It is actually fairly simple to maintain a laptop keyboard. The issue is most people don’t care or may not know that it’s possible to take care of a laptop keyboard. How exactly do you make your laptop keyboard last longer and survive the test of time?
What should you do if your laptop keyboard is already looking pretty rough? We collected 10 tips to keep your laptop keyboard affairs in order and keep your machine in mint condition.
1. Use a Keyboard Cover
The keyboard cover is very important for its use. A keyboard cover is able to protect the laptop keyboard from dust and liquids. The price of a keyboard cover varies depending on the type of laptop keyboard you have.
Fortunately, laptop keyboard covers are generally sold at low prices and you can often order them from online stores for even lower prices. Preventing dust from seeping under the keys is a very useful practice in the long run.
It will prevent the keys from getting stuck or losing contact with the PCB. Another plus side for many keyboard covers is that they stay on while typing, making it softer and more comfortable for the fingers to type.
2. Don’t Push the Keys Too Hard
Actually the laptop keyboard has a different pressure limit when compared to custom mechanical keyboards.
In order to maintain your laptop keyboard, avoid pressing the keys too hard. This is usually an issue for gamers as they are too focused in the head of the moment. Some professional typists can also get in to the bad habit of typing very hard when they try to type faster.
If you press a laptop key too hard it can cause the laptop keyboard to become damaged quicker and it will slowly lose its durability.
This is no longer an issue if you just press the keyboard in a normal fashion and try not to use excessive force when working with the keyboard.
We’ve got a great guide showcasing what kind of laptop keyboards you might want to get for your specific needs.
3. Use an External Keyboard
If you are a gamer or type for a living, you should thing about using an external keyboard.
This way even if you press the keys too hard, the external keyboard will be the one feeling the heat, not the one on your laptop.
Replacing an external keyboard is always cheaper than trying to get a laptop keyboard fixed. For most cases, we recommend getting a Bluetooth keyboard alongside your laptop as they’re more portable and can be moved to an optimal position next to the laptop.
We’ve made a post comparing all different types of keyboards so you can figure out which one is the most optimal for you.
4. Using the On-Screen Keyboard
If you don’t have time or money to buy a USB keyboard but you really really need a different keyboard for typing, then try using an on-screen keyboard.
In order to use it you can navigate to Start > Programs > Accessories > Accessibility, then select On-Screen Keyboard.
This On-Screen Keyboard functions like an ordinary keyboard, but you must operate it using a mouse or touch pad. It can be quite inconvenient, but it’s very useful in the few special cases where you don’t have easy access to another keyboard.
It is also a lot easier to use on a touch screen system. This will help maintain your laptop keyboard as it gets less worn over time.
5. Don’t Put Heavy Objects on the Laptop Keyboard
If you put a heavy object on top of a laptop keyboard, it will not only put strain and pressure on the keys and springs but also to other components.
This includes things like coffee cups or schoolbooks. In most cases a laptops internal components are located directly under the keyboard.
This can be an issue, as the top side of laptop keyboards don’t contain hard plastic like the sides and the bottom.
This is not a very common reason for a laptop keyboard to be damaged. However it is a good idea to keep this in mind just in case.
6. Dust Off the Keys and Key Switch Gaps
This step won’t be as necessary once you start taking advantage of a keyboard cover. Laptops are massive dust magnets as they’re often left sitting closed for a while. If forgotten on a desk or sometimes even on the floor, they will accumulate dust fast.
Even when in active use, they key caps and especially the small gaps between the keys gather a lot of dirt and dust. The debris can slowly start seeping under the key caps on to the components which can cause overhearing and other issues that are nearly impossible to fix.
The easy solution is to dust off your keyboard very often with a dust bunny or a cloth of some kind. If you notice there’s a lot of dirt or dust, you can even use some blu-tack or tape to sticky the dust onto and easily pull it out.
Don’t use liquids to clean the dust off or you might risk damaging the laptop or they keyboard even further. On mechanical keyboards you can remove your keycaps and clean those with water instead, which is one of the most effective ways to maintain your laptop keyboard.
7. Don’t use Liquids to Clean the Laptop Keyboard or Screen
The screen is probably the most noticeable part of the laptop to get dirty. The first solution for most people is to just grab a wet rag and rinse it off. This is a pretty bad idea in most cases, as many screens can’t handle moisture.
The issue also persist that you risk water damage to the keyboard. This can happen while cleaning the screen as moisture can drop down on the keyboard.
When closing the lid, any moisture from the screen will be touching the keys. You need to ensure everything has fully dried before closing the laptop lid.
Some cleaning solutions are specially made for laptop screen or monitor cleaning. They consist of ingredients that don’t affect the electric components of the laptop.
You can use a screen cleaning solution with a cleaning cloth. Check out this guide on how to clean your keyboard properly.
8. Wash your Hands before Typing Extensively
Most people don’t even stop to think about this one. Even if your hands don’t seem dirty, there’s more to it than it seems. You might notice that a few year old keyboards start to lose the tactile surfaces on the keys. The painted lettering on the keyboard keys start to get worn out fast for the most commonly used keys.
This is mostly due to wear from the fingers alongside grease and dirt wiping off your fingertips. In order to better maintain your laptop keyboard, wash your hands with soap before a long typing session.
Although you wont notice a difference while typing, it will be worth it. You will definitely notice the difference in the long run as your keyboard will be cleaner and less worn.
9. Try Voice-to-Text Services to Reduce Typing
This is a fairly new progression in the world of typing. Due to advancements this has become a very viable option the the recent years.
Instead of typing everything manually, you can just talk to your microphone, then your computer will do the typing for you.
Services like Google Docs provide amazingly accurate voice to text completely free. It’s definitely worth a shot as it makes taking notes and article writing so much easier and more fluent. You will also be saving your keyboard and reducing wear.
10. Buy Decals for your Laptop Keys
This last tip is similar to using a basic keyboard cover, but keyboard decals can be very stylish and fancy.
It is very common to see stickers on laptop covers, but most people don’t realize they work great on top of your keyboard keys as well.
The best part is that you never need to worry about removing them. You will definitely stand out from the crowd if you have decal stickers on your keys.
They will also prevent wear on the keys as the sticker will wear first and you can easily replace any worn out stickers.
There is an unlimited supply of different designs of decals so you can take your pick.
Hopefully these 10 tips will help you maintain your laptop keyboard for years to come. Make sure to check out our other laptop maintenance guides.