Methods for cleaning the Apple Aluminum Keyboard

xXriderXx7

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 6, 2007
715
0
Lake Elsinore, California
After having purchased a wired Apple Aluminum keyboard, I noticed there were no screws or rivets. So I did a quick search and discovered that glue was the main binding agent, and that disassembly of the keyboard is nearly impossible, well, you could disassemble it, but it most likely would never see the light of a caps lock key again.

So, to all of you that are the proud owners of either the wired or wireless versions, what is your preferred methods of keeping this baby clean?
 

vohdoun

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2006
1,035
0
Far away from Earth.
Hoover and air cans. Always has been with any keyboard, but I find these Apple keyboards get nowhere dirty as what others do. Usually a wipe down with a light damp cloth, even if that.

Whether that has something to do with the fact I don't eat, smoke, drink or anything near the keyboard. Hands on only. Plus the fact its that far away from below my head that nothing should there, be it if anything that would fall.
 

swingerofbirch

macrumors 68040
I have one of those keyboards with my iMac. My keyboard doesn't get dirty in that you don't see dirt on it, but I do sterilize it from time to time. I buy a big pack of alcohol swabs from Costco that I use to clean such things. I'm a bit (OK, a lot OCD about germs). They work very well for the keyboard--for some surfaces they are too caustic, but once they dry, the keyboard looks exactly the same, and the alcohol should kill almost all the germs on it. I also use them on my cordless phone and cell phone. The only surface it has eaten away at is my Logitech MX400 mouse--the rubber on the sides of it apparently doesn't tolerate the alcohol and has started to flake off.

What sort of dirt do you have on your keyboard? I could give a more specific recommendation based on the type of cleaning problem you have.
 

xXriderXx7

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 6, 2007
715
0
Lake Elsinore, California
I dont really have a specific problem.
But I recently disassembled my plexi Apple keyboard, and realized I have no way of doing this to the Alu.

I guess my biggest concern is hair under the keys, as I have semi long hair, and that was the predominant artifact in my previous keyboard.

I think Im going to pick up a six pack of the air spray cans, and possibly some alcohol swabs.
 

Hmac

macrumors 68020
May 30, 2007
2,128
2
Midwest USA
I have one of those keyboards with my iMac. My keyboard doesn't get dirty in that you don't see dirt on it, but I do sterilize it from time to time. I buy a big pack of alcohol swabs from Costco that I use to clean such things. I'm a bit (OK, a lot OCD about germs). They work very well for the keyboard--for some surfaces they are too caustic, but once they dry, the keyboard looks exactly the same, and the alcohol should kill almost all the germs on it.
Isopropyl alcohol is only a fair antiseptic solution - it works against bacteria to some degree, but isn't very effective at all against viruses. Since viruses on your keyboard are far more of a problem to your health than bacteria, you're really not helping yourself much, except that alcohol is a pretty good cleaner. You can take comfort in that, I guess, but if you want to kill harmful "germs", you're better off using Lysol or similar surface disinfectants. Don't fool yourself - you're not even close to "sterilizing" your keyboard.

I realize that with OCD, you're treating your mental state rather than your physiology. And that's OK...you're are very unlikely to get any health problems from your keyboard anyway.
 

Mydel

macrumors 6502a
Apr 8, 2006
728
431
Sometimes here mostly there
70% alcohol will do pretty god job. But if you wanna sterile...hmmm I suggest to autoclave it. Just not quite sure if it's gonna work afterwards.
But I just use iKlear once in a week or so. Seems to do pretty good job.
 

swingerofbirch

macrumors 68040
Isopropyl alcohol is only a fair antiseptic solution - it works against bacteria to some degree, but isn't very effective at all against viruses. Since viruses on your keyboard are far more of a problem to your health than bacteria, you're really not helping yourself much, except that alcohol is a pretty good cleaner. You can take comfort in that, I guess, but if you want to kill harmful "germs", you're better off using Lysol or similar surface disinfectants. Don't fool yourself - you're not even close to "sterilizing" your keyboard.

I realize that with OCD, you're treating your mental state rather than your physiology. And that's OK...you're are very unlikely to get any health problems from your keyboard anyway.


Interesting, I didn't know that! I'm somewhat lucky (or cursed) in that I also have phobias about chemicals and that balances out my phobia of germs. For example, I won't use antibacterial soaps that have Tricoslan. I'll just wash my hands with Method soap, and if they feel really dirty then use a small amount of alcohol on them. I like rubbing alcohol because I feel like I know what it is. That lysol stuff--I really don't know what's in it. Rubbing alcohol seems very elemental and has been around for a long time.
 

Big-TDI-Guy

macrumors 68030
Jan 11, 2007
2,606
11
Vacuum with bristle brush attachment - will work great.

I'd just advise unplugging your keyboard before cleaning like this - as vacuum hoses and fast moving dry air can generate a pretty decent charge. (better off safe than having ESD damage to your MB)

I only use IPA on my keyboard because it helps with the trac-stick when it gets oily.
 

juanster

macrumors 68020
Mar 2, 2007
2,238
0
toronto
i just spary a lot of iklear on it and just rub it all down,,, works very well i mak esure its unplugged and allow it to air dry befor eplugging it back in...looks like new everytime i do it..
 

08mxkfx

macrumors regular
Oct 4, 2007
222
0
Top rack of dishwasher. No detergent, low (or no) heat drying. Let it dry out for a few days before plugging in.
HAHA i thought i was alone by using the dishwasher to clean mine. Most electronics dont have problems with getting them wet aslong as they have no power to them and you give them plenty of time to dry.
 

SnowLeopard2008

macrumors 604
Jul 4, 2008
6,773
8
Silicon Valley
well I had a sticky space bar, i lifted the top of the space bar, but i was cautious to see that its mechanism wasn't the same as the other keys that the were able to be popped off in the guide. so i lifted it enough to be stuck with a can of compressed air, the little tube to go in. Let it blast and moving it from side to side. Now my space bars works perfectly and is nice and crisp. heck, I'm typed like 2x faster since i dont have to worry about if the space was registered or not. just a small note to others. i had trouble finding this thread even though i posted before. LOL :D
 

eckndu

macrumors member
Jun 20, 2008
98
1
you can wash the keyboard no problem. iv done it twice, run it under tab water and rub out any harden dirt
first time i wasnt expecting to use it for a few months so i just washed it and put it away.
this time it was so dirty i had to wash it, i let it dry, yesterday i plug it in and there was no response, today i tryed again and it's back to work.
you just really have to let it dry for good, and it will back to work no problem.
 

heinet

macrumors newbie
Sep 5, 2008
5
0
Getting rid of grime on keys

I just used dry-erase board cleaner (Expo brand) and it worked like a charm. I misted the keyboard directly from about 10" (25cm) and wiped up with a paper towel. All the dirt and oils were gone and it looked like new. Best to do this while off.
 

hydeca

macrumors newbie
Aug 7, 2009
1
0
Unplug the keyboard and mouse. Soak a clean lint-free cloth in hot water and wring it out thoroughly. Wipe the keyboard and mouse clean (particularly the track ball of the mouse). Plug the keyboard and mouse back in and continue using your mac.

I strongly recommend against putting a keyboard (or any other electronic device) in a dishwasher. Keyboards are not designed to handle being saturated with near-boiling water, nor is there any common sense to a cleaning method that involves a lengthy period for the keyboard to dry out before it (hopefully) works again.

Also if you're having problems with the mouse track ball, turn the mouse upside down and operate the track ball vigorously for a while; this usually clears any dirt that has built up in the sensors. Cleaning it regularly as recommended above is the best option to prevent that happening in the first place.
 

geminixx

macrumors newbie
Nov 3, 2009
2
0
Cleaning Apple aluminum keyboard

My keys were horrible grimed.

After unplugging the keyboard, I used a soft cloth lightly misted with:
"Woolite Oxy Deep Power Shot" carpet cleaner (aerosol).

After about five minutes of gentle wiping, the keyboard looked good as new, and was able to be used right away.
 

RichardI

macrumors 6502a
Feb 21, 2007
568
5
Southern Ontario, Canada
I use isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) 70% solution from my local drug store. Oh and and good old cotton swabs. Don't use too much alcohol - it should not run. Best part is, even if it does run, it evaporates very quickly. Be sure you use a lint free cloth if you decide to do a large area. You can do all the keys at once.

Rich :cool:
 

iCheddar

macrumors 6502a
Apr 30, 2007
662
12
South Dakota
I just run it under water in the sink. I use a microfiber cloth when I do.

Run it under the water, cleans the whole thing in a minute or two. Then I just let it set overnight or so. Works like a charm.
 

Gonzo3333

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2009
544
0
Chicago, IL
I use Clorox bleach wipes that come in the round container. It works wonders, if the keys get a little bit dirty this takes care of it in a wipe or two. I use them to combat the H1N1 on all of my equipment at work that other people may touch especially my telephone and mouse.