How to Clean Under MacBook Keyboard Fast

How to Clean a MacBook Keyboard Easily and Safely at Home?

Every MacBook owner knows that maintaining the sleek machine is integral to its prolonged lifespan, and a key part of this is understanding how to clean under the MacBook keyboard. It may seem like a daunting task, but after reading through this article you will be armed with all the necessary knowledge and pointers, step by step, to do it yourself effectively and safely.

Are you worried about those crumbs or dust engulfing your cherished MacBook keyboard? It’s simpler than you think. A combination of compressed air and a mini vacuum cleaner can easily dislodge any dirt hiding underneath the keys without any damage. This process should be repeated frequently depending on your usage and environment.

How to Clean a MacBook Keyboard?

Cleaning a MacBook keyboard is essential for maintaining optimal functionality and appearance. Over time, dust, debris, and oils from fingers can accumulate on and between the keys, potentially affecting the keyboard’s performance. Here’s a simplified guide to effectively clean your MacBook keyboard:

  • Shut Down Your MacBook: Always start by turning off your laptop and disconnecting it from any power source. This precaution prevents any accidental damage or data loss that could occur during cleaning.
  • Remove Loose Debris: Carefully tip your MacBook upside down and gently shake it to dislodge any loose dirt or crumbs trapped under the keys. You can also use a soft brush or compressed air to remove debris from between the keys.
  • Clean with Compressed Air: If you have a can of compressed air, hold your MacBook at a 75-degree angle. Spray across the keyboard in a left-to-right motion, ensuring you’re about half an inch away from the surface. Then rotate your Macbook 90 degrees and repeat, covering all angles.
  • Wipe with Damp Cloth: Take a lint-free cloth and slightly dampen it with water (or for an enhanced cleaning mix, use 91% isopropyl alcohol). Gently wipe over the tops of the keys. Be cautious not to allow moisture to seep underneath them.
  • Address Stains Specifically: For tougher stains on or around the keys, lightly moisten a cotton swab or lint-free cloth with water (or isopropyl alcohol) and apply gentle pressure in circular motions until the stain lifts.
  • Dry Thoroughly: Finish by wiping down your keyboard one more time with another clean, dry microfiber cloth to ensure no moisture remains on or between the keys.

By following these steps carefully, you can keep your MacBook keyboard clean without risking damage to its delicate components.

Also Read: How to Format an SD Card on a Mac: Step-by-Step Guide

Cleaning Your MacBook Keyboard Step-by-Step Solution

Keeping your MacBook keyboard clean is crucial for maintaining its functionality and prolonging its lifespan. Dust, dirt, and spills can cause the keys to stick or stop working altogether. Follow this straightforward guide to clean your keyboard effectively and safely.

  • Gather Necessary Supplies: Before starting, ensure you have isopropyl alcohol (70% or higher preferred), a lint-free rag, canned air, a vacuum with a brush attachment (optional), lint-free Q-tips, and a plastic prying tool or guitar pick.
  • Blow-Out Dust:
    • Begin by shutting down your MacBook completely.
    • Use canned air with the straw attached, holding it at an angle between 45 and 75 degrees toward the keyboard.
    • Keep the nozzle about two to three inches away from the keyboard surface; spray across all keys in sweeping motions.
    • Optionally use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment if canned air is unavailable.
  • Wipe Off Grime:
    • Turn off the MacBook.
    • Apply a small amount of isopropyl alcohol to your lint-free rag.
    • Gently wipe across all keys and use Q-tips dipped in alcohol for edges and hard-to-reach spots around keys.
  • Cleanup Liquid Spills:
    • In case of liquid spills under keys, turn off your device first.
    • Use a plastic prying tool or guitar pick to gently lift affected keys off from one corner until they pop out.
    • Be cautious not to apply too much force which could damage the key mechanism underneath.
    • Clean any visible liquid using Q-tips dabbed in isopropyl alcohol both on the underside of the keycap and the surrounding area on the keyboard base where moisture was detected.
    • Allow sufficient drying time before snapping back each key into place.

Using these measures for regular maintenance will help avoid common issues due to dirt accumulation or accidental spills on your MacBook’s keyboard. Remember always to handle components gently during cleaning processes to avoid any potential damage.

Disinfecting the Keyboard

In today’s world, keeping your gadgets clean is as essential as personal hygiene to prevent the spread of germs, especially for devices we use daily like keyboards. A keyboard can harbor more bacteria than a toilet seat if not cleaned regularly. Follow this straightforward process to effectively disinfect your keyboard and ensure it remains germ-free.

  • Power Down: Ensure that your laptop is turned off and unplugged from any power source. If using a detachable keyboard, disconnect it from the computer or remove any batteries if wireless.
  • Acquire Suitable Disinfectant: Purchase disinfecting wipes that are effective against germs but free of bleach, such as Clorox or Lysol wipes. Bleach can damage the finish on your keyboard.
  • Prep Wipe: If the wipe is excessively wet, gently squeeze out extra moisture over a sink to make it slightly damp. This step helps avoid excess liquid entering the keys.
  • Gentle Cleaning: Use the prepared wipe to carefully clean each key and the spaces in between by gently massaging them. Avoid applying too much pressure which might harm sensitive components.
  • Dry Thoroughly: After wiping, use a soft, lint-free cloth to dry any residual moisture on and between keys. Ensuring the keyboard is dry prevents potential damage from moisture.
  • Wait Before Reuse: Allow about 5-10 minutes for complete air-drying before turning on your laptop or reconnecting your detached keyboard.

This simple procedure will help maintain your keyboard’s cleanliness without risking damage to its functionality. Regular disinfection alongside routine cleaning practices will significantly reduce bacteria buildup on frequently touched surfaces like keyboards.

Also Read: Unveiling the Remarkable Lifespan of a MacBook Pro


How often should I clean my MacBook keyboard?

Ideally, you should clean your MacBook keyboard once every three to six months. However, if you use your MacBook heavily, a monthly cleaning may be necessary.

What materials are safe to use for cleaning under a MacBook keyboard?

It is recommended to use a can of compressed air or a mini vacuum cleaner designed for electronics for cleaning under the keyboard.

My keys are sticky after cleaning, what should I do?

Sticky keys after cleaning might mean there’s still residue underneath. Try the compressed air or mini vacuum method once more and if it doesn’t work, seek professional help.

Can I clean my MacBook keyboard with water or liquid cleaners?

No, it is not advisable to use any liquids while cleaning under your MacBook Keyboard as this could cause damage to the electronic components.

When should I seek professional help for cleaning my MacBook Keyboard?

If you notice persistent issues like sticky keys even after repeated cleanings or face difficulty doing it yourself, it’s best to seek professional help.

Also Read: How to Zoom in and out on MacBook: Simple Ways to Do


Cleaning under MacBook keyboards is a necessary maintenance step that every MacBook user should routinely perform. This ensures our device stays healthy and reduces the chances of any unanticipated dysfunction.

Remember, I must always disconnect or power off my MacBook computer before cleaning. Specifically using compressed air or a mini vacuum cleaner for cleaning is highly recommended as these will not damage the delicate keyboard parts beneath.

What’s more crucial, if I encounter sticky keys even post cleanup or feel overwhelmed with the process, seeking professional help would be advisable over potentially damaging my costly machine. Hence, knowing “how to clean under the MacBook Keyboard” comes in handy not only to maintain keyboard hygiene but also to extend its longevity.

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