How To Clean a Macbook Keyboard

Apple’s MacBook design makes it easy to transport and use anywhere. From in the office to on the train, it is undeniable that despite every effort to maintain a clean keyboard, it will inevitably collect the debris of your day-to-day life. This article will show you how to keep a clean keyboard enabling it to run smoother and prolonging the brand new Mac feeling. 

Cleaning your keyboard 

Here are the dos and don’t when it comes to cleaning your MacBook keyboard.

Preparation- You will need a can of compressed air and if you want a deeper clean, use a lint-free cloth and disinfectant wipes. This type of clean is recommended every 3 months or so.

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Before cleaning your keyboard, ensure you unplug your computer from any power source, remove any accessories and shut down.


Step 1- Insert the straw that comes with the compressed air. Keep the straw half an inch away from the keyboard when you spray it to avoid damaging your MacBook keyboard.

Step 2- First, open your MacBook and rotate it to about 75 degrees facing the screen downwards, then spray the compressed air left to right across the keyboard in a zig-zag motion. Do not tilt the can upside down or liquid will come out and could damage the keyboard.

Step 3- Rotate your MacBook again, turning it, so the keyboard is on its right side. Then spray in the same motion onto the keyboard, turn your MacBook to the other side and repeat. 

Step 4- You can use a lint-free cloth and disinfectant wipes to remove surface grime. Make sure the wipe is not too wet and has fully dried before powering on the MacBook again, leaving it in a dry room with ventilation for 30 mins can speed things up.

What can cause MacBook keyboard issues? 

The most common reason for a keyboard fault is debris that accumulates around the keys.


Software issues can also affect the keyboard. Try updating your MacBook to the most recent macOS, and delete the recently installed app as there’s a possibility that your keyboard isn’t working due to a new app interfering with it.

Sometimes MacBook keyboards stop working because they are broken beyond just a stuck key if the keyboard circuitry beneath is shorted by water. If Liquid gets inside a MacBook it can not only damage the keyboard but the logic board also. If this is the case, you will need to contact a logic board repair specialist

In 2015 and 2016, Apple introduced the butterfly mechanism keyboards. However, several members have reported issues with keys repeatedly not working, and in worse scenarios, spacebar or shift keys have stopped working. This problem arises when a spec of dust gets under a key, which prevents the key from registering; unfortunately, the entire keyboard will need replacing if you cannot remove the dust/debris.

Although Apple acknowledged the flaw and has been offering free repairs to customers who have been affected by the butterfly keyboard. Apple has listed the model affected by the fault on their website. However, if your MacBook isn’t on the list, unfortunately, Apple doesn’t offer repairs, only replacements, so if that is not what you’re looking for, you will need to contact an Apple Repairs specialist.


When to get a new keyboard

Hopefully, the fixes in this article have worked for you. However, if not, and your keyboard is still unresponsive, you may have to look into getting professional help, as fixing a broken keyboard can be difficult. 

There are a few indicators that your keyboard has reached the end of its life:


  • Multiple keys stuck / broken or typing multiple characters

This could be a sign of wear or excessive buildup from dirt and debris.

  • If your keyboard has suffered water damage

Liquid damage can be severe if it gets into the logic board – not only will your keyboard be unusable, multiple other components will be faulty – for more information on logic boards, check out our blog!

  • If your keys are worn down

 Heavy-handed when pressing down on keys? Doing this will inevitably damage your keyboard over time and lead to stuck and defective keys,

  • Touch Bar is broken

The touch bar is vital on your MacBook keyboard as it’s arguably one of the MacBook’s most unique features. It allows for shortcuts and replaces functioning keys that were previously included in the keyboard, and if defective, a repair is necessary. 

  • The logic board is damaged

A faulty logic board may cause your keyboard to malfunction and many other MacBook components. You may also have problems charging your device, and in the worst case, your MacBook might not turn on.

As annoying as a broken keyboard is, remember that repairs are best left to professionals to prevent more damage to your device. You can always try connecting to an external keyboard as a quick temporary fix.

If you’re concerned that the issue is more complex than just your keyboard, take your MacBook to a logic board repair specialist. Investigation and diagnosis of the logic board by a professional may explain why your MacBook keyboard is faulty.



Regular cleaning of your keyboard may seem like a mundane task but is necessary to avoid damage to your MacBook and avoid premature faults. If your keyboard is faulty beyond at-home procedures, it’s best to bring your laptop in for professional help, as complications may occur. 

Mail it in or drop it off to us for servicing or repair!


If you are unfortunately experiencing Keyboard issues, and looking for repairs, look at what we offer or use our mail-in service, where you can send in your MacBook from anywhere across the UK! If you reside in Milton Keynes or nearby areas such as Bedford or Northampton, you can book in and make an appointment with our expert team to diagnose and repair your MacBook.


Please look at the other services that we offer on our website for any Apple product queries and repairs.

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