Why Keyboards Get Oily (Cleaning Tips)

why keyboards get oily

Whether you’re a seasoned computer user or a casual gamer, no one will deny that computers are not complete without a keyboard. The keyboard is at the heart of the action for every digital-related activity, quite literally central to everything. That makes it vitally important that keyboards always feel clean and responsive to allow you to do your best work.

However, sometimes keyboards get oily. You may wonder why keyboards get oily? It happens due to several factors like eating while using the computer, sweaty fingers, and lack of regular maintenance. 

This article will explain the reasons why keyboards get oil. It will also brief about the methods on how to clean the greasy keyboards. Let’s dig deep into the reasons and solutions for oily keyboards.

Reasons Why Keyboards get Oily

Have you ever noticed that the keys on your keyboard are shiny and sticky? If you’ve been using the same keyboard for a while, this is undoubtedly the case. Use it enough, and everything wears out over time. 

It doesn’t only apply to keyboards; everything generally gets worn out after being used. There could be several reasons why keyboards get oil; let’s compare them.

1. Eating oily foods while using the keyboard

It is uncommon for a normal user to eat food and work on the keyboard. However, gamers and office-going people habit using the keyboard while eating food. The food particles and oily fingers can contribute to oily keycaps.

If it is oily food like French fries, fried chicken, or any other, there are chances that keyboards can get oily. It happens when you don’t wipe your fingers properly, and the residual oil on them transfers to the keycaps.

2. Sweaty Fingers

In summer, when it becomes too humid and hot outside, we tend to get sweatier than usual. It is particularly evident at our fingertips and in our hands if you’re typing up long emails or documents while at home or in the office on a warm day. Your keyboard may start getting a little oily because of all this moisture.

Like the oils in your skin and nails, the sweat from your fingers can seep down into your computer’s keyboard and give it an oily texture. It makes cleaning up a hassle because you have to ensure that every oil speck is wiped away.

Also Read: What Does Backlit Keyboard Mean

3. Ignoring Regular Cleaning

If you don’t clean your keyboard regularly, you risk it getting coated with a greasy residue, making typing even less enjoyable. If your keys are growing sticky, something is most definitely causing it to happen.

How to Clean Oily Keyboard

You’re probably going to find tons of helpful facts and tips on how to properly clean your oily keyboard on the internet. But most of that information isn’t very reliable. I decided to list the actual steps you can use to clean your computer keyboard.

1. Clean with a Warm Cloth

The simple and most convenient way to clean the oily keyboard is by cleaning it with a warm cloth. It will remove the greasiness from the keys and give them a clean look. Here are the steps to clean the oily keyboard with a warm cloth.

Here are the steps to clean the keyboard:

  • Take a warm bowl of water and dip a cleaning cloth in it.
  • Soak it unstill it absorbs the warmness.
  • Now switch the keyboard off or unplug it.
  • Drain the excess water from the cloth and rub it on the keyboard to remove the oil and grease.
  • Do the first round and rub all over the keyboard, then completely clean the oil off the keyboard.

2. Clean with Water and Detergent

It is another conventional method to clean off the oil and grease from the keyboard. Here are the steps to perform the cleaning:

  • Take a bowl of water and put an adequate amount of detergent.
  • Mix the detergent well and dip a cleaning cloth in the bowl.
  • Drain the excess water and rub the cloth all over the keyboard.
  • The detergent mixture will clean off the debris and clean the oily surface.
  • Clean the keyboard with a cloth dipped in clean water and dry it.

3. Use Isopropyl Alcohol

It is one of the safest methods how to clean finger oil from the keyboard as Isopropyl Alcohol is volatile. It is odorless and dries off easily to clean the oil from the keyboard. Here is a look at the process:

  • Switch off the keyboard or unplug it from the computer.
  • Take a cotton swab or small cloth.
  • Dip the swab into the Alcohol and rub it over all the keyboard keys.
  • It will take a while to remove some hardened spots.
  • Once done with the first round, do a second round if necessary.
  • Now take a clean and dry cloth to clean the keyboard surface.
  • Enjoy a cleaned keyboard surface without any grease or oil.


By Brandon S. Lee

Hi, My name Brandon S.Lee and I am a professional Gamer, I also worked with the keyboard making company called Logitech. I was the quality check manager of the Logitech keyboard department. Here we have a team of people who researched on the keyboards, talked with keyboard users and analyzes the user reviews and then write the product reviews.

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