Bye Bye Sticky Keyboard! Keep This Cleaning Kit in Your Desk Drawer

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Are you reading this at your desk? Take a peek between the keys and see if your computer keyboard might need a little attention. Gross, right? If you kept this keyboard-cleaning toolbox in your desk drawer, you could take care of that crumby mess right now.

I'm currently writing this from my own computer, staring in the spaces between the keys on the keyboard and feeling thoroughly disgusted with myself. You see, I've never been a careful person. In the kitchen, closet and everywhere else, I allow myself complete freedom to make a huge mess before doing a binge clean sweep on the weekends. But I'm trying to do better, and that starts with getting into a regular routine of freshening up the spaces that get neglected.

The first step? Stocking my bottom desk drawer with a keyboard cleaning kit: a plastic bin filled with all of the tools I need to clean my keyboard as soon as I see it getting oily.

I'm building my kit based off of PC World's recommendations, plus a few tips I've picked up from Apartment Therapy Tech and some other spots around the web.

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To Tidy Everyday:

  • Post-Its and Tape: Use the tacky side of sticky notes or basic tape to reach between the keys and clean out dust or crumbs.

For Basic Cleaning:

  • Microfiber Wipes: Get the oils off the keys by wiping your keyboard over once with a clean cloth.
  • Canned Compressed Air: Turn the keyboard upside down outside or over a trash can and blow out the gunk from under the keys.
  • A Clean Mascara Brush: Grab a stubborn crumb by pushing the brush between rows of keys.

For Intensive Care:

  • A Small Screwdriver: Use it to pop the keys off the keyboard for a deep clean. Take a photo with your phone beforehand so you remember where everything goes.
  • 90 Percent Isopropyl Alcohol and Cotton Swabs: Dab the cotton swabs into the alcohol and get to work on the bare keyboard (but don't use ethyl-based rubbing alcohol).

What are your keyboard cleaning tips?

(Image credits: Taryn Fiol; Real Simple)