Can I Wash Mechanical Keyboard With Water

Your mechanical keyboard is an extension of yourself, a tool you rely on daily for work and play. But as you type away, crumbs, dirt, and grime build up on the keys, affecting both the aesthetics and functionality of your keyboard. You may have heard that washing a mechanical keyboard with water is an effective way to clean it, but is it safe? In this article, we'll explore the do's and don'ts of keyboard cleaning and find out if you can wash your mechanical keyboard with water.

If you're a gamer, writer, or programmer, your mechanical keyboard is likely one of your most prized possessions. Mechanical keyboards offer a satisfying typing experience, durability, and customizability, but they also require proper care and maintenance to last. Over time, dust, hair, crumbs, and other debris accumulate between and under the keycaps, making it difficult to type and affecting the aesthetics of your keyboard. In this article, we'll look at the best practices for cleaning your mechanical keyboard and answer the question: can you wash it with water?

The Do's and Don'ts of Keyboard Cleaning

You must develop a cleaning routine to maintain your mechanical keyboard. Here are the dos and don'ts of keyboard cleaning:


  1. Use a keycap puller: Keycap pullers are small tools that allow you to remove keycaps easily from your keyboard. You can clean the keycaps and switches more effectively using a keycap puller.

  2. Use compressed air: Compressed air cans or electric blowers are effective in removing dust, hair, and other debris from between and under the keycaps.

  3. Use a cleaning solution: You can use a cleaning solution, such as isopropyl alcohol or a specialized keyboard cleaner, to clean the keycaps, switches, and keyboard case. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and avoid getting the solution on the PCB or other electronic components.


  1. Don't use water: Water is a no-no when cleaning mechanical keyboards. Water can damage the electronic components, cause rust, and compromise the functionality of your keyboard.

  2. Don't use abrasive materials: Avoid using them, such as steel wool or rough sponges, as they can scratch the keycaps and damage the switches.

  3. Please don't submerge the keyboard: Submerging your keyboard in any liquid, including water, is a surefire way to damage it. The liquid can seep into the switches and PCB, causing corrosion and short-circuiting.

Can You Wash a Mechanical Keyboard with Water?

Now that we've established the do's and don'ts of keyboard cleaning, let's tackle the million-dollar question: can you wash a mechanical keyboard with water? The short answer is no. Water is a powerful solvent that can damage the electronic components of your keyboard, including the switches, PCB, and LED lights. Water can cause corrosion, rust, and short-circuiting, rendering your keyboard useless.

But what about waterproof or water-resistant keyboards? While these keyboards are designed to withstand some water exposure, they're not completely waterproof. Even a small amount of water can seep into the switches or PCB and cause damage.

Alternatives to Water for Cleaning Your Keyboard

So, if you can't use water to clean your mechanical keyboard, what can you use? Here are some alternatives:

  1. Isopropyl alcohol: Isopropyl alcohol is a safe and effective cleaning solution for mechanical keyboards. It evaporates quickly and doesn't leave residue, making it ideal for cleaning keycaps and switches. However, use a high percentage of isopropyl alcohol (at least 90%) and avoid getting it on the PCB or other electronic components.

  2. Keyboard cleaner: Many specialized keyboard cleaners are available in the market that is safe for mechanical keyboards. These cleaners come in a spray can or bottle and are designed to remove dirt, grime, and oil from your keyboard without damaging the switches or PCB.

  3. Electric blowers: Electric blowers, also known as air dusters, are an effective way to remove dust, hair, and other debris from your keyboard. They blow high-pressure air to dislodge the dirt, and you can use them on the keycaps, switches, and keyboard case.

  4. Keycap puller: As mentioned earlier, a keycap puller is essential for cleaning your keyboard. With a keycap puller, you can easily remove and clean the keycaps more effectively.


Can I utilize a dishwasher to clean my keyboard?

No. Dishwashers use hot water, detergent, and other chemicals that can damage the electronic components of your keyboard.

Can I use a vacuum cleaner to clean my keyboard?

Yes, but only if it has a low-suction setting or a brush attachment. A high-suction vacuum cleaner can suck the keycaps and switch off the keyboard.

Can I use a toothbrush to clean my keyboard?

Yes, but ensure it's a soft-bristle toothbrush, and avoid using too much force. Also, avoid touching the PCB or other electronic components with the toothbrush.

Can I clean my keyboard without removing the keycaps?

Yes, but it won't be as effective as removing the keycaps. The dirt and debris can get stuck between the keycaps and switches, affecting your keyboard's typing experience and longevity.

Can I use alcohol wipes to clean my keyboard?

Yes, but ensure they're non-abrasive and don't contain harsh chemicals. Avoid using baby or wet wipes, which can leave residue and damage the switches.

Can I utilize a hairdryer for drying my keyboard after cleaning?

No. A hairdryer blows hot air that can damage the switches and PCB. Instead, let your keyboard air-dry naturally or use a microfiber cloth to remove excess moisture.

Can I clean my keyboard with a damp cloth?

No. Damp cloths contain water that can seep into the switches and PCB, causing damage. Use a dry or slightly damp microfiber cloth to clean the keyboard.

Can I use WD-40 to lubricate my keyboard switches?

No. WD-40 is not a lubricant and can cause more harm than good to your keyboard switches. Use a specialized switch lubricant instead.

Can I clean my keyboard every day?

It's unnecessary to clean your keyboard daily, but you should develop a cleaning routine based on your usage and environment. Cleaning your keyboard once weekly or every two weeks is a good rule of thumb.

Can I wash my keycaps in a dishwasher?

No. Dishwashers use hot water and chemicals that can damage the keycaps. Use a keycap puller and isopropyl alcohol to clean the keycaps instead.


Your mechanical keyboard is a valuable investment; proper cleaning and maintenance are essential to keep it in top condition. While it's tempting to use water to clean your keyboard, it can cause irreversible damage to the switches, PCB, and LED lights. Instead, use isopropyl alcohol, keyboard cleaners, electric blowers, and a keycap puller to clean your keyboard effectively and safely. Always avoid using harsh chemicals, abrasive materials, and excessive force when cleaning your keyboard, and develop a cleaning routine based on your usage and environment. With proper care and maintenance, your mechanical keyboard will provide you with a comfortable and reliable typing experience for years.

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