What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Down and Dirty on Keyboards

Mac keyboard
My Keyboard
September 6, 2010

I am not a germaphobe but I like things reasonably clean.  Our main computer keyboard is used on a daily basis several times a day unless we are away.  While it is used mainly by my husband and me, it is also used on occasion by one or more of our kids and friends.  I do the old dust off routine so it usually doesn't look too bad.  The other day my husband said he heard that computer keyboards were less sanitary than toilets.  Well that doesn't surprise me all that much since most kitchen sinks are less sanitary than toilets [something to think about].  So I pondered his statement then decided to act because I couldn't remember the last time I gave the keyboard a good cleaning.  Note that I said I couldn't remember when not that I haven't cleaned it.  I've heard a lot of ways to clean a keyboard including putting it into the dishwasher.  Here's the way I clean ours:
  • unplug from the computer - Ours is a MAC but this method works on a PC as well.
  • turn the keyboard over and hold on an angle resting on solid surface
  • lightly tap the keyboard to dislodge any larger pieces dust or dirt
  • vacuum the keyboard to get any remaining dust or dirt
  • wipe the surface of the keys with rubbing alcohol
  • dip a Q-tip into rubbing alcohol to clean between each key, changing Q-tip as needed
  • any stains that remain can be removed with a Mr. Clean magic eraser
  • wipe the surface again with rubbing alcohol
  • plug the keyboard back into the computer - The keyboard is now clean and sanitized ready for use.
This method also works well for other well used surfaces like telephones handsets, cell phones, computer mouse and control devices.  Tapping may not be necessary for some items. Using the rubbing alcohol will not only get the surfaces squeaky clean but help spread germs during cold and flu season.

Garden Gnome


sixmats said...

I actually take the keys off. Just take a picture of the keyboard before you do it!

Kelly said...

I take the keys off, too... and then put them in one of the little bins you use in the dishwasher for tiny things... and run them through the dishwasher. The rest of the keyboard gets a good cleaning with my favorite cleaner of the month. I just replaced a keyboard after about 10 years. If it hadn't been for the semi-annual cleanings, it probably wouldn't have lasted much more than three years.

Garden Gnome said...

Taking the keys off and running them through the dishwasher sounds like a good plan as well. The downside is you have to wait until the dishwasher cycle is over and the keyboard is reassembled to use it.