How to Clean Under a Macbook Keyboard

Updated: Jul 5, 2023 6:10 PM
how to clean under macbook keyboard
Difficulty Medium
Steps 6
Time Required 90 minutes
Tools Needed Brush, Key Removal Tool, Rubbing Alcohol, Screwdriver, Towel

Apple users are often convinced they have the best keyboards on the block. But regardless of your technological allegiance, every keyboard gets dirty. And one thing any computer owner should know is how to clean under keyboard keys. But, right now, we’re going to focus specifically on Apple users as we detail below how to clean under a MacBook keyboard.


  • You can remove a Macbook key by gently prying off the cap’s clips attached to the switches.
  • Once removed, use a brush or cotton swab to clean any food crumbs or dried liquid from the switches. Then soak, clean, and dry the caps.
  • Reapply the caps, being careful not to damage the clips or switches.

And our love for Apple users doesn’t stop here. You can check out our other article that explains how to fix a Macbook keyboard and tips on replacing your Macbook keyboard.

How to Get Crumbs Out of a Mac Keyboard

Whether you’ve spilled a sugary macchiato all over your keyboard or just have one cranky key, it’s every computer owner’s burden to clean their device. And sometimes, it takes more than blowing some compressed air and calling it a day. However, cleaning underneath your keys isn’t too hard once you know what you’re doing. And that’s why we’re here.

Insider Tip

Either take a picture of the keyboard before removing the keycaps or pull up a picture of the keyboard design on your phone, so you know where each key goes when reapplying.

Suppose there’s something wrong with your Apple keyboard so that it’s not working whatsoever. In that case, we also have an article that explains how to connect a keyboard to a Mac.


Remove the keys by pressing one finger on the top of the keycaps; with your other hand, take your key removal tool and place it slightly under the key. As you press down with your finger, gently pry upwards with the tool to remove the two sets of clips that attach the key to the switch.


Repeat step 1 for as many keys as you need to clean. Remember that the space bar will be the most complicated key to remove because there will be additional clips and support bars underneath. And if you accidentally damage it, we have you covered on how to fix the spacebar on a keyboard.


Be incredibly careful when working around the key switches; they are delicate and easily broken.


Once the keys are removed, add a little of the rubbing alcohol on the brush and clean the keyboard switches. Reapply isopropyl alcohol to the toothbrush as needed.


Soak the keycaps in hot water to loosen any surface dirt or stubborn grime. After soaking for a couple of minutes, brush them off until any dirt particles.


Place the keys on a towel or dry cloth. Make sure they are completely dry before reinstalling the keycaps.


Gently reinsert each keycap into the clips. Press each key to ensure that each sits correctly in the slot.

STAT: Research has found that keyboards have around 20,000 more germs than the average toilet seat. (source)


How do you disinfect a laptop keyboard?

Use a damp cloth or paper towel with rubbing alcohol and gently glide it across the top of the keys.

Is it necessary to perform keyboard cleaning?

Cleaning is necessary to preserve your computer’s mechanical function and overall health.

What to avoid when cleaning your keyboard?

Avoid using water or any excessive cleaning solution when cleaning your keyboard.

Nathan Rizzuti Avatar