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How To Clean MacBook Keyboard Sticky Keys

Having a sticky keyboard on your MacBook can be a frustrating experience. It can make typing difficult and cause your keys to stick.

Fortunately, there are some easy steps that you can take to get rid of sticky keys on your MacBook and make your keyboard look and feel like new.

To clean a MacBook keyboard sticky keys, you can use a damp cloth to wipe away any debris and dirt carefully, and then use a cotton swab and a small amount of isopropyl alcohol to rub away any remaining residue gently.

In this article, we will discuss how to clean MacBook keyboard sticky keys so you can get back to typing with ease.

What Causes Sticky Keys on MacBook Keyboards?

How to Clean Macbook Keyboard Sticky Keys

Sticky keys on MacBook keyboards are a common issue caused by various factors. Here are the most common causes of sticky keys on MacBook keyboards:

  1. Dirt and Debris: Dust, crumbs, hair, and other debris can accumulate underneath the keys on your MacBook, making them stick together. This mainly happens if you don’t regularly clean your keyboard.
  2. Spillage: Spillages of liquid, such as water, soda, or coffee, can cause the keys to stick together as the liquid seeps into the cracks between the keys.
  3. Wear and Tear: Over time, the keys on your MacBook can wear down and become loose, which lead to sticking together.
  4. Faulty Hardware: In rare cases, the hardware in your MacBook keyboard may be faulty, causing the keys to stick together.

How To Clean MacBook Keyboard Sticky Keys

How to Clean Macbook Keyboard Sticky Keys

Sticky keys on a MacBook can be a nuisance, making typing difficult and uncomfortable. Fortunately, you can take a few simple steps to clean your MacBook keyboard and get rid of those sticky keys.

Materials Needed

Before you get started, you’ll need a few supplies:

  • An old toothbrush
  • A can of compressed air
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Cotton swabs

After getting the materials above, you can now follow the simple steps below to clean your Macbook sticky keys.

1. Cleaning the Surface

The first step is to clean the surface of the keyboard. In that case, you can use the old toothbrush to gently scrub away any dust or debris accumulated on the keys. However, you should be gentle so you don’t damage the keys.

2. Blow Out the Dust

Once the surface is clean, you can use compressed air to blow out any dust or debris that might be stuck between the keys. Hold the can at an angle so you don’t blow the dust further into the keyboard.

3. Disinfect the Keys

Now it’s time to disinfect the keys. Dilute some isopropyl alcohol with water and use the cotton swabs to wipe down each key. This will help remove any residue that is causing the keys to stick.

4. Allow to Dry

After you’ve wiped down the keys, allow them to dry completely before using the keyboard. This way, you can ensure that the keys are not sticking or uncomfortable.

5. Test the Keys

Once the keys have had time to dry, you can test them by typing on the keyboard. If the keys are still sticking, you may need to repeat the steps above until all the sticky keys have been cleaned.

However, if you have an old typewriter, you can’t follow this cleaning method. In that case, you have to follow the instruction on how to clean an old typewriter.

Common Mistakes People Make When Cleaning MacBook’s Sticky Keys

When it comes to cleaning MacBook, it can be easy to make mistakes that can damage your laptop. Here are some common mistakes people make when cleaning MacBook sticky keys:

Common Mistakes People Make When Cleaning MacBook's Sticky Keys

  1. Using Harsh Cleaning Products: One of the biggest mistakes people make when cleaning MacBooks is using harsh or abrasive cleaning products. These products can damage the finish of the laptop, as well as the keys themselves. Instead, you should opt for mild soap and water or a specialized laptop cleaning product.
  2. Not Turning the Laptop Off: It’s important to turn off your laptop before cleaning it. Not doing so could cause your laptop to malfunction or shut down, leading to further damage.
  3. Using Too Much Liquid: Even if you’re using a mild cleaner, you should still limit the amount of liquid you use. Too much liquid can seep into the laptop and cause damage to the internal components.
  4. Not Drying Thoroughly: After cleaning your laptop, dry it thoroughly with a lint-free cloth. This is because dampness can lead to corrosion and other issues.
  5. Not Cleaning Regularly: To avoid sticky keys, you have to clean your laptop regularly. In that case, you can use a mild cleaner and dry it thoroughly.

How To Avoid Future Sticky MacBook Keys

Having a sticky MacBook key can be extremely annoying, making typing and using your computer difficult. Here are some tips on how to avoid future sticky MacBook keys:

1. Clean Your Keyboard Regularly

With regular use, dirt and dust can accumulate on your keyboard and keys, leading to stickiness. Cleaning your keyboard once a week with a soft cloth and mild cleaner can prevent dirt from building up and help keep your keys from sticking.

2. Avoid Eating and Drinking Around your MacBook

Food crumbs and spills can get lodged in the keys and make them sticky. If you eat or drink near your MacBook, clean it up immediately to avoid future stickiness.

3. Be Careful When Using Liquids to Clean Your MacBook

While some liquids can help clean your MacBook, they can also cause damage and stickiness if not used properly. So, avoid using liquids directly on your MacBook and use a soft cloth to wipe it down.

4. Choose a Protective Case for Your MacBook

A protective case can keep dirt and dust from entering your MacBook and causing stickiness.

5. Avoid Using Excessive Pressure on Your Keys

Typing too hard can cause the keys to stick and become unresponsive. In that case, you can use light pressure when typing to avoid future stickiness.

When To Replace Your MacBook Keyboard

Having a functioning laptop keyboard is essential for any MacBook user. But, like any other component, keyboards can eventually wear out or become faulty. So, when should you replace your MacBook keyboard?

First and foremost, if your MacBook keyboard is no longer functioning correctly, it’s time to replace it. This can be due to a few different reasons. Keys may be sticking, not registering keystrokes, or not responding. Any of these issues could indicate that your keyboard needs to be replaced.

Besides, if your keyboard looks physically worn out, it’s probably time to replace it. This can be due to excessive wear and tear over time or from a spill that damages the keys. In either case, it’s best to replace the keyboard as soon as possible.

Another sign that it’s time to replace your MacBook keyboard is if it’s no longer producing the same level of performance it once did. If you notice that your typing speed has slowed or that you’re making more typos than usual, it could be time to replace the keyboard.


Cleaning your MacBook keyboard’s sticky keys may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. After learning the above guideline on how to clean MacBook keyboard sticky keys, you should know how you can do that.

Basically, with the right tools and a bit of patience, you can get your keyboard back to its original condition.

Ensure to thoroughly dry your keyboard before reassembling it, and always exercise caution when working with electronics. Taking the time to properly clean your MacBook keyboard can save you from buying a new one.