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Thursday, June 6, 2013

1331. How do I clean my keyboard?

How Can I Clean My Keyboard?

My keyboard is filthy. I try not to eat at the computer, but you know how it is. And there's all the cat hair. Is there some way to clean the keyboard? And how can I avoid this in the future?
The obvious answer is to get rid of the cats and don't eat at the keyboard.
Ken’s a cat lover, and he’s well aware that telling you to get rid of a cat to keep your keyboard clean is like asking you to stop breathing. The simple answer is: To clean your keyboard you can use a damp cloth which you just rub on the keys to take off the filth. Really, it works. You probably want to turn your computer off before you do it, to avoid typing all sorts of stuff into your current document. And don’t get water or any liquid into the workings of your keyboard. Nothing good ever comes from liquids meeting electronic equipment face to face.
Ken, being slightly retentive, has found that using rubbing alcohol (most conveniently, in those sterile alcohol pads that people use before getting a shot) works very nicely too. Beware of rubbing too hard and removing the paint that has the letters marked on your keyboard, and just as when using water, ensure that you don’t get alcohol into the workings of your keyboard.
You could, of course, replace your keyboard. This is simple to do if you’re using a desktop computer, but it’s a little more complicated if you’re using a laptop. Note that although your laptop manufacturer might want to charge you an exhorbitant price to replace your laptop keyboard, you can often find third-party keyboards online at http://www.newegg.com or http://www.amazon.com, and they’re usually far cheaper than keyboards from the original manufacturer. If you’re queasy about opening up your laptop to replace the keyboard, any computer professional can do it for you.
Finally, we recently noticed that Logitech, a company that makes peripherals for computers, has released a washable keyboard. You can dump it in the sink and wash it with a few dishes and it comes out perfectly clean and usable again. All the keys are sealed so it's unlikely to get cat hair inside, and it looks pretty good to us.  Ken tried it out at a local store and liked the way it felt.  If you’re interested in a washable keyboard that works well, try out the Logitech washable keyboard, model K310 (http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/washable-keyboard-k310).

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