Today we’re going to deviate a bit from the regular business topics and talk about cleaning your keyboard. All prompted by a single photo on Twitter.

That is a Kinesis Freestyle V1 keyboard (which I reviewed) in the top rack of my empty dishwasher.

Keyboards are filthy. We eat over them and use them when we’re sick and most people rarely wash them.

Not only that, a keyboard is how I make my money. Either I’m emailing clients or typing code and both take a keyboard to do. I have 2 keyboards the V1 pictured above and a Freestyle V2 which means that as one is drying I can use the other one to keep working in wrist comfort bliss.

Now about washing that keyboard, a few notes.

  • If it’s a wireless keyboard with batteries take them out
  • The dishwasher should be empty (no dirty dishes go in)
  • Put the keyboard on the top rack
  • Run it for a hot rinse only, the heat from drying can hurt it I hear so I’ve just never tried
  • After the rinse has run let it dry fully before use (hence 2 keyboards I can use one while the other sits for 3 months till I wash the in use one). Usually washing on Friday and letting a keyboard sit till Monday is enough time to dry it.
  • If you have an air compressor turn the PSI low (80psi I’ve used) and blow out some of the water to speed up the drying process

I to was nervous the first time so I tried it on a ‘dead’ keyboard. This keyboard came from my school and had a full can of pop spilled on it. When you pressed the backspace key you got an ‘e’.

I figured that the worst that would happen is that it wouldn’t work at all.

That keyboard is still in use at my friend’s house 6 years later with no issues.

I’ve also saved an Apple Wireless keyboard from a full cup of coffee on it.

I got lots of makeup off my Apple Wireless keyboard from the previous computer user at one job [1].

I have washed my Kinesis keyboard [2] and a few types of Microsoft ergonomic keyboards.

I’ve advised many people how to do this and no one has had a keyboard die so go ahead keep a clean keyboard by dishwashing it.

  1. Seriously this keyboard was absolutely disgusting. If it hadn’t come clean I would have required a new keyboard or not worked.  ↩
  2. The Freestyle Solo seems to take lots longer to dry. Like at least 2 weeks to be useable again. I already kept a spare keyboard in the box so now I just swap them depending on which one is being cleaned.  ↩

2 responses to “Yes you can dishwash a keyboard, here’s how”

  1. Steve Avatar

    I’m assuming you don’t use any sort of soap? I’ve heard of this working on the older switch-style keyboards, but am surprised it works on the newer ones.

    1. Curtis McHale Avatar
      Curtis McHale

      No soap at all. I have used wet wipes to get some spills off the keyboard. That doesn’t seem as ‘crazy’ to people as dishwashing your keyboard though.