Can You Wash a Mechanical Keyboard?

Can You Wash a Mechanical Keyboard? Some people may wonder if a mechanical keyboard can be washed like their shoes or clothes. If a mechanical keyboard is washed, it will make the mechanical keyboard very clean from dust and other dirt. However, a mechanical keyboard is an electronic device that must be kept away from water.

Can you wash a mechanical keyboard? Not. Mechanical keyboards consist of electronic components such as PCBs which consist of electrical circuits that should not be exposed to water. Washing a mechanical keyboard can cause rust on metal parts and can make the PCB on a mechanical keyboard unable to function normally and even be permanently damaged.

Here are the reasons why you shouldn’t wash a mechanical keyboard

The following is a detailed explanation of why you should avoid washing your mechanical keyboard:

  • Washing a mechanical keyboard May cause damage to the PCB: PCBs are composed of electronic components such as electrical circuits, processors, memory, and other electronic networks. Just like other electronic devices, PCB components must not be wet or exposed to water because it can cause damage to certain functions and also water adhering to the PCB can cause it to rust.
  • Washing a mechanical keyboard can damage the switch: The switch consists of several components made of metal base materials such as springs and also the switch pins that are connected to the PCB. If this component is exposed to water it will cause rust and also make it scald. If the switch does not work, then you will not be able to input to the computer.
  • Washing a mechanical keyboard can damage the RGB/LED backlit electrical circuit: Washing a mechanical keyboard that is RGB backlit will definitely cause total damage to the RGB or LED backlit circuit because these circuits are made of electronic components that must be kept away from water.

What parts of a mechanical keyboard can be washed?

You don’t have to worry if you want to make your mechanical keyboard really clean. There are several components on a mechanical keyboard that can be washed, such as:

  • Keycaps: Keycaps made of plastic are very good if cleaned using hot water by soaking them for a certain period of time.
  • Case: It applies to all kinds of mechanical keyboard cases such as keyboard cases made of plastic, aluminum, acrylic. You can’t wash a mechanical keyboard case that’s made of wood because it will rot.
  • Damping Foam: The dampening foam on a mechanical keyboard can be washed because generally the damper on a mechanical keyboard is made of foam, cloth, and rubber.

Then, what is the most appropriate way to clean a mechanical keyboard?

There are various methods that people use to clean their mechanical keyboards. Here are some of the best ways you can clean your mechanical keyboard:

1. Cleaning the mechanical keyboard using a brush

This method is most often used to clean gaps in all parts of the mechanical keyboard that are outside such as gaps in keycaps. The disadvantage of this mechanical keyboard cleaning method is that dust is often left and the cleanliness is not optimal.

Cleaning the mechanical keyboard using a brush
Cleaning the mechanical keyboard using a brush

2. Cleaning the mechanical keyboard using a vacuum

This is one of the best ways to clean a mechanical keyboard from invisible dust and dirt. Using a vacuum can completely remove the dust and dirt that sticks to the mechanical keyboard.

Cleaning the mechanical keyboard using a vacuum
Cleaning the mechanical keyboard using a vacuum

3. Clean the oil from the surface of the keycaps using a Microfiber Cloth

For oil created on mechanical keyboard components made of plastic, you can clean it using a microfiber cloth. Microfibers can very effectively remove oil that sticks, especially on the surface of your mechanical keyboard keycaps.

Clean the oil from the surface of the keycaps using a Microfiber Cloth
Clean the oil from the surface of the keycaps using a Microfiber Cloth

What is the best way to clean a mechanical keyboard?

Simple Care

We start with simple treatments that all of us can do. The most important care is to keep the environment around the keyboard clean. Make sure after playing, clean the environment around the gaming table from leftover food, drinks, and scattered garbage.

For those of you who are used to playing games while smoking, beware of cigarette ash. Inadvertently, the ash will fly and enter between switches or even into the PCB or mechanical keyboard circuit, causing signal interference. If you smoke, prepare an ashtray for cigarette butts with a wet tissue to prevent the ashes from flying. Or, better yet… you don’t smoke.

Also be aware of the remaining oil on your hands when you play games while eating fried foods. Not only makes it easier for dirt to stick to the keyboard keys, the remaining oil on the hands will also accelerate the wear of the key letters. The way to anticipate this is to provide a tissue or cloth next to the keyboard so you can easily wipe your hands before typing. Or, maybe you could wrap a small towel around your neck (?)

Cleaning Mechanical Keyboard

Equipment you will need:

  • Keycap puller.
  • A bottle of warm water (not boiling water) and cleaning liquid/soap
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Wipe clean/Microfiber
  • Cleaning towel
Cleaning Mechanical Keyboard
Cleaning Mechanical Keyboard


  • The first step, remove the mechanical keyboard plug from the PC. In addition to making it easier to clean, this is to prevent the cable from breaking due to being accidentally pulled.
  • Remove all keycaps or cover the keys with a keycap puller. Be careful not to break it.
  • So that you don’t forget when you return it later, it’s a good idea to take a photo before removing it. While taking a selfie with your mechanical keyboard, keep posting it on your social media.

Clean Keycap

  • The removed keycap is put in warm water that has been mixed with cleaning fluid to make the stubborn dirt start to soften.
  • The next step is quite a PR. The keycap must be cleaned using a wet cloth or an unused toothbrush one by one. Remember, one by one. So if there are 104 keycaps, it means you have to spend quite a lot of energy.
  • After washing, dry with a clean cloth until completely dry.
Clean Keycap
Clean Keycap

Cleaning PCB Board

  • After all the keycaps are lifted, you will see a row of switches that are still stuck on the mechanical keyboard board. No need to remove them one by one. You just need to use the help of a vacuum cleaner to suck up the dirt between the switches.
  • To make the suction stronger and more focused, use the small end of the vacuum cleaner.
  • You can also clean the mechanical keyboard board by borrowing a blower from the nearest motorcycle repair shop and blowing between the switches with compressed air.
  • Turn the board over and tap lightly to let any remaining dirt fall off.
  • Clean the surface of the board with a clean cloth, especially between the rows of switches.
Cleaning PCB Board
Cleaning PCB Board

Final Stage

After everything is judged to be clean, place the mechanical keyboard and switch board on a dry cloth. Wait a few moments until it is completely dry. To make the drying process faster and optimal, use a fan so that your mechanical keyboard cools down quickly.

If everything is dry, put the keycap back on. If you forget the order, look at the photo you took before removing all the keycaps.

Easy, right? Do this periodically so that your mechanical keyboard is durable.

So, Can You Wash a Mechanical Keyboard?

Cleaning the mechanical keyboard by washing it is a very detrimental option because it can easily damage your mechanical keyboard.

The ideal cleaning solution for a mechanical keyboard is a microfiber cloth and a mild cleaning agent. Clutter and dust can be removed off keyboards using an air gun or a vacuum. Using a keycap puller tool, keys can be taken out and cleaned one at a time with soapy water.


  • Kizaru

    Meet Kizaru, the founder and expert behind, a niche blog focused on mechanical keyboards, gaming and tech. With a passion for all things mechanical keyboard, Kizaru brings a wealth of knowledge to his readers, covering topics ranging from switch types and keycaps to build guides and customizations.

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