Can I clean an Apple Keyboard with alcohol?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Thedutchjelle, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2008
    Hello people,

    I wanted to clean my keyboard properly. At first I thought I could use alcohol to clean it, but now that I'm sitting here I'm a bit worried that the keyboard might somehow react with it and make it look worse. I don't think alcohol can react with plastic or aluminum but I don't know if this is true :<

    The bottle I got here is 70% ethanol in water with a bit methanol added. The Apple website doesn't state I cannot use alcohol to clean a keyboard, while it mentions so for the other Apple products ( ). I would appreciate it if someone could shed some light on this :)

    I tried to search for it, but couldn't get a definite answer. Most cleaning questions seem to be about the monitor.

    Many thanks in advance :)
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Feed Me

    Jan 7, 2012
    Location Location
    I don't know if the alcohol would damage the keyboard or not, but alcohol is generally discouraged when you're cleaning things with a shiny finish, for fear that the alcohol may dissolve the finish. In the case of the keyboard, I don't think anything will likely dissolve in the process.

    I would say that using alcohol would be fine, but I'd still rather use a moist, soapy cloth, and then wash with a moist soapless cloth.
  3. macrumors regular

    Feb 14, 2011
    I use it. On a cloth w/ some water. Fingers=germs on keyboard. Alcohol kills germs. Don't over wet the keyboard or over scrub.
  4. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You need to read the information in the link you posted more carefully. It says:
    That goes for all Apple products.

    How to clean Apple products

    Apple also gives instructions on how to clean your Mac in the User Guides for the MBA, MBP and iMac:
    Also, you'll find plenty of suggestions by searching through the many existing threads on this topic.
  5. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 25, 2011
    Oh don't be silly. There's so many germs on your fingers and everything around you already like you wouldn't believe, and nor should you try to kill them either.

    A, because humans are actually adjusted to live with lots of germs on our skin and we even depend on them to stay healthy, and...

    B, killing germs help make them stronger and harder to kill, because not all germs will die and those who survive will spread their superior genes to their descendants. Therefore, don't buy, or use anti-bacterial ANYTHING, unless you're a surgeon and are scrubbing in for an operation or something like that. That means no anti-bacterial soap, dishwashing liquid, cleaning spray, mouthwash, toothpaste and so on. All of that junk just toughen those little buggers up more and make the dangerous bacteria even more dangerous.

    Theoretically btw, chemical products might wipe off the print on the keyboard keys. Product manuals typically discourage the use of any volatile solvents (such as alcohol, or thinner) for this reason. Some volatiles will actually attack the plastic itself, although alcohol probably isn't strong enough to do that.
  6. macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2006
    Bah! Don't even give it a second thought. I use isopryl alcohol (90%) to clean my keyboards all the time. It makes them look like new. I've also used it to clean up grimy spots on white MacBooks with excellent results.

    Basically rubbing alcohol + a ton of q-tips = squeaky clean keyboards.

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