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Keycap Maintenance and Repair: How To Make Your Keycaps Last Forever

Keycap Maintenance and Repair: How To Make Your Keycaps Last Forever

Keycap Maintenance and Repair: How To Make Your Keycaps Last Forever

Do you want your keycaps to last longer? Are your keycaps greasy and filthy? Don't worry, as we will be sharing keycaps maintenance tips and tricks and also a guide to clean your keycaps. Let's get your keycaps in perfect condition now!

Tools Needed for Keyboard Maintenance

Rubber pump
  • Air blower: As dust and debris build up between your keys over time, using an air blower like a rubber pump is a great way of removing debris without removing the keycaps. Hair dryers and compressed air cans are not recommended as they can damage your keyboard.

2-in-1 key switch puller
  • Keycap puller: Removing keycaps for deep cleaning requires a keycap puller. Having a keycap puller for removing keycaps is much simpler and risk-free compared to removing them by hand.

Keyboard cleaning brush
  • Microfiber cloth: This cloth is a multi-purpose tool. You can use it to dry and clean your keycaps and also wipe your keyboard.

Remove Your Keycaps Safely

Always remember to use a keycap puller to gently remove keycaps. Use sufficient force when removing keycaps as using too much force may damage the switches underneath. Put the keycaps in a safe place, or in a cleaning container so that they will not go missing.

Another important thing to note is to use a wire keycap puller instead of the plastic ring-shaped ones to minimize the likelihood of your keycaps getting scratched. If you are using a wire keycap puller, place the wire loops diagonally on the keycap and gently wiggle back and forth while pulling up. The keycaps should come out easily.

Clean Your Keycaps

Connection
Source: hirosarts
  1. Unplug your keyboard if it is wired or switch it off if it is wireless.
  2. Take a photo of your whole keyboard as reference for placing keycaps later.
    Remove keycaps
  3. Remove the keycaps using a keycap puller.
    Keycaps in soap water
    Source: hirosarts
  4. Soak the keycaps in a bowl of warm soapy water. Alternatively, you may soak them in a denture tablets solution. Leave them soaked for a minimum of 5 or 6 hours.
  5. Dip a cloth or sponge into the solution and wipe the keycaps, removing stains. For stubborn stains, you can use a cloth or cotton swab dipped in specialized keycap cleaning solution or isopropyl alcohol. 
    Wipe keyboard
    Source: pcworld
  6. While the keycaps are soaked, you can clean off the keyboard. Turn your keyboard upside down and shake it gently to remove loose debris and dust. Use a keyboard cleaning brush to better get rid of debris. Finally, wipe off stains on your keyboard using a microfiber cloth.
  7. After 5-6 hours of soaking the keycaps, it is time to rinse off the keycaps with clean water to remove any soapy residue. 
    Dry keycaps
    Source: hirosarts
  8. Let the keycaps dry on a cloth in a well-ventilated area.
    Source: hirosarts
  9. Put the keycaps back on your keyboard referring to the photo you took earlier.
  10. Reattach your keyboard to the computer and you are good to go.

Routine Cleaning and Care

We will be sharing two routines to clean your keyboard and maintain it in tip-top condition. You should remember to always disconnect your keyboard before performing any kind of clean-up to avoid damaging your keyboard.

Clean-up Routine 1

Keyboard cleaning kit

A keyboard care kit consisting of a keyboard cleaning brush and rubber pump will take you a long way. You can use an air blower like a rubber pump to blow off loose debris from your keyboard. Avoid using compressed air from a can as it may lead to condensation and damage your keyboard permanently. You can also use a brush to brush away debris and dust stuck between keycaps or corners that are hard to reach.

Alternative Routine

Microfiber cloth
Source: daskeyboard

If you do not have a keyboard cleaning kit, you may use a microfiber cloth. Wipe your whole keyboard using a mildly damp microfiber cloth to prevent dirt and grease build-up. Then dry your keyboard using another cloth. Avoid using paper towels as they tend to leave behind particles on your keyboard.

Cover Your Keyboard

Keyboard cover
Source: whatgeek

When your keyboard is not in use, it is a good idea to place a keyboard cover or dust cover over your keyboard to protect it from dust and debris.

Store Properly

If you are going to store away your keyboard for a long period of time, it is best to remove the keycaps from your keyboard and store them separately to prevent potential degradation.

Hand Hygiene

Keep your hands clean before using your keyboard. You should wash them every time before touching your keyboard because oil and dirt from your fingers can transfer onto the keycaps.

Avoid Snacking

You should avoid eating or drinking over your keyboard to prevent spills and crumbs from falling between the keycaps.

Key-takeaway:

  • Use a wire keycap puller to remove your keycaps safely.
  • Clean your keycaps thoroughly.
  • Follow a clean-up routine.
  • DM @thekapco if you have any questions.

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