Unveiling Hidden Secrets: How to Clean Under Your MacBook Keyboard with Confidence

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Keeping a clean MacBook keyboard is essential for ensuring optimal performance and longevity of your device. However, cleaning under the keys can pose certain challenges due to their delicate nature and the possibility of causing damage. This article outlines various techniques that will guide you on how to clean under MacBook keyboard effectively, safely, and efficiently.

Gather Your Materials

Before you begin cleaning under your MacBook keyboard, it is essential to gather the required materials, such as:

Soft brush or compressed air

Both of these tools are excellent for removing dust and debris from the keyboard without damaging any components.

Cotton swabs or microfiber cloth

These will be used for cleaning under the keycaps, as they are gentle and effective at picking up dirt and grime.

Isopropyl alcohol or another electronics-safe cleaner

These solutions are crucial for cleaning under the keys, as they will not damage any electronics.

Preparation for Cleaning

Before diving into the cleaning process, ensure your MacBook is prepared correctly:

Turn off your MacBook and unplug from power

Disconnecting your MacBook from any power source reduces the risk of damage due to static electricity or liquid spills.

Ensure adequate lighting and a clean workspace

A well-lit work area will make it easier to see dust, debris, and any potentially lost keycaps during the cleaning process.

Consult your MacBook’s instruction manual for any specific cleaning requirements

Your MacBook’s manual may have specific instructions, suggestions, or warnings regarding the keyboard and its keycaps.

Removing Dust and Debris

The first step in cleaning under your MacBook keyboard is to remove any loose dust and debris:

Using a soft brush or compressed air

1. Starting from one corner of the keyboard
2. Moving in a zigzag pattern

This method helps you get rid of visible dust and debris quickly and efficiently.

Tilt your MacBook at a slight angle to help debris fall out

This step aids in the further removal of dust and debris that may be lodged between the keys.

Repeat the process until most dust and debris are removed

It may take several attempts to ensure your keyboard is free of dust and debris before proceeding to clean under the keys.

Cleaning Under the Specific Keys

To thoroughly clean under MacBook keyboard, you may need to remove and clean under specific keys:

Identify which keys are particularly dirty or sticky

Pay close attention to any sticky or unresponsive keys, as these may require additional cleaning beneath the keycap.

Refer to your MacBook’s instruction manual for proper key removal

The manual will provide the correct method for safely removing and replacing the keycaps on your specific MacBook model.

Gently remove the keycap using a key puller or small screwdriver

Remove the keycap carefully to avoid damaging the delicate mechanism beneath.

Using a cotton swab or microfiber cloth, gently clean the area beneath the keycap

1. Use isopropyl alcohol or another electronics-safe cleaner if necessary

This step helps remove any grime or residues that may be affecting the key’s performance.

Allow the area beneath the keycap to dry completely before reassembling

Giving adequate drying time ensures that no moisture remains beneath the keycap, which can cause damage over time.

Reassembling Your Keyboard

Once the cleaning process is complete, it’s time to reassemble your MacBook keyboard:

Gently snap the keycap back into place

Make sure the keycap clicks back into its original position securely and without resistance.

Ensure that the removed keys work and feel normal before continuing with other keys

It’s essential to test the keys to ensure they function correctly and have a standard feel upon reattachment.

Repeat steps V and VI for any additional keys that need cleaning

If multiple keys require cleaning, follow the same process for each key.

Maintaining a Clean Keyboard

To keep your MacBook keyboard in optimal condition, consider these maintenance tips:

Regularly use compressed air or a soft brush to remove dust

Regular dust removal helps prevent dirt and debris from building up and causing issues in the long run.

Avoid eating and drinking near your MacBook

Preventing spills and food crumbs is crucial in maintaining the cleanliness of your MacBook keyboard.

Use a keyboard protector to prevent dirt and debris from entering

A keyboard protector is an inexpensive and effective way to keep your MacBook keyboard clean and safe from potential damage.


In conclusion, understanding how to clean under MacBook keyboard is vital in maintaining your device’s performance and longevity. Regular maintenance, coupled with proactive measures such as using a keyboard protector, can help keep your keyboard clean and functional. As an added bonus, having a clean keyboard may also help clear up any writer’s block you might have!


1. How often should I clean under my MacBook keyboard?

The cleaning frequency depends on how often you use your MacBook and the environment it’s used in. Generally, it is a good idea to clean under the keys every 3 to 6 months.

2. Can I use water to clean under the keys?

It is not recommended to use water, as it can damage the internal components. Instead, use isopropyl alcohol or another electronics-safe cleaner for safety.

3. Do I need to remove all the keycaps while cleaning?

It is not necessary to remove all the keycaps; however, you should focus on cleaning under any dirty, sticky, or unresponsive keys.

4. Can I use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust?

It is not recommended to use a vacuum cleaner, as it can create static electricity that may damage your MacBook. Stick to compressed air or a soft brush.

5. Can I wash my keycaps in water?

Yes, you can wash the keycaps in water but ensure they are completely dry before reattaching them to the keyboard.

6. Can I use a disinfecting wipe to clean the keys and keyboard surface?

Yes, you can use a disinfecting wipe for surface cleaning, but avoid excessive moisture that may seep under the keycaps.

7. What should I do if my keys become unresponsive after cleaning?

If your keys become unresponsive after cleaning, ensure that the keycaps are correctly reattached and that the area underneath is dry. If the problem persists, consult an authorized Apple technician or support for assistance.