Keyboard cleaners can range from a simple microfiber cloth to a mini vacuum, but they are especially helpful for maintaining a clean workspace and increasing the lifespan of your keyboard. Many professional cleaning companies also will not clean a keyboard as it could lead to cross-contamination of germs or the accidental deletion of files and other important information.
To prevent germs from spreading and reduce the need for deep cleaning, Angela Brown, the founder and CEO of Savvy Cleaner, suggests wiping down your laptop, monitor, and keyboard every night after using it. “This simple process [of cleaning a keyboard] takes less than two minutes to do daily and will keep a workstation clean and welcoming and keep the germs at bay,” Brown says.
We researched dozens of keyboard cleaner options, evaluating them on ease of use, compatibility, safety, and value. Our favorite, the Fesciory Keyboard Cleaning Kit, includes four cleaning gel packs to quickly pick up dust and debris on the surface of your keyboard, plus five additional tools to deep-clean your keyboard.
Here are the best keyboard cleaners on the market.
Best Overall: Fesciory Keyboard Cleaning Kit
Four gel packs included
Keyboard- and laptop-compatible
Hard and soft bristle brushes
Can also be used for car detailing
Gel expires after three months once opened
The Fesciory Keyboard Cleaning Kit is our top pick because it provides everything you need to maintain a clean keyboard and laptop, plus it’s affordable. This set includes two different brushes so you can gently wipe away any debris with the soft brush or scrub at build-up with the hard bristle brush. The key puller makes it easy and safe to remove keys from an external keyboard for a deeper clean, while the microfiber cloth is a gentle approach for cleaning laptops.
The Fesciory set also comes with four containers of cleaning gel, which easily picks up dust and dirt without leaving behind any residue or making your hands feel sticky. Keep in mind that once you’ve opened a container of gel, it will expire in three months. The gel can be used multiple times before expiring and is biodegradable, so you don’t have to worry about it sitting in a landfill over time.
In addition to the brushes and key puller in this set, the set includes a rubber blower, which expels any dust or debris in hard-to-reach places. Because the pieces included in this set are rather small, we suggest storing all of them in a bag out of reach of children or pets who may see them as toys. All in all, we think the Fesciory kit offers great value and versatility. We also like that the tools are compatible with both laptops and keyboards.
Best Budget: MECO Keyboard Cleaning Set
Keyboard- and laptop-compatible
Hard and soft bristle brushes
Only two containers of gel
The MECO Keyboard Cleaning Set is very similar to the Fesciory Cleaning Kit, but it only includes two containers of gel. A hard bristle brush allows you to scrub off any stains between keys, while the soft bristle brush wipes away dust and larger particles of dirt. You can also use the key puller to remove keys for a more thorough cleaning.
In addition to cleaning keyboards, you can use this cleaning gel to detail car interiors and clean camera lenses and other sensitive electronics screens. Be sure to store the gel in a cool, dark place between uses to prevent it from drying out or expiring sooner. Overall, this cleaning set is a great choice if you’re looking for a budget-friendly keyboard cleaner with multiple tools.
Best Brush: Hagibis Cleaning Soft Brush
A keyboard cleaning brush is a great alternative to sprays and gels, especially when paired with additional helpful accessories. The Hagibis Cleaning Soft Brush is actually four tools in one and comes with a key puller. For general cleaning of your keyboard or laptop, use the large nylon, soft bristle brush to get rid of any dust, then use the metal pin tip to gently remove any stains between keys and the hinge of your laptop. The high-density brush is a practical choice for cleaning between flatter keys on a laptop.
We also love that you can use this cleaning brush to clean earbuds. The flocking sponge is an excellent tool for cleaning headphones charging cases, while the metal pin tip and high-density brush are ideal for cleaning the sound outlet holes on earbuds. However, it’s wise to use caution when cleaning with the metal pin tip, as too much pressure could damage your electronics. While we love that this cleaning brush is compact, it still has several small pieces that could be dangerous if left around small children or pets. Be sure to store this cleaning brush out of reach when not in use.
Best Vacuum: Dealswin Store Rechargeable Mini Vacuum Cleaner
Two nozzles included
Long charging time
Small, handheld vacuums offer an easy way to clean a desk and keyboard quickly. This Rechargeable Mini Vacuum Cleaner by Dealswin comes with a USB cable so you can easily plug it into your computer or an adapter. It has 60 minutes of operating time between charges, but it does take three hours to charge fully. When you’re not using this vacuum, it’s compact enough to be stored in a desk drawer. Five volts of electricity power this vacuum and offer ample suction power to pick up any light dust and debris on your keyboard or desk.
Two nozzles come with this vacuum: a flat nozzle and a brush nozzle. You can use the flat nozzle to pick up dirt in the hinge of your laptop and the brush nozzle to gently clean a keyboard. You could also use this vacuum to clean car seats or a piano.
Best Gel: ColorCoral Universal Dust Cleaner (2-Pack)
Easy to use
Brush and key puller included
Expires after several uses
Scent might not appeal to some
Universal cleaning gel is one of the easiest and most effective cleaning options for keyboards because it requires no additional tools. The ColorCoral Universal Dust Cleaner gel is effective, biodegradable, non-irritating, and lightly scented. While this product arrives in sealed containers like other gel alternatives, we love that the manufacturer backs this product with a satisfaction guarantee—which is great if anything goes amiss during shipping,
This two-pack of gels also comes with a cleaning brush and a key puller to deep-clean any keyboard. The manufacturer recommends storing this cleaning gel in a cool, dry place in the airtight container when not in use. While this step helps preserve the gel, it isn’t as long-lasting as alternatives. You’ll know it’s time to switch to the next container when the cleaning gel turns a dark blue after several uses.
Best Multipurpose : SIN SHINE 7-in-1 Electronics Cleaner Kit
Keyboard- and laptop-compatible
Seven tools in one case
The SIN SHINE 7-in-1 Electronics Cleaner Kit offers the cleaning capabilities of seven different tools in the convenience of one product. A retractable soft bristle brush works on laptops and keyboards, while the mini high-density brush is great for deep cleaning between keys. You can also use the silicone gap cleaning tip to scrub off any built-up dirt between keys or laptop hinges.
The clear plastic cover for the microfiber cloth doubles as a tablet or phone stand for easy cleaning, and the kit comes with a replacement microfiber cloth. You can also use the mini spray bottle or one of four cleaning wipes to help remove any stubborn fingerprints. Although this cleaning tool is innovative in design, it’s rather expensive for how compact it is. Plus, it has several tiny parts that may be choking hazards for children or pets. Despite these minor concerns, we still think this product is a top-notch tool for anyone looking for all the keyboard cleaning tools they need in one gadget.
Best Wipes: Windex Electronics Wipes 25 Count, Pack of 3
Wipes may dry out over time
Electronics wipes are a convenient cleaning product to store in your desk and use at a moment’s notice. Like other single-use electronics cloths, these Windex Electronics Wipes use anti-static material to prevent unwanted shocks after use, leaving a streak-free shine on your computer, tablet, or phone screens. You can use these wipes on screens and keyboards to remove dust, dirt, or fingerprints without causing any damage to your devices because they’re alcohol-free. You can also use them to gently clean your computer mousepad.
We love this three-pack from Windex because it offers 75 cleaning wipes at a reasonable price in convenient, resealable packaging. The separate packages help ensure product longevity. However, the wipes may dry out over time, even with diligent resealing. To prolong the effectiveness, be sure to store any opened packages in a cool, dry place when not in use.
Best Spray: Miracle Brands MiracleSpray for Electronics
Microfiber cloth included
Not an effective gap cleaner
An electronics cleaning spray is another worthy alternative to wipes or gel cleaners. This 16-ounce bottle of the MiracleSpray for Electronics works on various screens and gadgets, including keyboards. To use this electronics spray, simply spray the solution onto the provided microfiber cloth and wipe down any of your electronics.
This spray is ammonia-free and anti-static, so it won’t cause damage to the surface of your laptop or keyboard. While we love that this spray offers a streak-free finish, it’s not the best option for deep cleaning between keys or deep crevices on any electronics. However, we still recommend this spray as a great general cleaning tool for wiping down laptops and keyboards.
Best Compressed Gas: Falcon Dust Off Compressed Cleaning Gas
Easy to use
Could run out quickly
Compressed air offers an effective way to expel dust and lint from your keyboard and computer vents. The Falcon Dust Off Compressed Cleaning Gas comes in a spray can that’s easy to use and includes a plastic wand for precise aim. To use the air, squeeze the trigger on the can and aim 3 to 4 inches away from the surface of the keyboard.
This compressed air is also a 100 percent ozone-safe gas, so you don’t have to worry about releasing harmful chemicals into your workspace. While this product is convenient, and we appreciate its easy-to-store size, we wish it was less expensive for the amount included in the can. Despite this cost concern, it’s still a relatively inexpensive option for cleaning your computer and keyboard.
Best Cloth: UPPERCASE GhostBlanket Screen Protector for MacBooks
Can be stored inside a laptop
Easy to use
May not be as effective on external keyboards
If you don’t want to deal with sprays, wipes, or brushes, a microfiber cloth is a simple and effective cleaning tool for laptop keyboards and screens. We like this UPPERCASE GhostBlanket Screen Protector for MacBooks because it can be used as a protective layer between a keyboard and screen to prevent unnecessary smudging and imprints. It also fits other 13- to 15-inch laptops from brands including Dell and Microsoft.
If your screen or keyboard needs additional cleaning, gently wipe the cloth against the surface of the keyboard and screen (but first turn off your laptop) to remove any built-up smudges and fingerprints. Although a microfiber cloth is a convenient option for flat laptop keyboards, it may not be best for cleaning gaps in external keyboards with removable keys.
Our top pick is the Fesciory Keyboard Cleaning Kit because it includes all the necessary tools that you could need for properly cleaning a laptop or keyboard. If you’re looking for a truly multipurpose tool, check out the SIN SHINE 7-in-1 Electronics Cleaner Kit, which has seven separate tools that all snap into one small container.
What to Look For in Keyboard Cleaners
Before purchasing any products, you should consider what type of tools and cleaners you might need for your particular style of keyboard. A laptop keyboard, which typically features flatter keys, is more compatible with cleaners like microfiber cloths, wipes, sprays, and soft bristle brushes. An external keyboard attached to a laptop or personal computer (PC) will be better cleaned with a hard bristle brush, cleaning gel, or compressed air. Cleaning gels are typically universal in the case that you would like to clean both a laptop and an external keyboard. If you have an external keyboard with removable caps, you may want to look for a kit with a key puller to remove keys safely.
While many sites recommend using rubbing alcohol to clean keyboards, there have been reports that alcohol can damage keys, making them sticky and no longer functional. To avoid this, we recommend always checking your laptop or keyboard’s user manual or searching the manufacturer’s website for cleaning best practices. Similarly, some manufacturers advise against using compressed air on their keyboards as it can cause damage. If you’re unsure what’s best to use on your particular keyboard, a microfiber cloth or cleaning gel are both effective and safe options.
If you’re looking for a keyboard cleaner that will also disinfect your keys, we recommend purchasing wipes or a spray, which often includes disinfecting ingredients. To remove grime and build-up between keys, consider cleaning with a combination of a hard bristle brush and a cleaning gel or a mini vacuum cleaner. A microfiber cloth is always a great option for spot cleaning and removing smudges and fingerprints.
How do I safely remove keyboard keys for cleaning?
The process of removing keys from a keyboard will vary depending on your keyboard style. A key puller, often sold in keyboard cleaning kits, is a great tool for gently removing keys on external keyboards. For larger keys, like the space bar, you can also use your fingernail on one end to gently lift the key from its mount. It’s always a good idea to consult your keyboard manufacturer’s manual before attempting to disassemble the keyboard. You also shouldn’t remove keys on a built-in laptop keyboard at home. If you’re having any issues with a laptop keyboard, take it to a technology specialist or contact the manufacturer.
How does keyboard cleaning gel work?
Keyboard cleaning gel is a sticky, often biodegradable gel that works by picking up dust and other particles off the surface of a keyboard. Most formulas do not leave behind any form of residue and do not stick to the skin. Some brands may offer scented cleaning gels. Cleaning gels typically last up to three months after the seal on their container is broken, but it’s best to store any cleaning gel in a cool, dry place to prevent it from drying out.
Can I use cleaning wipes on my keyboard?
If you prefer to clean your keyboard and other electronic devices with wipes, be sure the wipes use a formula safe for electronics. Brands like Windex and Miracle sell specifically formulated anti-static and alcohol-free wipes. Electronics wipes are often still formulated with disinfectants, so you can be sure your keyboard is receiving a thorough cleaning.
How do I keep my keyboard clean?
You can keep your keyboard clean by dusting it and wiping it after every time you use it. According to Brown, for most people, that’s every day. Brown’s preferred method for cleaning keyboards is first to dust the keyboard with an electrostatic duster to remove any initial dust and crumbs. Then, dampen a clean cloth and fold it in four squares (in half, and then in half again), spray one side of the cloth with cleaner, and wipe the keyboard and all the buttons.
If you’re cleaning an entire home office system (a keyboard, monitor, and laptop), Brown recommends switching through each “square” you’ve created in your folded cleaning cloth to prevent spreading germs and other dirt you pick up as you clean your workspace.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was researched and written by Emma Phelps, an updates writer for The Spruce, who has experience researching and reviewing the best tech products on the market. She researched top-rated cleaning products based on their effectiveness, compatibility, universality, and ease of use. From this list of highly-rated products, Emma then selected products you see in this roundup based on their performance in their applicable category and overall value. Emma also has extensive experience writing about cleaning best practices and interviewing cleaning professionals.
Emma also spoke with Angela Brown, the founder and CEO of Savvy Cleaner, whose expertise offered insight into how to best clean laptops and keyboards at home. Brown is an author, podcast host, and YouTube channel host. She’s also a “cleanfluencer” who trains house cleaners and maids in 31 countries.