As technology continues to conquer all parts of the world, more and more people are getting exposed to the use of computers even in the middle developed and poor nations. A computer is indispensable nowadays in any working organisation or office with the developed seeing the need to have a personal computer. A keyboard is therefore a common gadget that almost everyone encounters since even those without private computer access can do so in cybercafés.
It is of uttermost importance to have and maintain a clean keyboard. Many people forget to handle their keyboards with care and their end up blocking the spaces in between the keys with dust and food particles which can bring about a lot of problems. Not only will those dust and food particles affect the functioning and responsiveness of your keyboard, but also do they pose a health hazard, as those dirty spaces between keys may become a breeding ground for bacteria that may result to ill health.
The computer fraternity came up with the name E-gunk which refers to these particles and dirt that collect in between the keys of your keyboard. It is normally comprises of food remains, dirt particles, sticky liquids, dead skin cells and sweat or water from dirty or wet hands. Some people even in offices will tolerate working with such a dirty keyboard but any normal hygienic person will clean it up as a healthy working environment also makes a healthy you. Letting E-gunk collect in your keyboard is not only disgusting but also will it expose you harmful viruses and bacteria as well as cockroaches.
Importance of regular keyboard cleaning
- General keyboard functioning. A well maintained clean keyboard will function way better than a dirty one with keys responding properly to the touch. The keys of a dirty keyboard may get stuck or develop unresponsiveness.
- Good look and appeal. Any clean well kept machine or instrument attracts the user and makes him or her feel comfortable, especially when one is entitled to use it for an extended period of time like at home or in the office.
- General hygiene. While using a dirty keyboard, food particles may for instance attract cockroaches which can in turn lay eggs in between the keys therefore posing a health hazard to you the user. Housing harmful bacteria in your keyboard may result to unexpected infections and diseases.
Regular keyboard Cleaning Tools
Commonly used tools in keyboard cleaning include:
- Isopropyl alcohol or cleaning fluid
- Soft, dry cotton cloths
- A can of compressed air
- Vacuum cleaner
- Cotton buds
The tools you need for a nice and thorough keyboard cleaning process will vary depending on how dirty your keyboard is. An extremely dirty keyboard may for instance call for removal of some or all the keys hence the inclusion of a screwdriver.
Regular Cleaning Steps
- Switch off the computer and unplug the keyboard cable from the CPU.
- Use your can of compressed air to spray in between the keys in order to dislodge any E-gunk collected there.
- Overturn the keyboard and shake it gently so that all particles can fall.
- Add 2-3 drops of isopropyl alcohol or the cleaning fluid you are using to a cotton bud and use it to clean the keys.
- Take a soft, dry cloth and add a little amount of isopropyl alcohol or cleaning fluid and then use it to gently wipe the keyboard surface.
- For a thorough cleaning, remove the keys gently using the screwdriver. It is important you take a close still picture of the keyboard before removing the keys so as to mark the exact location of every key.
- Use the vacuum cleaner to remove the collected dirt particles from the frame.
- Take the keys one at a time and clean them using the toothbrush and the cleaning fluid.
- Wait for the keys to dry up and put them back to their position. You can use the keyboard picture as a guide to the correct key positions.
As they put it, cleanliness is second to Godliness. A clean keyboard will give you a serene working environment while at the same time protecting you from the harmful effects of having a dirty keyboard.