How to Clean Mac Keyboard

Charlotte Daniels

Mac, Tutorials

Cleaning your Mac keyboard is an essential maintenance task that can help improve its performance and longevity. Over time, dust, crumbs, and other debris can accumulate between the keys, causing them to become sticky or unresponsive. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the steps to clean your Mac keyboard effectively.

Gather Cleaning Supplies
Before you begin cleaning your Mac keyboard, gather the following supplies:

  • A soft cloth or microfiber cloth
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Cotton swabs or a soft-bristled brush
  • A can of compressed air (optional)

Power Off Your Mac
To start the cleaning process, make sure to power off your Mac. This step is crucial to prevent any accidental keystrokes while cleaning.

Remove Loose Debris
Begin by turning your keyboard upside down and gently shaking it to dislodge any loose debris such as crumbs or dust. This step will help remove larger particles that may be trapped between the keys.

Clean with a Soft Cloth
Next, take a soft cloth or microfiber cloth and dampen it slightly with isopropyl alcohol. Ensure that the cloth is not dripping wet; it should only be slightly dampened to avoid any liquid damage to your keyboard.

Gently Wipe the Keys
Starting from one end of the keyboard, use gentle but firm strokes to wipe each key and its surrounding area. Pay extra attention to areas that appear dirty or sticky. The isopropyl alcohol will help dissolve any grime build-up.

Caution: Avoid using excessive force while wiping the keys as this could damage them.

Use Cotton Swabs or Brush for Stubborn Grime
For stubborn grime that may be stuck between the keys, you can dip a cotton swab in isopropyl alcohol and carefully clean those hard-to-reach areas. Alternatively, you can use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub away any residue.

Compressed Air for Dust Removal
If you have access to a can of compressed air, you can use it to blow away dust and debris from your keyboard. Hold the can upright and ensure to use short bursts of air. This method is particularly useful for cleaning around the edges of the keys.

Drying Time
After cleaning your Mac keyboard, allow it to dry completely before using it or turning on your Mac. This will prevent any moisture from causing damage to your keyboard or Mac.

Regular Maintenance
To keep your Mac keyboard clean and functioning optimally, it is recommended to perform regular maintenance. Wipe down the keys with a soft cloth on a weekly basis and avoid eating or drinking near your keyboard to prevent spills.


Cleaning your Mac keyboard not only helps maintain its appearance but also ensures smooth and responsive performance. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can effectively remove dirt, grime, and debris from your keyboard. Remember to always exercise caution during the cleaning process and allow sufficient drying time before using your keyboard again.

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