How to Clean PBT Keycaps

Two Methods on How to Clean PBT Keycaps: Do-It-Yourself

Nothing irritates more than a dirty keypad when working or playing a game. It’s safe to say that almost all dirt particles can be found under your backlit keys. You won’t even notice when your keycaps are drowning in your hair. Or even the fur of your pet.

So, want to know how to clean PBT keycaps? 

You can clean PBT keycaps regularly with a damped cloth or rubbing alcohol. A vacuum is a good option for a quick jiffy clean-up. Other than that for deep cleaning pulling up keycaps with a wire keycap lifter will make it easy. Then a warm water bath in a bowl can properly clean your keycaps

Even so, this isn’t enough. We’ve provided you with more detailed instructions for cleaning your PBT keycaps. Dive right in!

How to Clean PBT Keycaps?

Keycaps are mostly used on a keyboard and are the most prone to filth and dust. Yet so, cleaning keycaps is not hard.  

There’s a chance for dust and gunk to entrap in keyboards even before the switches fail. Cleaning is an important keyboard cleanup task. 

But how to wash PBT keycaps? Even though spills are a different scenario, so they’ll get their catch.

It is best to avoid food around your electronics. For the longevity of your products, it’s important to maintain a few thumb rules. Despite such measures, are PBT keycaps worth it? Are PBT keycaps good?

This will keep food particles racking up, reducing the frequency of keycaps. So you must clean the keycaps. But there’s a huge difference between keycaps PBT vs ABSs. 

Method 1 of 2: Regular Cleaning of Your PBT Keycaps

Cleaning is as necessary as servicing your electronics. If not deep cleaning, you can be at least regular about it. Regularity will ensure that no dirt gets accumulated under the keycaps. 

Thus it will be easier for you to clean afterward. 

Step 1: Vacuum  

This can be done once per week anytime things begin looking filthy. Use a portable vacuum. Vacuum all the dirt around and inside keycaps. You will find many small size vacuums good for your electronics.  

Here are some options for vacuums for your cleaning PBT keycaps.

Product NameFeaturePrice
MECO 4.3kPa Keyboard Cleaner, Rechargeable Mini Vacuum Cleaner65W power motor Suction power of 4.3kPa Grab it Today!
ColorCoral Vacuum Dust CleanerHigh Suction power removes crumbs from keycapsGrab it Today!
Compressed Air Duster & Mini VacuumComes with 100W fast charging Grab it Today!

Remember to not put the suction level on high. Medium to low should be fine for this. Before cleaning the keyboard, make sure it is unplugged. It’s a big precautionary step to follow to check that your keyboard is unplugged before any kind of cleaning. 

You can also sanitize your keycaps instantly with hydrogen peroxide or just rubbing alcohol. 

Step 2: Microfiber Cloth

A damp microfiber cloth can be used to clean the keycaps from the upside. Do not soak your clothes in water. Or else there’s a chance of entering the keyboard and causing damage. 

You can use the MagicFiber Microfiber cloth to clean the keycaps. They leave no scratches like others. You may want to look into damages like why a mechanical keyboard spacebar stopped working.     

You might want to dry it off with another cloth, not a paper towel. If you prefer, you can use a cleaning wipe. Paper towels will have a chance to scratch the keypads. 

Method 2 of 2: Deep Cleaning Your PBT Keycaps

Deep cleaning it of course means extracting every bit to get those nasty things out. Not like a coal mine extraction but rather a simple one. 

You will need a few necessary tools and items for deeply cleaning your PBT keycaps. Some of the tools are microfibre cloth, soap, warm water, and isopropyl alcohol. You should look for electronic cleaner isopropyl alcohols. Like the MG Chemicals.

But most importantly a wire keycap puller in order to remove mechanical keys. You can go with keycap pullers that are specialized for your keyboard. Like the Filco keycap puller is for both mechanical and membrane keyboards.

All these combined will make your cleaning process efficient. Sounds complicated? Well, it is not that complicated. So let’s hop into details. 

Step 1: Remember Not to Mess Up 

How long do PBT keycaps last? These are really to get lost.

So take a picture first! So you can recall where each key goes. You don’t want to overlook this setup when it’s time to replace the keycaps.

If you can’t take one, look up any image of a similar keyboard on the internet. So you know the right place for keycaps. 

Step 2: Use a Wire Keycap Lifter

Now the very step is to use the keycap lifter to extract all of the backlit keys. Here we strongly advise you to use an aluminum keycap lifter. Like the U-K keycap lifter.

Source: amazon

Aplastic keycap puller frequently causes abrasions on the keycaps. You can look into other options of the keyboard other than PBT. Like wood or aluminum keyboard cases, it serves pretty well. 

Using a lifter is more secure than using a screwdriver. Keycap lifters made of the cord are less likely to scrape the buttons than plastic.   

They are easy to use and have a hold and have two-wire branching. For this, you have to place the cord loops on the key diagonally. 

Opposite to each other and gently loosen up back and forth while holding up. Then gently pull.

Step 3: Soak the Keycaps

So when you are done picking up all the keycaps. Now you want to put them in a warm, not hot water bowl. 

Remember not to put any hard soap as they can erase the alphabet on keycaps. You may add mild detergent tablets to the bowl as well. This will make it easier to extract excess oil from keys.

Do white PBT keycaps get dirty? They do! Even if you are worried about how to clean your white PBT keycaps. These tablets will work wonders. 

Dish detergent is yet another alternative, but it might be more difficult to rinse. Bleach should not be used because it can cause colors to fade.

Dipping the keys in hot water for about 6 hours can help eliminate dirt. Washing it removes dirt particles that stick to the keys. 

Later allow you to dry them afterward effortlessly. Hope this answers your query about how to wash PBT keycaps

Step 4: Clean the Keycaps 

The keycaps have been soaked in warm water. Now, rinse the keycaps in the sink thoroughly. 

You can use a strainer for this step. If there’s still grime on any of the keycaps, use a toothbrush to scrub it off.

The last step you have to do is to clean all the keycaps. Use a cloth or thin towel. Make sure all parts of the keycaps are cleaned evenly. 

So that dust and dirt are not left. Do this for each soaked keycap. After you clean the keycaps, let them dry for a while before you put them back on your keyboard.

Step 5: Do Not Rush Now! 

A common mistake is attaching keycaps right after washing. Your keycaps could be still damp. If you attach it to your keyboard, water in the electricity passing can cause defaults. 

Allow the keycaps to completely dry. Keep it on air, anywhere a bit sunny. Some even try to use a blow-dryer to quicken up the process. Make sure to dry the keycaps so the moisture can dry up.

You should leave those out for at least 1 day. Ensure that they are fully dry and will not seriously harm your electronics. 


How to reset a keyboard?

To reset your keyboard console to standard mode, try pressing the ctrl and shift keys simultaneously. You can try shifting again if it’s still the same.

Is it possible to replace buttons on any keypad?

Any key pair with the same shape can be replaced. For instance, if your “T” key became stuck or lost, you could use the Windows key to substitute it.

Is it normal for PBT keycaps to yellow over time?

PBT, unlike ABS, doesn’t quite turn yellow when exposed to UV radiation. Because of its resistance to heat, it is an excellent fit for coloring in a steamy dye solution.


That’s all it is from our end. Hopefully, this guide has answered your question about how to clean PBT keycaps.

Also, keep your safety in mind when working with electronic goods.

We look forward to seeing you for the next one!

Best wishes!

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