A Quick Guide on How to Clean Keycaps

Keycap Quarry keycaps are resilient, this is due to them being made of genuine rocks and metals. However, they should still be treated with love and care. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps on how to clean keycaps, ensuring they remain in top-notch condition.

If your keycap does not fit your keyboard switch properly, I am now including small bags with a dot of clear museum putty. Place a small piece of this into the stem (hole?) then place the keycap on your switch. You should immediately notice that the keycap does not come off as easily.

So, now we’ve cleared up the basics, let’s move on to the next part on how to clean keycaps:

Over time, keycaps can become magnets for dust, dirt, and grime, enduring countless keystrokes and daily wear and tear. To keep your keyboard looking and feeling its best, regular cleaning and maintenance of your keycaps are essential.

Cleaning

To clean your keycap if needed, gently scrub it with soap and water using your finger or a soft cloth/sponge. Then, dry it off with a soft cloth. To remove any fingerprints or oils, I would suggest using a microfiber cloth.

To clean your keycap if needed, gently scrub it with soap and water using your finger or a soft cloth/sponge. Then, dry it off with a soft cloth. To remove any fingerprints or oils, I would suggest using a microfiber cloth.

Before You Begin: Gather Your Supplies

Before embarking on your keycap cleaning journey, it’s crucial to gather the necessary supplies. Here’s what you’ll need:

Keycap Puller: You’ll need a keycap puller to safely remove the keycaps from your keyboard. These tools come in various forms, including wire pullers and plastic ring pullers.

Container: Have a container or tray ready to hold your keycaps while you clean them. This helps keep them organized and prevents any from getting lost.

Warm, Soapy Water: For basic cleaning, you’ll need warm water and a mild soap. Avoid harsh detergents or chemicals that may harm the keycaps.

Soft Brush: A soft-bristle brush, such as a toothbrush, is excellent for dislodging dirt and grime from keycaps.

Compressed Air: Compressed air can help remove loose debris and dust from between the keycaps and keyboard switches.

Microfiber Cloth: A microfiber cloth is ideal for wiping down keycaps and maintaining their shine.

How to Clean Keycaps: Step-by-step

Before we delve into the detailed steps on how to clean keycaps, it’s vital to establish a conducive workspace. Begin by finding a clean, well-lit area where you can perform the cleaning without interruptions. Organize all your necessary supplies and tools, ensuring they are easily accessible. Once your workspace is ready, you’re set to embark on a journey to rejuvenate your keycaps.

Step 1: Set Up Your Workspace

Begin by creating a comfortable and organized workspace. Find a clean, well-lit area where you can perform the cleaning without interruptions. Lay out all your supplies and tools so that they are easily accessible.

Step 2: Remove the Keycaps

Using your keycap puller, gently remove the keycaps from your keyboard. Start with the keycaps on the top row (letters and numbers) and work your way down. Place the removed keycaps in your container to keep them organized and prevent any accidental mix-ups.

Step 3: Preliminary Debris Removal

Now that the keycaps are off, it’s a good idea to perform some preliminary debris removal. Use compressed air to blow away loose debris, dust, and particles from both the keyboard and the exposed switches. This step will help prevent contaminants from resettling on your freshly cleaned keycaps later in the process.

Step 4: Soak the Keycaps

To start cleaning your keycaps, fill a container with warm water and add a few drops of mild soap. Mix it gently to create a soapy solution. Place your keycaps in this solution, ensuring they are fully submerged. Let them soak for about 30 minutes to help loosen dirt and grime.

Step 5: Scrub Away Grime

After soaking, use a soft brush (a toothbrush works well) to gently scrub each keycap. Pay extra attention to any stubborn stains or grime. Avoid using excessive force to prevent damaging the keycap’s legends or texture. Rinse each keycap thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.

Step 6: Drying the Keycaps

Once you’ve scrubbed and rinsed all the keycaps, lay them out on a clean towel or microfiber cloth to air dry. Ensure they are completely dry before reattaching them to your keyboard to prevent any water-related issues.

Step 7: Cleaning the Keyboard Frame

While your keycaps are drying, take the opportunity to clean the keyboard frame and switches. Use compressed air to blow away any loose debris. If there are stubborn spots or stains, you can dampen a soft cloth with a small amount of isopropyl alcohol and gently wipe down the keyboard frame. Be cautious not to let any liquid seep into the switches, as it may cause damage.

Step 8: Reassemble Your Keyboard

Once your keycaps are thoroughly dry, reassemble your keyboard by carefully placing each keycap back onto its corresponding switch. Use your keycap puller to push them down firmly until they snap into place.

Step 9: Final Touches

To complete the cleaning process, wipe down the entire keyboard, including the newly reattached keycaps, with a microfiber cloth. This step will ensure that your keyboard looks pristine and free of fingerprints.

Maintenance Tips for Long-Term Keycap Health

Cleaning your keycaps is essential, but long-term maintenance can further extend their lifespan. Here are some tips to keep your keycaps in excellent condition:

Regular Cleaning: Make cleaning your keycaps part of your regular keyboard maintenance routine. Cleaning them every few months can help prevent a heavy buildup of grime.

Hand Hygiene: Ensure your hands are clean before using the keyboard. Oils and dirt from your fingers can transfer onto the keycaps.

Keycap Puller Technique: When using a keycap puller, take care not to damage the keycap or the switch. Apply even pressure to lift the keycap off without twisting or bending it.

Avoid Food and Drink: Try to avoid eating or drinking over your keyboard to prevent accidental spills and crumbs from falling between the keycaps.

Cover Your Keyboard: When not in use, consider using a keyboard cover or dust cover to protect your keyboard from dust and debris.

Store Properly: If you need to store your keyboard for an extended period, it’s a good idea to remove the keycaps and store them separately to prevent any potential degradation.

Tarnish

If your keycap has metal incorporated into the design there is a possibility that the metal may tarnish. If this happens, a regular jewelry polishing cloth should remove any tarnish.

If your keycap has metal incorporated into the design there is a possibility that the metal may tarnish. If this happens, a regular jewelry polishing cloth should remove any tarnish.
Cleaning and maintaining your keycaps are essential steps in preserving the longevity and appearance of your keyboard. With the right tools and techniques outlined in this guide on “How to Clean Keycaps,” you can keep your keycaps looking and feeling like new. A clean keyboard not only enhances your typing experience but also prolongs the life of your cherished mechanical keyboard. So, invest the time and care in keeping your keycaps pristine, and enjoy the satisfaction of typing on a keyboard that looks and feels its best.