Raise your hand if you can’t stop eating at your desk. (Over half of us here are guilty of that crime.) Over time, dust accumulates. Oils accumulate. Cheetos powder and Doritos flakes and Oreo crumbs accumulate. Before you know it, there’s enough gunk and goo under your keyboard keys to give birth to another Flubber.
And you haven’t got the most delicate of movements, so you don’t trust yourself to pop off the keys for a good cleaning–that is, without breaking anything. (We feel you.) So we came up with a list of easier, less risky keyboard cleaning alternatives and a guide to help you figure out which cleaner is right for you.
How to Choose a Keyboard Cleaner – Buying Guide
Your keyboard isn’t getting any cleaner as you’re reading this. In fact, it’s probably getting dirtier. So let’s get to it and talk about what cleaner will work best for you.
The Type of Cleaner Depends on How Dirty Your Keys Are
Depending on how bad the mess under your keys is, you’ll have to use one of four main types of cleaners: goo, brushes, blowers, and hand-held vacuums. You can also use any two or three in conjunction–attacking your keyboard with blowers first to dislodge dirt, for example, and then using slime to clean up any remains.
To Pick Up Moderate Amounts of Gunk: Brushes and Goo
If you are looking to clean your keys before they become a hot sticky mess, then you can go for a goo or brush cleaner. Neither have the power to dislodge anything that’s stuck deep or firmly underneath your keys; however, both are quick and easy to use.
Brushes are good for daily maintenance, picking out any dust or particles that get into your keys before they have a chance to build up. With brushes, though, you want to make sure the bristles aren’t too rough or stiff, or you could the run the risk of scratching your keys.
Goo’s great because it traps all the debris inside itself–so you don’t need to flick things out of your keyboard only to have to flick them off your desk. Just know that once it’s saturated with gunk, you’ll have to toss the slime and buy a new pack.
To Dislodge Deep-Set Stuff: Hand-Held Vacuums and Blowers
With a powerful blast of air, you can dislodge gunk from deep within the labyrinth of your keys. For that, there are blowers powered by electric motors. They’re powerful–to the point that you may want to use them outside, with a pair of safety goggles and a mask to protect you from the dust and chip bits that are going to be peppering your face.
Though more expensive, we do recommend electric blowers over cans of compressed air, especially if you’re concerned about the environment. Most of these cans utilize hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are a potent greenhouse gas. Tetrafluoroethane, a common HFC, has a global warming potential (GWP) of 1,200, whereas CO2 has a GWP of 1.
Vacuums are good because they suck dust up instead of poofing them back into the air. However, before use, make sure your keyboard doesn’t have any keys that pop off easily. Vacuums are also shunned because they run up the risk of electrostatic discharge (ESD), which can zap your electronics. However, most keyboards don’t have many sensitive components, so it’s not as big of an issue.
To Get into Nooks and Crannies: Does the Cleaner Have Customizable Parts?
Many brushes come in sets or at least with multiple tips. These include big, soft, round brushes for quick dusting and fine points for more precise work. Some may even have silicone or rubber scrapers for more stubborn gunk.
Vacuums and air blowers may also come with different nozzles–so you can deliver both big powerful blasts and smaller, more concentrated gusts between keys.
For Extra Piece of Mind, Make Sure it Disinfects
You may have blown away the visible gunk. But, as it is with most things, the biggest danger is what you can’t see–the germs and bacteria that are still lurking between the keys.
Normally, we’d just recommend you finish up the job with Lysol or Clorox wipes. However, if you want to save yourself some trouble, then look for cleaners that have sterilizing agents. Alcohols such as ethanol are popular and effective disinfectants.
Top 10 Best Keyboard Cleaners to Buy Online
Have you got an idea of what you’re looking for? Because it’s time to jump into ten cleaners we think will do a pretty decent job ridding your keyboard of gunk.
10. USHONK USB Mini Vacuum Cleaner
A Light, USB-Rechargeable Vacuum for Regular Maintenance
This vacuum is made specifically for small jobs–sucking the eraser shavings off your desk or the crumbs out of your laptop keyboard. Therefore, suction is quite weak, and it won’t be able to get anything deeply embedded. But it’s good for daily maintenance, and it won’t accidentally pop any keys off the board.
It’s USB-rechargeable and comes with two filters. Because the vacuum is weak, you have to keep the filters spotless for it to really work. There’s also two nozzles–a normal flat nozzle for inhaling things off the surface of your keyboard and desk, as well as a brush nozzle for cleaning up dust and dislodging small debris from around the keys.
9. ieGeek Magic PC Laptop Computer Keyboard Cleaner Set
Flexible Goo for Quick Touch-ups
The consistency is a little watery. It picks up dust and looser debris that line shallow keys but isn’t as effective at reaching down under tall keys. Someone found that using an unbent paperclip to drag the goo between the keys is rather effective–just be careful not to tear off any small bits and get them stuck.
Leave it on your keyboard too long, and it’ll melt into a puddle of goo. The same goes for when you don’t seal the bag up correctly or otherwise expose the slime to air for too long. One pack will last you three or four uses.
8. APBFH 6 in 1 Plastic Anti-Static Cleaning Keyboard Brush Kit
Stiff Bristles for Quickly Scraping off the Gunk Lodged Between Tall Keys
These bristles are pretty stiff, so they do scrub off gunk and old, caked-on dust. They’re especially good for scraping off the sides of tall keys. However, these brushes aren’t very effective on keys that are shallow or set close together. And you might leave behind some scratches.
You can use the finer-point brushes to root around corners, and you can run the long, narrow brushes between the rows to quickly dislodge food and dirt. And you can use them almost anywhere around the house–on a whole host of electronics, in the grouts between tiles, on your coffee maker. Our biggest complaint, actually, is with the packaging; it’s just a normal zip-lock bag.
7. Metro Vacuum MDV-1BA DataVac Pro 4.5 Computer Vac/Blower
Gentle yet Effective Vacuum-Blower Combo for Delicate Electronics
Get this if you want to really pamper your keyboard. This cleaner both blows and sucks–in a good way. It comes with a pin-point nozzle, which you can use to blast air and particles stuck in between your keys. Then you can use the bristle brush and the thin hose nozzle on the vacuum setting to pick up the pieces.
While this may not be a leaf-blower, it is certainly enough to get clouds of dust out of computers and keyboards, so use this outside. The vacuum, likewise, is not that strong, which actually makes it well-suited for electronics with fragile components.
6. MECO Keyboard Cleaner with Cleaning Gel
Ideal for Daily Clean-ups: Clears away the Dust and Small Debris around Your Workspace
This is a small, cheap vacuum you can keep around your workspace. It comes with a USB charger and two nozzles–a flat one that will dig into corners and sweep horizontally along your keys, and a bristle brush that will flick out and inhale dust and hair.
Even with daily use, a charge can last at least a week, though as battery levels drop, suction power will also weaken. Actually, it’s not super powerful to begin with; it won’t pick up, say, clods of dirt or any solid pieces of gunk. You can use the included goo for bigger debris, as long as it’s not caked onto your keyboard.
5. PANDACASHBACK Laptop Cleaner Brush for Laptop Screen and Keyboard
Keeps Both the Keyboard and Screen of Your Laptop Debris-Free on Your Travels
This one’s good for on-the-go cleanups. The bristles keep debris from building up between your keys when you’re traveling. And the soft scraper can be used on your monitor and around the keys–on the touchpad for example–to wipe away dust and fingerprints.
Don’t think you can turn to this for all your cleaning needs, though, as it’s meant to help you maintain your laptop between deep cleanings. The brush is long, perfect for brushing over the keys and in between the horizontal rows. However, it doesn’t give you much control over more precise clean-ups.
4. EasyGo CompuCleaner 2.0
Cost-Effective Blower with Two Powerful Speed Settings
This blower comes with three nozzles, none of which are particularly small. It means you may have to pry on the keys a bit to thoroughly clean underneath. However, the gusts that come out are strong enough to dislodge most particles–and blow all your papers off your desk. (We recommend not using this in the office.) It has two speed settings.
You power the motor with a nine-foot cord. You do have to continually press the toggle to use the blower, and that can tire your hands out after a while. There’s a filter at the bottom that also gathers dust quite easily and will need frequent cleanings, but the product itself should last you a while.
3. OXO Good Grips Electronics Cleaning Brush
Silicone End for Scraping off Gunk and Dirt; Soft Brush for Attracting out Hair and Dust
Nothing allows you to be so precise as a pen or pencil, the tools of an artist. So it makes sense that when you need to reach into the tiny crevices on your keyboard, a brush like this would offer you the most control. It’s got a silicone wiper on one end, which you can use to scrub away gunk without scratching your electronics. The tip is chiseled–much like that of a highlighter–making it easier to dig around keys.
The bristles are soft–wiping away dust, hair, and other small particles, again, without causing any damage. They’re retractable, too, so they won’t get frayed or bent when not in use. That also means you can stuff the brush into your pocket or bag and bring it anywhere.
2. Metro Vacuum ED500 DataVac Electric Blower Duster
Extremely Powerful Gusts of Air and an Expansive Set of Nozzles
Look into this one if you have other expensive tech equipment you need to clean (or if you just really, really love your keyboard). It’s easily more powerful than a can of compressed air, blowing computer mice, notebooks, and lamp stands right off your desk. That’s just one of the reasons you want to use this outside.
The other reason is it’s going to blow loads and loads of dust out of crevices you didn’t even know existed. You do have to keep it plugged in, but the cord is over ten feet long. And while the price tag is hefty, this thing lasts for years. It also comes with a set of nozzles to give you huge, powerful blasts and more concentrated streams for hard-to-reach places.
1. Cyber Clean Home and Office
Disinfects with Ethanol and Picks up Dust and Loose Crumbs
The first ingredient is ethanol, no doubt there to eliminate germs. This goo picks up dust, hair, and crumbs and traps them forever in its gelatinous body. If you use it regularly, there’s a good chance you won’t need to turn to any other cleaners. This will survive months of weekly use, and the body turns green when it’s time for a replacement.
If, however, you don’t clean your keyboard regularly, don’t expect any miracles. You can’t use the slime with stains or anything that’s caked on. (Some people have used a toothpick to root around and kind of loosen things, before finishing up with the goo.) It also leaves a bit of residue on your keyboard–as well as a lingering citrusy scent.
Most of us live at our desks, our hands glued to our keyboards. So we owe it to ourselves to keep the keys clean. While you may still need to pry apart and soak your keyboard for a thorough cleaning, if you use the tools above to regularly maintain your workspace, you’ll be set for a long time.
In recent years we’ve seen our handheld devices become smaller and more powerful. In fact, for many things, tablets and smartphones can almost completely eliminate the need for bulky laptops or desktop computers. But, unfortunately, when it comes to typing, flat screens aren’t quite as effective as physical keyboards. Luckily, there’s an impressive range of small, portable Bluetooth keyboards available that can transform any device into an almost full-featured computer. The only problem is finding the right one. In this guide, we’ll go over the things you should look out for when deciding on the best portable Bluetooth keyboard for you. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you get started. How to Choose a Portable Bluetooth Keyboard – Buying Guide Finding the right keyboard is going to depend largely on your preferences as well as the situations you plan on using it in. So don’t forget to keep these things in mind when looking at your options. Size Determines C
Admit it–if you’ve ever worn a retainer or clear aligner there have definitely been times when you’ve noticed strange odors or unsettling build-up on it, no matter how well you’ve rinsed or brushed it. But it’s not your fault. Retainers are full of nooks and crannies that can be hard to clean, so it’s a good idea to look for a cleaner that’s specifically made to handle that task. But there are a lot of different options when it comes to retainer cleaners, so it can be hard to pick through them to find what will work for you. In this guide, we’ll go over the factors you should consider when choosing a retainer cleaner that’s right for you. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you get started. How to Choose a Retainer Cleaner – Buying Guide When your retainer is dirty, that can make you really not want to wear it, which might affect your teeth alignment if it goes on for long enough. So it’s important to find a retainer cleaner that fits in with your lifestyle a
Any cat lover will know–there’s nothing like the feel of silky, glowing, warm, sweet-smelling (healthy!) fur beneath the fingers. So get a good brush. It’ll make sure your cat doesn’t freak out during grooming sessions and cut down on random hair lying around the house. Pet stores have an extensive list of hairbrushes for your feline companion: short hair brushes, long hair brushes, flea and tick removal brushes, and shedding brushes, to name a few. And a whole lot are really colorful and cute. But, here comes the old adage: don’t judge a book by its cover. For the sake of your cat, read on. How to Choose a Cat Brush – Buying Guide There are many kinds of brushes, and there are just as many ways to mess up when purchasing a cat brush. Give your cat and good, hard look before going shopping. Choose Something That Suits Your Cat’s Hair and Your Purpose Brushes come, surprisingly, in all shapes and sizes, so which one is best for your feline friend? Let’s break down what you can find an
Did you know that toilet cleaners can be some of the most dangerous substances in our homes? On top of that, they go directly down our pipes, and many of the chemicals don’t get properly filtered out before being released into the environment. Clearly it’s time to start using more eco-friendly toilet cleaners. Thankfully more and more companies are realizing this, and we have more options than ever before, but that can make it hard to decide. In this guide we’ll go over the factors you should consider when choosing the right toilet cleaner for you. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you get started on your search. How to Choose an Eco-Friendly Toilet Bowl Cleaner – Buying Guide When it comes to choosing an eco-friendly toilet bowl cleaner, aside from making sure it actually works, it’s also important to find one that fits all of your other needs. Keep an Eye Out for Proper Ingredient Documentation Unlike food items, cleaning supplies aren’t required to dis
We’ve long been fed this idea that cleaning our homes has to be an almost dangerous endeavor, that toxic chemicals are necessary to kill all the nasties that could be lurking around. But that’s simply not true, and toxic cleaners aren’t just bad for bacteria, they’re harmful to us and the environment, too. Luckily, there is an increasing number of eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaners that get the job done just as well. But if you’re new to the world of eco-friendly cleaners, it can be hard to know where to start. In this guide, we’ll talk about the main factors to consider when choosing the best cleaner for you. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you begin your search. How to Choose an Eco-Friendly All-Purpose Cleaner Since all-purpose cleaners could literally touch every surface of your home, it’s important to consider both the makeup of the cleaner as well as your own situation. Labeling: Make Sure It’s Transparent About Ingredients and Cleanable Surfaces One
For many of us, using an electric toothbrush has become almost a necessity for feeling clean. But as we become more environmentally conscious, it’s hard to ignore the fact that they’re not very eco-friendly. Luckily, there are increasingly more energy efficient, less plastic intensive options. Electric toothbrushes are still far from being inherently eco-friendly, so it’s important to know what to look for when trying to distinguish what’s better. In this guide, we’ll go over a few things to keep an eye out for when choosing a more eco-friendly electric toothbrush. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you get started on your search. How to Choose an Eco-Friendly Electric Toothbrush – Buying Guide Unfortunately, as of right now, there are no 100% plastic-free or eco-friendly electric toothbrush options quite yet. However, there are some features that make some toothbrushes more eco-friendly than others. Battery Type Determines Energy Use and Environmental Impact
Each year, over one billion toothbrushes are thrown away in the US alone. That’s 50 million pounds of plastic waste created and enough toothbrushes to wrap around the world four times. But if you’re here, you probably already knew that, and you’re looking for a way to help. You’re not alone–a ton of companies have caught on to our waste problem and are trying to create solutions, so you have a lot of eco-friendly toothbrush options. In this guide, we’ll cover the factors you should consider when choosing a more environmentally conscious toothbrush. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you get started. How to Choose an Eco-Friendly Toothbrush – Buying Guide When choosing an eco-friendly toothbrush, much of the decision will likely come down to your priorities, so consider what would work best with your lifestyle when making your choice. Handle Material Determines Eco-Friendliness and Durability As the handle is the largest part of the toothbrush, what it’s made
Summers here in Japan get humid and sticky. And yet Japanese men and women alike feel a need to look impeccable even when they’re floating in the middle of the ocean on a huge inner tube. In order to answer that need, cosmetics companies here have come out with scores of waterproof mascaras meant to withstand the steamiest hot springs and the biggest waves. If you’re new to the Japanese cosmetics market, it can be hard to tell which brands–Canmake, Heroine Make, Majolica Majorca–are amazing and which are a passing fad. That’s why, this time around, we ordered the 18 most popular waterproof mascaras from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) and tested for the following: Smudge Resistance Curl Staying Power Finish Ease of Use Ease of Removal This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese waterproof mascaras. How to Choose Japanese Waterproof Mascara – Buying Guide We’ll get into how we tested and compared all the mascaras, but before
Traditional candles–particularly the scented ones–can often leave you with a headache or your bookcase covered in soot. Not exactly the relaxing environment you’re looking for. So we researched materials and pored through Amazon reviews and came to the conclusion that the best candles for you and your home are non-toxic and free from paraffin, phthalates, and lead. These candles are often soy- or beeswax-based and scented with all-natural essential oils. We kept all of this in mind as we hand-picked the best non-toxic candles on the market. Top 10 Best Non-Toxic Candles to Buy Online These candles aren’t just the most loved, but they’re also the best options with the most transparent labeling. 1. Old Factory Scented Candles (3 Candles) Visit Amazon for more details Price: $28.97 Best for Those Who Don’t Normally Like Scented Candles Tired of hyper-feminine floral candles? These candles come in thematic sets sure to appeal to a wide range of preferences. Sets range from “Coffee Shop”
Mops aren’t really something that you think of as eco-friendly or not–after all, you can use the same mop for years at a time. But when making a conscious effort to make your home more environmentally friendly, it’s important to think about all areas of your life, especially when it’s time to replace old items. In this guide, we’ll talk about what exactly makes a mop more or less eco-friendly, as well as the factors you should look for when deciding what works best for your situation. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you to start your search. How to Choose an Eco-Friendly Mop – Buying Guide There aren’t too many big, glaring differences when it comes to eco-friendliness, so it may work out better for you to keep your personal needs in mind first. Choose a Type Based on Flooring and Mess Size Choosing a mop type goes beyond just preference, and depending on what kind of flooring you have and how much of a mess you regularly have to clean, one may be much be