We spend most of our time gaming, writing, watching movies, or live streaming on our PC. It can result in stuck food particles or dirt accumulation in the peripherals, especially on gaming keyboards and mice. Cleaning the gaming keyboard and a mouse from all the debris requires using compressed air, brushing the keys, detailing with a microfiber cloth, and using alcohol-based cleaning to get the job done.
Although cleaning a gaming keyboard and a gaming mouse may look simple, it can get tricky when dealing with a gaming mouse, a white mechanical keyboard, and membrane keyboard. They all need a different levels of attention to get the best results. Let’s dive into the guide on how to clean a gaming keyboard and mouse.
Things Needed for Cleaning
- A Microfiber Cloth: It is best for detailed cleaning. Mr. SIGA can work perfectly for the job.
- Compressed Air Can: It will help you in deep cleaning action. Falcon Dust-Off is the best that I can recommend.
- Keycap Puller: It helps to remove the keycap of the mechanical keyboards for cleaning underneath them. Most keyboards offer a keycap puller with purchase, but if you don’t have one, using Syidinzin can perfectly work.
- Soap or Detergent: Any available option can work to clean the removed keycaps.
- Cotton Swabs: They help in spot cleaning in places where microfiber doesn’t go easily.
- Isopropyl Alcohol: It will help quickly clean without any fear of water damage.
How to Clean a Computer Mouse?
Cleaning a computer mouse is a fairly easy job compared to the other peripherals like a keyboard. Follow these steps to achieve detailed cleaning.
Step 1: Disconnect it from the Computer
Remove the mouse from the computer before starting the cleaning process. For the USB mouse, remove the cables from the computer port. If the mouse is wireless, remove batteries and ensure to turn it off if the batteries are built-in. These precautions ensure that your mouse remains safe from electrical damage and possible accidents.
Step 2: Surface Cleaning
Identify all the areas you can explore and clean without dissembling the mouse. Take a cotton swab and thoroughly clean the dirt and grime from all around the mouse. You can use isopropyl alcohol to clean any dirt that doesn’t go away easily.
It is very important to clean the mouse sensor because a dirty sensor can hinder the mouse’s performance. It affects the tracking ability of the mouse. Therefore, cleaning the mouse sensor with a microfiber cloth or cotton swab is necessary.
If there are cracks or hard-to-reach spots where a microfiber or cotton swab cannot work effectively, using compressed air can work perfectly. Blowing any dirt or stuck particles using this method is very effective.
The most critical parts to take care of when surface cleaning are the mouse tracking sensor, rolling component (if any), cracks, crevices, and feet. Mouse feet can accumulate dirt and grime easily, so periodically cleaning them is necessary for perfect mouse handling. Using a toothpick for chipping the hardened dirt on mouse feet can help you achieve the task more efficiently.
Step 3: Taking Apart the Parts
Some mice are easy to take apart, while some need utmost care due to their challenging disassembly process. It is better to read the instruction manual with the mouse to better know about the disassembly process.
The steps can vary slightly from one product to another of the same manufacturer. However, it can change more between different manufacturers. Identify the method for your mouse and take off or unscrew the components.
Use isopropyl alcohol to remove any debris from the crack or small openings in the mouse. You can get rid of stuck crumbs, dirt, hairs, and other materials that got stuck in the mouse over time. Pay close attention to the mouse wheel as it is one of the hideous parts that can accumulate dirt and is very challenging to clean without disassembly.
Note: Do not use any water-based cleaners to clean the internal components of the mouse. They can damage the internal circuit or other components. Using alcohol-based cleaning is the best approach that you can use. Don’t proceed with the assembly before the components become dry.
Step 4: Connecting Everything Again
Wait a few minutes after cleaning the components. Once the component gets dry, it’s time to reattach them using the same procedure you adopt for taking the parts apart. After completing this part, connect the mouse to the computer and check whether everything works fine.
How to Properly Clean a Gaming Keyboard
Cleaning the gaming keyboard is a process that you should keep regularly doing. It helps toward better performance and improved aesthetics. Both mechanical and membrane keyboards need slightly different attention to detail. Reading the next few lines will give you the required information on how to clean a gaming keyboard properly.
Cleaning a Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
If you don’t maintain and clean the mechanical keyboard, it can accumulate dirt and debris underneath the keycaps. Over time this dirt can stick with the surface and doesn’t come off easily while shaking the keyboard.
The best way to remove the dirt and debris is by removing the keycaps and giving a deeper cleaning action. Here are the easy steps that can help you clean a mechanical gaming keyboard at home. I have used Corsair K65 as a demonstration model for the cleaning steps.
Step 1: Pull Out the Keycaps
Use the keycap puller that comes along with the keyboard, or you can look for our suggested keycap puller. Carefully remove the keycaps using the keycap puller and put them into a container for detailed cleaning.
Step 2: Give Keycaps a Thorough Cleaning
Use water and any cleaning agent like soap or detergent to clean the keycaps. You can place the keycaps into the container and add soap and water to it. Shake them to mix the cleaning agent thoroughly. Let the keycaps soak for at least 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the dirt and debris accumulation level.
Step 3: Remove Dirt from Keyboard Surface
Take a cleaning brush, or you can use an old toothbrush to clean off the upper keyboard surface under the keycaps. With keycaps removed, the process becomes easier, and you can achieve better overall cleaning.
Using the cotton swab also works best when cleaning between the mechanical switches. If there are any hard spots like sticky or hardened stains, use isopropyl alcohol with a cotton swab to rub them off the keyboard surface.
Step 4: Dry Keycaps and Assemble The Keyboard Again
Once you have cleaned the keyboard, take the keycaps out of the cleaning liquid and rinse them with water. Remove any remaining residue or grime on the keycaps and repeatedly pass them through the water to achieve perfect cleaning.
Let the keycaps dry for a while, and use a towel or cotton cloth to remove any moisture. It is important to remember that there should not be any water inside the keycap stems. After they get completely dried, place them on the keyboard.
Cleaning a Membrane Gaming Keyboard
Cleaning a membrane gaming keyboard is different from a mechanical gaming keyboard. It is a simple process that can lead to a tidy setup. Remember to remove the keyboard from the USB port and remove batteries/turn off the wireless keyboard. I have used a regular keyboard to demonstrate the steps for easy understanding of cleaning a membrane keyboard.
Step 1: Turning Keyboard Upside Down
One of the easiest ways to clean the membrane keyboard is by turning it upside down and giving it a slight thump, followed by a shake to remove the food particles or other stuff from the keycaps. Tapping the bottom will allow the settled dirt and yuck to detach and fall on the ground. Changing the keyboard angle can also help.
Once you are done with the tapping and thumping, remove the dirt and debris from the floor or table with the help of a vacuum or a brush. It will help you proceed with the next steps without worrying about placing the keyboard on a dirty surface.
Step 2: Use a Brush
There are specially designed brushes available to help you clean the keyboard from all angles. You can use an old toothbrush to get the job done, but specially designed keyboard brushes are more convenient and helpful.
Use the brush to clean any debris or dirt stuck between the spaces. You can look for the space between the keycaps and utilize the brush to clean thoroughly. Attention to the details is necessary here as you cannot rule out the dirt stuck in the corners and beneath the keycaps that can cause hindrance to the regular keyboard working.
Step 3: Remove Dust From Keyboard Using Compressed Air-Can
Dust can cause havoc and make the cleaning process challenging even after using the thumping and brushing the surface. Sometimes it needs more than that which canned compressed air addresses efficiently. You can buy any good quality compressed air can and utilize it to blow out the keyboard’s stuck food crumbs or dirt.
However, you need to take precautions like distance from the keyboard surface. It is essential as the compressed air can leave moisture, which can cause issues after you plug the keyboard into the computer.
You can reapply the first step again after getting done with the blast of compressed air. Tapping the keyboard’s backside can help remove any stuck dirt or debris underneath the keycaps. These particles can easily detach from the surface after the compressed air treatment as they get dislodged from the keyboard surface due to high air pressure.
Step 4: Use the Cleaning Gel to Clean the Keyboard
Cleaning gel is a famous and practical solution for cleaning the membrane keyboard. It removes the dirt stuck between the keycaps and the difficult places where a standard cleaning brush cannot reach. Furthermore, cleaning gel is more efficient in dealing with dirt as it completely swallows all the particles. Here are some of the best keyboard cleaners and cleaning gels to get started.
Note: you can keep using the cleaning gel until it turns dark or grey to clean the keyboard and other computer peripherals. Some cleaning gels leave behind oily traces, which need a cleaning action from a cotton swab or fiber cloth. If the gels get dirty, you need to replace them with a fresh one as it gets less practical once it gets dirty and all covered up with debris.