How to Clean a Macbook Keyboard? [Complete Guide]

How to Clean a Macbook Keyboard

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to clean your MacBook keyboard like a pro. As a proud owner of this sleek and powerful device, you know that its keyboard plays an integral role in your daily workflow, whether you’re writing reports, composing emails, or unleashing your creativity. However, over time, it’s inevitable that crumbs, dust, and other particles find their way between the keys, causing a less-than-optimal typing experience.

Fear not! In this article, we will equip you with the knowledge and techniques needed to give your MacBook keyboard a thorough cleaning. With just a few simple steps, you’ll be able to restore your keyboard’s performance, maintain its longevity, and keep it looking as pristine as the day you first unboxed it.

So, whether you’re a student, a professional, or simply a MacBook enthusiast seeking to optimize your typing experience, read on to discover the secrets of effectively and safely cleaning your MacBook keyboard. Let’s dive in and unlock the key to a cleaner, more satisfying typing experience on your beloved MacBook!

How to clean a Macbook keyboard?

Cleaning your MacBook keyboard is an essential task to ensure its longevity and maintain an optimal typing experience. Dust, crumbs, and other debris can accumulate over time, affecting the keys’ responsiveness and overall performance. Follow these simple steps to effectively clean your MacBook keyboard:


  • Shut down your MacBook and unplug it from any power source.
  • Gather the necessary cleaning supplies, such as a microfiber cloth, compressed air canister, isopropyl alcohol (at least 70% concentration), cotton swabs, and a small brush (like a soft-bristle toothbrush).

Remove Loose Debris

  • Turn your MacBook upside down and gently shake it to dislodge any loose debris. This step helps remove larger particles that may be trapped between the keys.

Use Compressed Air

  • Hold the compressed air canister upright and use short bursts of air to blow away dust and debris from the keyboard. Ensure that you hold the canister at a safe distance to avoid damaging the keys.

Clean the Keys

  • Dampen a microfiber cloth with isopropyl alcohol. Make sure the cloth is only slightly damp, not soaking wet.
  • Gently wipe the keys one by one, applying light pressure to remove dirt and grime. Avoid excessive moisture on the cloth to prevent any liquid from seeping into the keyboard.
  • For stubborn residue or stains, use a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol and carefully clean around the affected keys.

Clean Between the Keys

  • Take a small brush or a soft-bristle toothbrush and gently brush between the keys to remove any remaining dust or debris. Be gentle to avoid dislodging or damaging the keys.

Allow Time to Dry

  • Once you have cleaned the keyboard, allow it to air dry for a few minutes. Make sure it is completely dry before turning your MacBook back on or closing the lid.

By following these steps and incorporating regular cleaning habits, you can keep your MacBook keyboard in top-notch condition. Enjoy a satisfying typing experience and prolong the lifespan of your beloved device!

Things to avoid when cleaning your Macbook keyboard 

When cleaning your MacBook keyboard, it’s crucial to be mindful of certain practices and substances that could potentially damage the keyboard or other components of your device. Here are some things to avoid when cleaning your MacBook keyboard:

Excessive Moisture: 

Avoid using excessive amounts of liquid, such as water or cleaning solutions, directly on the keyboard. Liquid can seep into the keyboard mechanism and cause damage to the internal components. Always ensure that your cleaning cloth or cotton swab is only slightly damp, and never spray liquids directly onto the keyboard.

Harsh Chemicals: 

Stay away from harsh chemicals, strong solvents, or abrasive cleaning agents. These substances can strip off the protective coatings on the keys, fade the key labels, or even damage the surface of your MacBook. Stick to gentle cleaning solutions, like isopropyl alcohol with a concentration of at least 70%.

Rough or Abrasive Materials: 

Avoid using rough or abrasive materials, such as rough cloths, scrub brushes, or scouring pads. These can scratch or damage the surface of your MacBook keyboard. Opt for soft microfiber cloths, cotton swabs, or soft-bristle brushes specifically designed for delicate electronics.

Excessive Force: 

While it’s important to remove debris and dirt, avoid applying excessive force when cleaning the keys. Rough handling or pressing too hard on the keys can cause them to become loose, misaligned, or even break. Use gentle pressure when wiping or brushing the keys.

Submerging the Keyboard: 

Never submerge your MacBook or immerse the keyboard in any liquid. MacBook keyboards are not designed to be waterproof or water-resistant. Immersion in liquid can irreversibly damage the keyboard and other internal components.

Cleaning While MacBook is On: 

Always turn off your MacBook and unplug it from any power source before cleaning the keyboard. Cleaning while the device is powered on may lead to accidental keystrokes or damage to the internal circuits.

Using Excess Compressed Air: 

While compressed air can be useful for removing dust and debris, avoid using it excessively or at high pressure. Excessive pressure can cause the compressed air to dislodge delicate keycaps or damage the internal components of the keyboard.

By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can safely and effectively clean your MacBook keyboard, ensuring its longevity and optimal performance for years to come.

How to prevent your Macbook keyboard from getting dirty?

Preventing your MacBook keyboard from getting dirty is a proactive approach that can help maintain its cleanliness and functionality. Here are some tips to help you keep your MacBook keyboard clean:

Wash Your Hands: 

Before using your MacBook, make it a habit to wash your hands thoroughly to minimize the transfer of dirt, oils, and debris onto the keyboard. This simple practice can significantly reduce the amount of dirt that accumulates on the keys.

Avoid Eating and Drinking: 

Refrain from eating or drinking over your MacBook keyboard. Accidental spills and crumbs can easily find their way between the keys, causing stickiness and attracting more dirt. If you need to snack or have a drink, it’s best to do so away from your MacBook.

Clean Workspaces: 

Keep your work area clean and free from dust and debris. Regularly wipe down your desk or work surface to minimize the amount of dirt that can be transferred onto your keyboard.

Keyboard Covers or Skins: 

Consider using a keyboard cover or skin specifically designed for MacBook keyboards. These protective accessories can safeguard your keyboard from spills, crumbs, and dust. Be sure to choose a high-quality cover that doesn’t interfere with typing or affect the keyboard’s performance.

Compressed Air Maintenance: 

Perform regular maintenance with compressed air to remove dust and debris from your MacBook keyboard. Gently use short bursts of compressed air to blow away any particles that may have accumulated between the keys. This practice can help prevent dirt from settling and reduce the need for deep cleaning.

Clean Surrounding Areas: 

While focusing on the keyboard, don’t forget to clean the surrounding areas of your MacBook, such as the trackpad and palm rest. Dust and oils from your fingers can accumulate in these areas and transfer back onto the keyboard.

Store Properly: 

When not in use, store your MacBook in a clean and dust-free environment. A protective case or sleeve can help keep your device clean and shielded from external debris.

How to clean a Macbook keyboard after a liquid spill?

Cleaning your MacBook keyboard after a liquid spill is a time-sensitive matter that requires prompt action to minimize potential damage. If you’ve experienced a liquid spill on your MacBook keyboard, follow these steps:

Act quickly:

Turn off your MacBook immediately and disconnect it from any power source. This helps prevent any electrical damage that may occur due to the liquid.

Dry the surface: 

Use a soft, absorbent cloth or paper towel to gently blot the liquid on the keyboard. Avoid wiping or rubbing the keys vigorously as this can spread the liquid further or push it into the keyboard mechanism.

Tilt and drain: 

Carefully tilt your MacBook at an angle to allow any excess liquid to drain out. Be cautious to avoid tilting it in a way that could cause the liquid to flow into other components or ports.

Remove keycaps (if possible): 

If you feel comfortable doing so, you can remove individual keycaps to access any liquid that may have seeped underneath. Use a keycap removal tool or a small, flat tool to pry off the keycaps gently. Refer to Apple’s support documentation or online resources for specific instructions on your MacBook model.

Clean with isopropyl alcohol: 

Dampen a microfiber cloth or a cotton swab with isopropyl alcohol (at least 70% concentration). Gently wipe the affected areas, including the keys and the surface underneath, to remove any remaining liquid or residue. Avoid using excessive amounts of liquid and ensure the cloth or cotton swab is only slightly damp.

Allow time to dry: 

Let your MacBook air dry in an open and well-ventilated area for at least 24 to 48 hours. This allows any residual moisture to evaporate. Avoid using any external heat sources or hairdryers, as excessive heat can damage the internal components.

Test functionality: 

Once you are confident that the MacBook is completely dry, turn it on and test the functionality of the keyboard. Ensure that all keys are working properly and there are no issues with responsiveness or sticking.