Look down. Is your keyboard replacing what should be used to catch crumbs, like a plate, a napkin, or, in extreme cases, a bib? Are your keys lined with a dull grey or, even worse, the black residue of fingertip history?
You’ve got big plans for 2009 that most likely include resolutions regarding fitness and finance and you are going to track them on your computer – right? Well, since you are so busy keeping up with your commitments, let’s keep it simple this week and make your QWERTY purty.
Unplug your keyboard from your CPU or turn off and unplug your laptop. Take special care when handling your laptop computer as the hinges of the machine are delicate and damage easily. Always support both the LCD screen and the base at all times.
Shake it out
Next, shake the crumbs and debris out of the keyboard gaps by holding the keyboard upside down and shaking it gently over a trashcan. Some light tapping on the back may loosen particles and dislodge some more dust.
Keep the air clean and your kids sober
Avoid the use of forced-air products in a can. Look closely and you will see, contrary to the label, it is not “air” you are spraying but pollutants that can harm the environment and your health. These products contain greenhouse gases like tetrafluoroethane, a form of HFC’s similar to CFC’s or Freon.
You’ve heard about how greenhouse gases affect the ozone layer, but you may not have heard of the ‘inhalant high’ known as ‘dusting.’ Teenagers have died of heart attacks or asphyxiation after filling their lungs with this deadly toxic gas, so it’s best to just avoid having it around the house at all. Human lungpower can deliver a powerful blast for blowing out even more dust and crumbs. Please, swallow completely before attempting this maneuver!
For a deeper clean
For those that want to really get the job done right, you may be able to get under the keys and clean the keyboard tray. Refer to the manual or user’s guide to determine if your keys can be detached and re-attached for cleaning. If you want to attempt this, do it in small sections so you can easily replace the keys in the proper location.
Cleaning the keys requires you to follow one important rule – use as little moisture as possible! Dampen a cloth with diluted dish soap and wring it out as best you can. Wipe down keys and keyboard, rotating the cloth often. Use cotton swabs to get into the cracks between the keys or wrap your damp cloth around a small, stiff, thin object like a pen top, plastic knife, or paperclip to help you get between the keys.
Allow your keyboard to dry completely before you plug it back in and power it back up. You could stay on task with your resolutions by doing some crunches, push-ups, or some wicked-fun aerobic dancing while you wait.
With proper keyboard maintenance done at regular intervals, you will not have to live with a dirty QWERTY anymore.