface is easy to clean.That would eliminate removing the other parts (flexible circuit board, controller and cable, dome-switch membrane).

  14. Andrei

    What did you do with that keyboard? Digged for gold?

  15. John

    I’ve never run a keyboard through the dishwasher, but I do the plastic fronts on desktop computers all the time. Luckily my office building has a dishwasher.

  16. Bryan

    I commented on a previous article, suggesting the dishwasher method. While disassembly is obviously safer, i clean the whole thing – but two important points; Top rack only due to the heat produced in the dry cycle and I let it further air dry for a couple days to be certain that all moisture is gone.

  17. Nick Pull

    As a thought I usually put plastic items that are liable to distort on the top basket as the water in mine sometimes gets very hot and the heaters are in the bottom.

  18. Lantec62

    For normal cleaning I use a vacuum hose with the brush attachment. I don’t let mine get “that” dirty.

    Occasionally I’ve had a drink spill or some other accident that requires more.I’ve been tossing those keyboards (some just like the example) in the dishwasher for more than 10 years and never taken any apart and I’ve never had one fail because of it. I’ve done wireless, bluetooth and corded. Have care with the cord I did have one wind around the spray head once.

    I usually prop them up on the side and let them dry for a day or two before using them again.

  19. Bill

    It’s cheap to just buy a new keyboard and maybe you don’t care about the landfill you are filling, but it probably takes as long to get on the internet, find a suitable replacement keyboard, and place the order as it does to clean the old one.

  20. Peter

    I used to work with a tech who was responsible for maintaining computers at a large university. It’s impossible to describe how filthy classroom computers became over the course of a year! His solution for cleaning the keyboards AND floppy disk drives (remember those?) was to run them through a dishwasher, and he had a remarkable success rate, seldom loosing either a disk drive or keyboard. He claimed that the trick was patience in letting the hardware air out for several days in a dry atmosphere, such as an air conditioned room.

  21. Brian

    The US Navy cleans circuit boards from sonar buoys by putting them in the dishwasher. Similar to what people are saying above, the important part is that it needs to be 100% dry before you use it again. But taking the circuits out would def. be a safer alternative.

  22. Rog

    I used to work for Tektronix repair and we used to take complete oscilloscopes, the type with glass thermionic transistors (vacuum tubes) and completely submerge them in cleaning baths of water to remove all the junk that has accumulated. When done we put them into warm drying ovens till they were completely dry. Never had any problem, standard cleaning procedure. The secret is to make sure all soaps are removed and everything is completely dry.

  23. dan

    well this seems like a complete waste of time, my A+ cert book suggests placing it in a bathtub (without dissasembling it). The only diff is that you have to wait until it is COMPLETELY dry before plugging it back in. Its just much easier to clean without dissassembly. Plus the intricate parts only get ruined if power goes through the wet chip. I have done it with that method 3x and it worked 2x. I am convinced that the one that was broken had already been broken for some other reason though. Bottom line, your going to throw it out for being dirty anyway, why not give it a try?

  24. john

    I just run a cleanex moist wipe over the keyboard at work. I lock the pc first, then wipe it down and run it in between the keys. Whatever filthy stuff gets trapped below the keys, the keyboard take it to the grave.

  25. Rick S

    I have always just given mine a bath and a shower. Some times I over do it and lose one.
    I just lost one I liked because I was to lazy to strip it down.

    Good advice but don’t forget about the heat.

  26. steve j

    What about laptop keyboards?

  27. George Macfleur

    Always in favour of cleaning before landfill.
    Good article!

  28. scan

    reminds me of a guy that repairs old Kenwood Ham radios http://www.k4eaa.com/faq.htm
    Love the quote he has on his page “To paraphrase an ancient TV commercial: ‘Marsha – Is Palmolive liquid safe for electronics?’ Marsha looks her squarely in the eye. ‘Your RF board is soaking in it’ she says.”

    http://www.k4eaa.com/RF_Bath1.jpg

  29. Snert

    I bought a clear plastic keyboard bra that cost more than the keyboard.
    It’s anti-bacterial, oompletely covers the top, sides,and half the bottom, human-ingestable liquid proof plus it’s easily removed for cleaning and, after the first 20 minutes of use, I forgot it was there.
    I’ve used this el-cheapo ($10.95) Logitech keyboard with 4 different computer upgrades and it’s still pristine.

  30. 2Φ3Σ27Φ (\)λ√λ22Φ.·.

    I’m going to try this, much better than spending half hour on a $10 keyboard and i sure don’t want to throw somthing away just because it’s dirty.

  31. Walter

    And now for my next cleaning chore – my laptop in the dishwasher.

  32. Steve

    By the way, I know that one of the IT guys at the old Tecumseh engine factory use to send dirty keyboards through their industrial parts washer along side of oily pistons, sheet metal parts,etc. After being blow dry and setting a spell, these keyboards didn’t seem the worse for the experience.

  33. tecn0tarded

    now a tutorial on how to clean out the dishwasher. just imagine what their home looks like if their keyboard was that filthy

  34. BigJohn

    Why not just buy a Kensington Washable Keyboard?
    Just hose it off, plug it back in (USB) and continue.

  35. Mary Lou

    WOW! All very intereting and informative. I’m going to try it on an old keyboard. Therefore can let it dry for a longer length of time and keep typing on the one I’m currently using. Without having to put work on hold, waiting for the clean one to dry. Wish me LUCK! LOL Thanks for this suggestion.

  36. ratchet

    I’d love to try this but since I love my Logitech illuminated keyboard ($80 or $90 retail) to much to chance it.

  37. john3850

    In the ps2 days I read way to many posts about damage to port and mb to even try a dishwasher.
    Most DW use a 180 degree rinse cycle to kill germs.
    Fixed DW and water problems in hotels for years.
    After knowing the large amount of minerals in water I suggest only using distilled water.
    Been using [distilled] water cooling since p-3 days with out any problems had leaks no damage.
    My cat spilled coffee on my saitek combo keypad board usb.
    Fix 16 oz of 100% alcohol from work then rinsed in tray of distilled water.
    To dry use a hair dryer while checking tempture with your hand.
    Clean a 15 doller pad and loose your motherboard
    My phones fell into dw 4x while working half worked after 2 day air dry.

  38. pete

    In days gone by, when terminals where common. I always used to clean then this way but I did not even take then apart just make sure they dry out on a rad first.

  39. Thomas Greene III

    I thought you couldn’t throw those into landfills–They are e-waste that is properly recyled.

  40. Ron

    I’ll sure give this a try, on my next clean up. No sense in filling up the land fill with useful stuff.

  41. Dan C

    After reading this article I realized that if this will work for a keyboard well why not my MacBook Pro! Heck its just a keyboard with a bunch of other stuff stuck in it. So I pulled the battery out and chucked it in the dishwasher and wouldn’t ya know it, it is so clean I could eat lunch on it again just as I used to do everyday. So I ran down to KFC and got me a 5 piece with ColeSlaw and Mashed Potatos and extra Gravy and bisquits. Sitting down and greasin on the grub with my notebook just a blazin away and it bein all clean just like the day I paid way to much for it. Well as to be expected, by the time I finished my lunch my MacBook was virtually unrecognizable as a notebook at all. But alas, I just toss that puppy in the old KitchenAid and before you can say “It’s dinner time” my dinner plate/notebook computer was sparkling clean again.

  42. Dan C

    But I forgot to say that when I turned it on it proceeded to smoke and spark and popped up a storm but very shortly thereafter all was well and I was having my breakfast while surfin the web! Keep up the good work HowToGeek!!!

  43. Ralph

    It is a great idea!

    By the way for those of you who think that it is simpler to buy a new one for $10, you’re right.

    However. if – to avoid a repeat of RSI – you need to use an ergonomic split keyboard that costs closer to $100 you might think twice about throwing that keyboard away.

    Trying to clean it this way may take more time, but if it works that would be really great.

  44. Crystal

    This is an old trick at my house. I put anything & everything in the dishwasher, even kitchen appliances that aren’t supposed to get wet, especially the cartridges from my Jenn-Aire range (now 29 yr old!). The whole secret to any of this is to let it dry for 3-4 or more days before using it. I also prop things up so they will drain well. AC in FL is mandatory so it’s easy to suck the moisture out of things. In the SW USA, set it outside. The climate will suck it dry quickly. I’ve disassembled large iron hanging light fixtures and cleaned them that way. Hubby says the first place he looks for anything missing is in the dishwasher.

  45. Mea

    Just want to say how much I love How-To Geek (keep on keeping on!) and how much I appreciate all the responses from subscribers. I’ve been signed up for e-mails for several months now, and I’ve learned SO MUCH from everyone, plus it’s great fun to try new things. Thank you all!!

  46. 27linuxdude27

    I had one of those dishwashers that have the adjustable racks. Because of that, for some reason, the keyboard had fell down to the bottom and started to melt substantially. Yes, it melted–and caught fire. Ruined a $600 dishwasher completely, stunk up the whole house and even received the attention from the fire department. I didn’t even bother contacting Amana for warranty work because it was *my fault* and would accomplish nothing. The bamboo flooring immediate to the dishwasher on meltdown needed to be replaced. I was running errands and never thought that this would happened. By the time I came home, the dishwasher was already well into a dry cycle and had been smoldering. All in all, it was well over $1000 in damage control for a $60 keyboard.

  47. Digiratus

    Since I use Logitech and Microsoft Natural “Ergonomic” keyboards (yes, the kind that are split in the middle and have tilted keys) with English/Russian layout on the keys, they tend to cost quite a bit. Naturally, you don’t treat them with the disrespect given to the generic keyboards. Mine can get quite dirty, but it’s more or less just dirt and oils from fingers. I hate going through the task of taking the keys off to clean them and everything around them with alcohol. It takes a while for a job like that. I had never considered taking them apart like this and cleaning them in a dishwasher. But I think now I have found a much faster and easier way to keep the keyboards clean.

  48. d1DDLy

    hEyy tHIS kkeyboord cLEAnin@ tRiCK iS cOOL buT N0WW 1t dOEssNt 5eeM 70 wORK pR0p€Rly.
    …0H bU99€r!

  49. eric

    great idea,thanks,i have seen people leave some pretty nasty stuff on there keyboards,and hey if you can save $10 or so it is a good thing,……i do have a question,i tried to download micrsoft fixit program and i get an unexpected error everytime,should i install msxml 6 and uninstall msxml 4 i have an xp service pac 3 thats about 7 yrs old,thank you

  50. Mike Antonelli

    Great suggestions and comments. I have one question, what if you don.t have a dishwasher?

  51. Brittany

    Too bad this wont have the same effect on my laptop keyboard.

  52. Carol

    Those of you that say this is a waste of time and prefer to just toss your dirty keyboards for a new one haven’t stopped to think about how many of these are in the landfills! I actually make clocks out of old record albums and I use the F1 through F12 keys from old keyboards for the numbers. This will be a great time saver for me and I don’t even need to keep the leftover parts. Of course I’ll use it for the one I’m typing on too. Thanks!

  53. stub

    I folid tha instuctios exatly and nw my keeboard is beter ten evr. Tanks a ot!

  54. Nick

    Thanks for spurring me to do this, my 6 year old’s keyboard was disgusting. I decided to just manually clean the top half with dish soap and a toothbrush as the bottom half wiped clean easily (Thanks for the suggestion Linda and Monkey, in the comments). The difference is amazing. Flickr pics here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cartertools/sets/72157626832136407/

  55. peter :D

    Has anyone tried this with a laptop ?

    Just kidding…

  56. Ray

    Over several years I have used the dishwasher on several keyboards (the junk ones that never seem to be thrown away) and it has recovered all of them. I DO NOT DISASSEMBLE the keyboard but wash the entire unit. NOTE: DO NOT USE THE DRY CYCLE IN THE DISHWASHER. (Heat does amazing things to plastic.) KEYBOARDS ARE NOT DISHWASHER SAFE!!! Remove the keyboards after the wash or set dishwasher to wash only. I carefully drill a couple of drain holes in the end (bottom when hanging) so the water can escape easier. Using the air compressor (lowering the output to around 60 psi) excess water is blown out to help speed up the drying process. Hang outside in the sun to complete drying cycle. I live in AZ where we have very little rain, low humidity and lots of sunshine. (Also lots of fires at present)

  57. Evan 404

    I just duck tape my dirty keyboard to the hood of my Dodge Dart and run it through a car wash. I always get the Hot Wax treatment. Boy does it shine. Never had a problem although the Dart wouldn’t start one day. I do not think it was caused by washing the keyboard on the hood. More likely than not, some 420 type dude stole the Darts battery.

  58. astral_cyborg

    Well, the only one time that I tried to clean my keyboard, I removed all the keys and brushed them with a toothbrush. It did a nice cleaning and it took me around 30 minutes.

    The bad thing with the whole process was with the white little plastic things, which are under each key. I accidentally hit somewhere during the transfer and they drop all over the floor. Too hard to find them afterwards, as they are semi transparent.

    Eventually, I managed to restore the entire keyboard, which was almost shinning at the end, but I’ll think it twice the next time that I’ll decide to clean it.

  59. Togrul

    Woow…that’s one filthiest keyboard I have ever seen :)

    Great article.

    Cheers,
    Togrul

  60. Ivydapple

    Huh, I never thought of this before. Brilliant idea, though.

    These are some dirty keyboards you have. :P

  61. Sonusmac

    Must have done this instead of spending 2 hours cleaning each key one by one.
    Its good n easy.

  62. oeblio

    When you or children spill soda/beer into the keyboard, you will need to clean the flexible circuit board. Carefully, separate the segments and sponge off the goop with a soft lintless cloth and distilled water. Be careful not to wipe the circuit off the plastic. Dry the board in strong sunlight.

  63. john senchak

    I’ve worked at companies where completed PC boards where run through a machine that used water to clean it and remove the excess solder flux. It was basically a big washer machine, right after the wave solder process. The problem is oxidation on the metal contact water and that is what runs the keyboard. If you can remove 100 percent of the water, then you could actual run the keyboard in the dishwasher without dissembling. But this is kind of hard to do, because the water where get in every nook and cranny, which will be almost impossible to get out.

  64. Jack

    I have been tempted to dishwasher keyboards on occasion.

    When I find things (just about any kind of electronics) that dirty, washing them in water and light detergent (if there is oil coating, even body oil). Normally I don’t want to wait so I ‘sling it dry’, yea, kind of messy so I do it outside. Then I re-wash with rubbing alcohol (any kind of alcohol will do, de-natured or rubbing is available cheap) and re-dry it. Sometimes do the alcohol after you drain the water off, but before you get it super dry. No soap or detergent. Now re-dry it, and let it sit for a while under a fan is good too.

    Those are tricks I remember from chemistry class cleaning chemistry lab glassware.

    We found a old Motorola (commercial style that costs a couple of hundred $$) radio in a field where we were bush-hogging. Got the radio out, disassembled it, washed it and dryed it (including the alcohol to get even latent water deposits off), replaced the battery and it worked well. Once I dropped one of those radio’s and it went through the bush-hog … well I found a few of the pieces, but the bush-hog won that battle. (Bush-hog is a big mower you put behind a tractor and it is used to mow fields when the weeds are to high for the animals to graze well.)

  65. Jill

    To everyone who says to throw away that cheap $10 keyboard ~ some of us use $65+ ergonomic keyboards. Cheaper to clean it than replace it!!

  66. Karen

    Actually you do not have to take it apart. You can put in on the top shelf in the dishwasher keys down. Let it sit for THREE days at a angle and you are good to go. I have two keyboards at home and have been doing this for the last 15 years.

  67. Ron

    Actually the original mechanical IBM PC / PS2 Keyboard lends itself to cleaning without disassembly with a hose and alcohol if you happen to spill coffee with sugar on it. Rinse first with water up right and upside down. Final rinse with water after alcohol rinse leave upside down in the sun and let it throughly dry for a day or two.

    It is a capacitor sensor keyboard and the gap must be clean and debris free.

  68. Adam

    I use a Logitech Wave keyboard and love it. I normally take the keys off to clean it. To replace it costs around $50 and I’d have to buy a cordless one, which mine is corded. So even though it’s more work I’ll just stick with the old way of popping the keys out :)

  69. eeach

    Why do all this… Most every keyboard is dishwasher safe… Just let it dry out for a few days after you wash it, no disassembly required. This was a question on the CompTIA A+ Certification exam back in 1999. I’d of never thought to just throw a keyboard in the dishwasher until I read it in my study guide… but it’s worked more than once for me.

  70. John in Brisbane

    Is that my dishwasher? They look like my semi-disposable storage containers and that is definitely my knife. Hang on, you said you were using my pad to shoot a p*rno, not some geeky “how-to” thing …

  71. Tom

    What would Sponge Bob think ?

  72. KCP100

    I never let my keyboards get that dirty. I’m kind of a neatfreak when it comes to my electonics. They dont get dirty.

    But, nice I guess

  73. Alin

    Or just buy a new one , since a keyboard like that only costs like 10-15 $ ….. i always buy a new keyboard every 2-4 months ….

  74. Alin

    also , how the hell you ended up with a keyboard so messed up ??? wtf you got a 1-2 years old keyboard >D man if you blow on top of the keyboard every 2-3 days it remains clean , also disconnecting it from the PC and with a dry paper clean it by pressing hard on top of it , and would be like new.

  75. Tura

    Since the top of the keyboard is likely to be the dirty side, you could just wash that? Then you could leave the functional bits where they are. Just shake off any loose crap inside and wipe the bottom of the keyboard case), it is also smooth so it is not hard to clean like the buttons.

  76. Alex

    I have the exact same keyboard as you! Got it at a garage sale for 50 cents, but it’s really filthy and I’ve never used it. I’m gunna follow this guide now – thanks!

  77. slowby

    My keyboard is now nice and clean but the last letter of the alphabet (the one after Y) doesn’t work. It’s not a very important letter I guess – maybe I don’t need it. I will now try to eliminate that letter from all my work and see how long I can take it.

  78. Lee

    Hey slowby – I can help. I’ve put a few Zs in this message so you can cut and paste em whenever you want….
    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    …should be enough there to keep you going for a couple of weeks. Let me know if you need more.
    I hope that helps

  79. elye

    I’ve had the same keyboard for 10 years. I clean it once a year with a soak towel but has never been that dirty !

  80. elye

    Hey Lee – I believe that the letter after Y is U. I don’t know how did you come up with the Z. Btw nice one :)

  81. Callum Booth

    Now, how on earth am I going to do this with my laptop keyboard? *sigh*

  82. Distorter

    A little disappointed to not see the end result :-(

  83. Devin

    I did this with my laptop.

    It’s really clean now.

    :D

  84. Lothar

    Hey, Peter (10:36 am), if you are going to misspell “lose”, why not go the whole hog and spell it “looz”. Sorry, but the English language is a beautiful thing and I am sick of seeing elementary errors endanger it.

  85. kzinti1

    I really think that you should tell which keyboards are specifically NOT to be cleaned in a dishwasher.
    My Deck Legend Frost mechanical keyboard comes to mind.

    @Lothar; I sincerely agree with you. Lack of proper usage of the English language (other than people unfamiliar with it and are doing their best with Google Translator) is sickening. Any post with a low understanding of the English language is a sign of sloppy thinking, a lack of a proper education and indicates to me that anything they have to say is extremely suspect. If a person that uses such language told me that it was raining, I’d have to go look and confirm this myself. Semi-literacy is an indicator of a low intelligence.

  86. Steve

    What do you have more of, time or money?

  87. Rebecca

    On this same thread…My desktop computer went through Hurricane Katrina. (It only got a “little” wet..Ha!)
    I just gave it up for dead and put it away for a year while I rebuilt. One day, on a lark, I plugged it in. It booted right up! Now, 6 years later, it still runs fine, although rusting out. All the metal parts are a mess! I keep it as a momento that no matter how bad things get…it’s possible to just keep plugging along and succeed.

  88. Zap

    Maybe some clever keyboard designer will design a washable keyboard perhaps the controller psb (with cable or txer) could be an unplug slot unit?

  89. dky

    The problem with washing micro electronic components is mineral deposits shorting contacts use distilled water or rinse with rubbing alcohol which is better if there is no risk of cosmetic damage as it evaporates quick and clean. Drop cell phone in toilet? Remove battery FAST and soak in DISTILLED ( tap/bottled water = brick ) water for 10 mins rinse thouroghly dry for 24-48 hours clean battery contacts with alcohol 18 of 20 work fine for me just have to get battery out quick.

  90. Gilbert K. Arnold

    One other thing to note. DO NOT have the dishwasher set on heat dry! Unless you enjoy looking at warded semi-meltedn plastic parts!

  91. patel vishnu

    thanks to how-to geek for sending a wonderful knowledg about the computer & its related problem………..

  92. kat

    People keep posting this is useless, buy a new one. What a waste! I would rather clean than keep buying new ones.

    Not only is it a waste but I have a keyboard that cost me $50+ lol. I’m not going to throw it away and buy a new one each time it gets a little dusty. Although it does take me a while to get all the electronic parts of it ugh.

  93. Metathiax

    you can make this a bit safer buy not using detergent, really no need for it on a keyboard.

  94. Pradeep Kumar Mathur

    I have been cleaning the keyboards after dismantalling the whole keyboard but never dared to put it in washing machine, I think it should work and give better results and give it a try. A feedback I may post within next few weeks. – Pradeep

  95. Vagablonde

    Ok that is the type of disgusting keyboard I hope to never come across on any of my jobs..
    I’d be nervous to get germs from it..laughs
    Mercy!!!!

  96. GranPaSmurf

    yep, I did it. board works like new, well, sorta’… THE LEFT-OVER PART was a little black rubber top-hat, obviously a key press interface. I just couldn’t see a place for it to go, until I was done with the first re-assembly. It went to the “connect” button. Wireless keyboard. So, disassemble and locate the spot on the under-side of the circuit board. THE LOST PART was whatever film or microdot that completes the circuit when the little rubber top-hat is pressed. Lost. Gone. Ground into the rug. Eaten by one of the dogs. Vacuumed away. Vanished. HOWEVER the careful insertion of a screwdriver blade worked just fine! All in all, I am pleased with my refurbished Microsoft Comfort Wireless Keyboard.
    dk

  97. kandgft55

    do the printed letters come off in the cleaning machine?

  98. dope

    That’s what you get when you run the heat dry with plastic, 27linuxdude27.

  99. Peter_Aye

    REEAALY great tip! Any tips about cleaning attached (Laptop) keyboards?

  100. Lee

    I understand that some people LOVE their keyboards so much that they would go through this, but there comes a time when you’re better off just shooting the keyboard and replacing it. (I agree with CAMBO)

  101. Mollie Morrissette

    I tried it and now several keys no longer work. I’ve taken it apart numerous times and still it doesn’t work. I took apart an identical keyboard and I can find no reason for the failure. Go figure.

  102. Shane

    I simply take my keyboard into the bathtub with me approx once a month. I just rub a little bit of soap on the keys and then use it to scrub/massage my back. Presto!.. Three jobs done in a third of the time. Its so effective/soothing im thinking i might take my 2 month old notebook in for a scrub tonight. If i don’t get back you’ll know whats happened.

  103. Hesam

    Just use the keyboard cover

  104. there will always be more??

    Great idea!!! To those that have $10 or so to throw around at a drop of a hat …kudos!!! But they say in this country we always think we will get more or have the money for more…….news flash that’s why are economy is currently in the crapper……..Great idea and don’t let the “I have an extra ten bucks johnny get you down!”

  105. OM

    Another simple cleaning method (where available): Surreptitiously swap keyboards with the local neat freak. You get a clean keyboard, and they have fun cleaning.

    (kidding) ;-)

  106. Bernard

    This is really useful for me. I live in Thailand but use a UK white keyboard as it only has UK characters on, no Thai characters. All keyboards sold here have Thai on them so each key has four symbols and clutters it up. They are usually black keyboards too and I prefer white. Buying a new UK keyboard isn’t a quick fix, and certainly isn’t cheap, so washin it seems a far better idea. Thanks to HTG

Get Free Articles in Your Inbox!

Join 134,000 newsletter readers

Email:

Go check your email!