Cleaning the keycaps

Despite my best efforts, these keys I touch 8+ hours a day are no longer as clean as I’d like.

What’s the best way to clean the keycaps?

Any particular chemicals or other products?

In the past I used to pop off all a keyboard’s keys, dump them in hot soapy water and give them a little scrub one by one. But I wonder if there’s a better or more efficient or faster way (any decent way to do it without removing them?), and if there are any gotchas specific to the M01 keys.


I just gave them a rub in place with 99% isopropyl alcohol, and it seemed to do a good job.


Wait… You don’t wear white leather gloves when typing!?



That’s terribly impractical for touch-typing. I can never feel the homing dots that way — almost as bad as when I wear mittens!

Fortunately, I work on bicycles often enough that I always have a supply of blue nitrile mechanic’s gloves on hand. Definitely the best choice for keeping those keys clean! =P


Sure, but who wants to be sweating inside nonbreathable gloves for hours (with periodic breaks to stave off RSI)? Instead, if you are willing to pay 1,600USD for 1,000 pairs, you could have these nice puppies:

*I recently started some bike mechanicking, and my latex gloves keep ripping :frowning:

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Don’t actually tell me you tried it … :joy:

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The nitrile ones might be a little tougher, but they tear pretty easily, too, especially when re-seating studded tires on rims.

You just balance the clothing to skin heat exchange ratio. Gloves go on, shirt & pants come off.


Jesse has said over here that nothing harsher than water should be used to clean the keycaps. Oops.

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Oh, yeah. I’m sorry I didn’t see this thread earlier. 99% Isopropyl is perfect if you want to remove the UV coating and paint. An overnight soak and a scrub brush and you can very likely have nice unpainted keycaps.

Realistically, dish soap in the water is fine, too.

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Could you remind me: Do the translucent white keycaps have any clear finish applied?

They do have a clear UV-protectant coating applied.

Good to know. No alcohol for them then, either. Thanks.

Would denture tablets be safe to use on the keycaps?