How to clean a MacBook keyboard


Dust, crumbs, and gunk buildup are all likely to end up on your MacBook keyboard at some point. If you’re having trouble with a specific key, or just think it’s time to clean your keyboard well, there are a few dos and don’ts of the process.

Here we are going to tell you how to clean a MacBook keyboard using compressed air. We’ll also include what Apple recommends for getting your keys back and what types of products to avoid.

How to clean a MacBook keyboard

Step 1: Before cleaning your MacBook keyboard, you should turn off, unplug the computer, and detach all accessories.

If you are using an external keyboard that you want to clean, turn it off and remove the batteries.

2nd step: Make sure to insert the straw that came with the can of compressed air. Remember to keep the straw about half an inch from the keyboard when spraying.

Also, be sure to keep the can of compressed air at its normal angle. Don’t turn it over. You can also see the instructions on the box.

Step 3: Make sure you have a good grip on your MacBook as you will be rotating it at different angles to clean the keyboard.

First, open the MacBook and turn it about 75 degrees with the screen facing down. Then spray the compressed air in a left-to-right zigzag motion across the keyboard and vice versa.

Step 4: Turn your MacBook to one side and use the same sweeping motion to spray compressed air onto the keyboard. Then turn your computer over to the other side and do the same.

If you have an external keyboard, you can follow the same process to turn it on when you spray the air.

Additional tools to clean your keyboard

If you have a particular key or two on your keyboard that have a buildup of dirt, you might want to clean those keys specifically. You can use a soft, dry, lint-free cloth to wipe down the keyboard, but if you need something stronger, Apple suggests you use 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe, ethyl alcohol wipe 75% or a Clorox disinfectant wipe on the hard, non-porous surfaces of your Apple devices, such as the screen and keyboard. Just make sure you don’t use anything with bleach or hydrogen peroxide.

What to avoid when cleaning your keyboard

Here are a few things to avoid if you plan on cleaning your keyboard further.

  • Do not use aerosols, bleach cleaners, or anything abrasive.
  • Do not leave moisture or liquid in the openings.
  • Do not wipe too aggressively or you may damage the keyboard.
  • Do not spray any cleaner directly on the keyboard.
  • Do not use products that contain bleach or hydrogen peroxide.

If after cleaning your MacBook keyboard you are still having issues with certain keys, you may need to contact Apple for information on repairing the keyboard.

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