How to Clean a MacBook Keyboard

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Updated July 22, 2022

If you’re guilty of eating over your laptop while working, studying, or doom-scrolling on Twitter, you would be wise to consider cleaning it. Not even the best keyboards are immune to crumbs, dust, or any other form of debris particle there might be out there. So, for those of you who use Apple products, below, we will show you how to clean a MacBook keyboard the right way.


  • Cleaning your Apple computer’s keyboard is an essential routine maintenance measure that can help preserve the device’s good health.
  • Apple recommends using a can of condensed air and a microfiber cloth to clean a MacBook keyboard.
  • Flip your MacBook at a 75-degree angle and spray it with the condensed air, then flip it on each side and spray again.

Of course, if you don’t use Apple, that’s okay. No matter the type of keyboard you have, we have an article covering how to clean laptop keyboards that will help.

Learning to Clean Your MacBook Keyboard

Given how pricey the brand’s equipment is, how to clean a mechanical keyboard is something every Apple user should know how to do. And the good news is that keeping your keyboard clean is a super easy process and doesn’t take long to complete. So whether you have the MacBook Air or Pro, follow the instructions below for a laptop keyboard so clean you could (but shouldn’t) eat off it.

Insider Tip

Don’t invert the can of compressed air while spraying.

Sometimes, cleaning the keyboard can accidentally activate some weird settings. For this issue, we have an article on how to change your keyboard back to normal. For further information on Apple products, check out our guide covering how to connect a keyboard to an iPad.


Turn off your device, and remove any cables (power adapter, headphones, charging cables, etc.).


Take the can of compressed air and insert the straw into the nozzle.


Take the computer from the bass and hold it at an angle. The manufacturer recommends 75 degrees, so the keyboard is on edge but not quite vertical and that the screen is facing downwards.


Using the can of compressed air, spray in a motion from left to right. Do this one time across the keyboard and one time back again.


Turn the computer on its right side and repeat the spraying motion. Then turn it on its left side and repeat.


Using the lint-free cloth, wipe the exterior surfaces, focusing on any keys that might have an extra grime build-up. For extra cleaning power, you can take the cloth and swab with isopropyl alcohol (use 70%).


Never spray liquid cleaner directly onto your keyboard. Directly applying the spray can get liquid between the keys and permanently damage your keyboard.


Can alcohol clean a MacBook Pro keyboard?

Rubbing alcohol is recommended by Apple to help with keyboard cleaning. But to avoid liquid damage, avoid applying it directly.

Can you use a cotton swab to clean a keyboard?

Rubbing alcohol along with a cotton swab or clean cloth is a great way to clean some of the harder-to-reach areas on a keyboard.

Why do MacBooks turn on when you clean them?

Macbooks do this because they are built to power on whenever they are opened or if trackpad/keys are triggered.

STAT: A study revealed that about 40% of students use MacBooks, and another 31% use PC but wish they used MacBooks. (source)

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