We select and review products independently. When you purchase through our links we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Everything You Need to Clean a Mechanical Keyboard

A mechanical keyboard taken apart for cleaning

If your keyboard has had a spill or is dirty, nasty, or dusty, you’ll no doubt want to clean it. How, though? Sometimes cleaning a keyboard can be a bit more complex than initially planned. Let’s review the best products and procedures to get the best results.

Do You Need to Clean Your Mechanical Keyboard?

While it may be a bit gross not to do so, is it actually necessary to clean your mechanical keyboard? Well, the answer is technically no in certain situations. However, cleaning it may be required for long-term function, depending on how it got dirty. For example, sticky keys because of a soda spill would make a keyboard practically unusable.

In that situation, you would be required to clean it. Even if you didn’t care about appearances. However, having a dirty keyboard is unsanitary and could make you sick if you touch your face and mouth. Overall, it’s probably better to maintain a clean keyboard
and clean it regularly. There’s no good reason not to do so.

Most Efficient Ways to Clean a Mechanical Keyboard

Keeping a mechanical keyboard clean can be done in many ways. But, some of the most efficient are relatively simple. Using something as simple as a microfiber cloth can get off a lot of dust, dirt, and grime, and because it’s a soft material and you can go gently, you will not harm the keys or the keyboard.

Another strategy involves using compressed air or a small hand vacuum to get most of the dust and dirt out of and off a keyboard so that it’s clean again.

If you want to efficiently clean your keyboard, the best process most likely involves using a keycap puller to get at the interior of the keyboard without issue. The key caps can be cleaned separately and quickly using cloths or wipes.

You can also use cleaning gel, canned air, or other products to get at hard-to-reach spots in the keyboard interior. Now let’s go over the necessary products to get your keyboard shining.

Keycap Pullers

A tool pulling keys out of a mechanical keyboard
New Fashion Kingdom

A keycap puller is a valuable tool that can come in handy for a big spill, like having food or liquid trapped beneath the keys. If left alone or not cleaned properly, this can cause long-term damage to the keyboard. Keycap pullers enable you to get the keys out of the way so you can clean them individually while allowing you to get at the underside and interior of the keys. You can use this Stainless Steel Keycap Remover Tool to get the job done.

Stainless Steel Keycap Puller

Assists with pulling out keycaps more easily

Compressed Air

A can of compressed air on a white background

Compressed air is one of the simplest ways to clean your keyboard. It’s fast, easy, and effective. Use this Falcon Dust-Off Compressed Air to blast dust and dirt out of your keyboard: make sure you get all sides and go over the keys thoroughly to keep the keyboard clean.

Best Overall

Falcon Dust Off Compressed Air Can

This can of compressed air is perfect for safely cleaning your electronics, and the can is compact enough to fit in your computer desk.

Small Hand Vacuum

A handheld vacuum on a white backrgound

Like the compressed air strategy, this Color Coral Rechargeable Hand Vacuum can help by sucking and slurping things out of the keyboard. While it’s similar to the method used with the compressed air can, the vacuum has an advantage in that it can handle liquids better. It may also be a better option depending on what dirtied the keyboard.

Best Premium Option

Color Coral Vacuum Dust Cleaner

Vacuum dust cleaner that's useful for cleaning keyboards.

Microfiber Cloth

A stack of microfiber cleaning cloths in various colors

A microfiber cloth is one of the simplest ways to clean any device, including keyboards. A microfiber cloth can clean the entire thing: keys, keycaps, the board itself, the back, the sides, and every area. Usually, a microfiber cloth with a bit of your choice of cleaning product will have your keyboard looking far better. Use this Amazon Basics Microfiber Cleaning Cloth to keep your keyboard shiny.

Keyboard Cleaning Gel

Gel cleaning keyboard

Keyboard cleaning gel is a more unique solution than the other listed options. These keyboard cleaning gels are typically sold for cheap, and you pour the gel into the keyboard. After the gel sinks in, you can pull it out and take dirt, dust, food, etc., with it. You can use it a few times before it’s too dirty to be effective.

It’s an excellent way to get into those deep little pockets where grime or gross old food may be hiding. This Cleaning Gel Universal Dust Cleaner is ideal for a quick, easy, and effective way to clean your keyboard.

Best Budget Keyboard Cleaner

Color Coral Universal Dust Cleaner

The ColorCoral Universal Cleaning Gel is fun to use and picks up the dust and crumbs in your keyboard.


A blue box of cleaning wipes

Wipes are about as simple as they come, and using them should be pretty straightforward. You can use wipes to get dust, dirt, grime, food, liquid, and other things off your keyboard. Ideally, it’s also a good idea to get wipes that work well on screens, such as the suggested product below. These ALIBEISS Screen Wipes are ideal for keyboards and all types of screens.

Pre-Moistened Lens Wipes

Lens wipes that can be used for keyboards, laptops, phones, etc.

Keyboard Cleaning Kit

A brush system with a small forking sponge on the side

Finally, this cleaning keyboard kit is a high-powered solution to all your dirty keyboard woes. This kit features keycap pullers, brushes, and different heads. You can take your keyboard apart and use the kit to clean, brush, and maintain your keyboard to perfection.

If you find cleaning the keyboard itself a bothersome task, this Hagibis Cleaning Soft Brush Keyboard Cleaner might be a good option for you.

Soft Brush Keyboard Cleaning Kit

Keyboard cleaning kit to make cleaning your keyboard easier.

James Corporon James Corporon
James Corporon is a tech freelance writer, aged 27, who lives in Chicago, IL. As a core contributor to Voterfeed, he has written many large news pieces for them on a variety of different topics. Corporon has also written for a variety of other sites and publications, mainly in the form of ghostwriting. With 5+ years of experience freelancing, Corporon has written everything from biographies to Youtube scripts but eventually zeroed in on tech as a niche. He's competent in SEO and a quick typist. Read Full Bio »