By Dan Gookin

All computers require cleaning, and laptops require cleaning even more than desktops. That’s because you end up handling a laptop more than you do a normal computer. The keyboard can get particularly dirty, especially if you use it in places where you might also be eating.

Cleaning the keyboard is easy, but be sure to do it right or you might cause damage. When you feel like cleaning the keyboard, heed this advice:

The best way to clean the laptop’s keyboard is by using a small, portable vacuum. Using the vacuum’s tiniest attachment, gently suck the hair, scone flakes, and crud from between the laptop’s keys. Thwoop!

To clean the laptop’s key caps, turn off the laptop and then use a pencil eraser to rub off the crud and buildup. Afterward, use the vacuum again to clean out any eraser stubble and crud between the cracks.

  • Some people use a can of compressed air to clean a laptop’s (or desktop PC’s) keyboard. The air may clear away the debris, but it may also blow it deeper into the laptop. After the gunk is inside, there’s no way to clean it out.

  • Do not wash a laptop keyboard by using liquid. In fact, if you spill anything into a laptop keyboard, you’re pretty much screwed.

  • Watch Video 343 to witness the author deftly cleaning a laptop keyboard.