The Clean Keyboard Campaign: My fight against the gunk…


How did this happen???

When was I in a sandstorm with my desktop keyboard?  Did they roach bomb my apartment without me knowing?  This is disgusting…

A new camera, with pretty resolution and increased motivation to play, can create … stress.  In my case, I took a picture of my keyboard, just playing with the close up zoom and almost threw up.  It was filthy!!!  Thus began my quest – I was going to clean it, no matter how long it took (and considering how long it took… it’s probably a good thing I made a blood oath on it…)


A little internet research shows that I’m on the only one a little concerned… Take this quote from a study done in Britain:

Four of the keyboards were considered a potential health hazard and one was "condemned".

Two had "warning levels" of staphylococcus aureus and two others had "worryingly elevated" levels of coliforms and enterobacteria, "putting users at high risk of becoming ill from contact".

Read more:–qwerty-tummy.html#ixzz0OjSImmNV

It was time to act…  My keyboard a hazard to my health??? Not ok.

Before I start… Are you sure you even want to know how to do this?  I’m sure that there are professionals out there who would tell you to stop.  Heck, unless you have the same exact keyboard that I do (a standard Dell clacker), there’s very little chance that this will work out for you…  That’s my disclaimer.  Don’t be dumb – evaluate the risk before you start.  I am not responsible for you do, just what I did below.  If you have any doubt, stop.


First I removed the case.  Keyboards, that I have seen, come in two parts, the electronic part and the mechanical part.  Normally, these are separated by some sort of (hopefully) waterproof, washable and chewable barrier.  The first step was to remove the part I could break (the electronic part) and put it safely away.


The rubber barrier had to go too, as I wasn’t sure exactly what it was made of and didn’t want to destroy it.


This is the underside of my keyboard.  It doesn’t look all that dirty, but believe me, it was visibly nasty.


I entertained myself banging the keys against my desk, trying to make junk fall out.  When did I eat rice…?


Then I even took a key off to see how dirty it really was…


Look at that dust and rot in the rut next to the Right key!  How did it get like that??


So I put it in the bath and sprayed the heck out of it.


For a while…



Then I used a Q-tip to remove the gunk that remained…


Which worked, but as you can see, the gunk is black and it didn’t seem to end…


I dried the keyboard off with my wife’s hair dryer (sorry honey)

 DSC_0094 >

which only took a few minutes.


The black gunk was truly worrying and there seemed to be a ton of it between every key.


Moreover, when I’d dried the keyboard off, it actually looked about the same…


I toyed with the idea of taking the keys off and cleaning one at a time with Goo Be Gone, but that took probably half an hour for 5 keys…


So I gave up…


and threw it in the dishwasher…


but made sure it was on air dry.


Then I went for a short walk in the neighborhood…


saw my friend Michael…


had some coffee…


took a few more photos…


and came back when it was clean.


It shines now. 


It never looked that good before!!!


Here is the final summary…

I certainly had fun – but I learned a good lesson.  Keeping my keyboard clean on a regular basis is pretty important.  It saves a lot of work…


No Responses to “The Clean Keyboard Campaign: My fight against the gunk…”

  1. Catherine Says:

    I like this post! And I love the addition of pics to your blog. Congrats on the new camera. You will love the D60!

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