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keyboard-cleaningIf you’re like me and you tend to leave your laptop for days on end, you’ll notice that it kind of collects dust between keys and in nooks pretty soon. Cleaning around the keyboard is easy. It’s getting the dust and grime off the keys that’s tricky because I want to leave my laptop on while I do it. I’ve been told many “tricks” to do the job: using TextEdit while wiping the keys, for example, so that keystrokes are registered in the word editor.

This “trick” doesn’t work very well because mouse strokes and Exposé buttons are still registered, shifting the focus to the desktop or any other running application.

I found Keyboard Cleaner a few months ago and I’ve been using it ever since. Every time I get irritated by a dirty keyboard, I launch Keyboard Cleaner, start cleaning, quit the application after I’m done and return to work with slippery, shining keys.

A lot of people ask me,”Why can’t you just turn off your laptop in order to clean it?” I answer, its because I don’t need to. Why should I waste time powering off my computer and then wait for it to boot up again, just to get some dirt off my keyboard? The creator of Keyboard Cleaner agrees. Sometimes, you just need to clean your keys right at that moment. That’s when Keyboard Cleaner comes in handy.

keyboard cleaner mac

I don’t exactly know how Keyboard Cleaner works and I don’t want to ruin that magical feeling. It just works. It shields my laptop from keystrokes which may be invoked while cleaning my laptop, with the exception for Command + Q – the only keystroke which will bring my laptop back to life.


It also renders mouse strokes unrecognizable and active screen corners don’t work when Keyboard Cleaner is active. So, you won’t have to worry about Exposé bringing Keyboard Cleaner out of focus. Unfortunately, it has an Achilles heel – it will still allow special keys to be recognized, like the volume up and down buttons on my MacBook. Not a very big deal since it can still get the cleaning job done.

So, all I have to do is launch Keyboard Cleaner, clean my heart out and when I’m done, I quit it and return to my desktop exactly as I left it.

There’s not much to mention about Keyboard Cleaner except that it is a very simple application which does a very good job of shielding your laptop from key stokes while I’m cleaning it. That’s how most applications should be. Simple and effective.

Give Keyboard Cleaner a try if you’re constantly having headaches every time you need to clean your keyboard and you don’t want to shut down your computer to do it. It’s free and works on Mac OS X Leopard only.

Let us know what you think of this simple application and whether or not you are glad to have found it!

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  1. Computer Rental Company
    March 17, 2009 at 6:30 am

    Great tips!

    Many of us somehow ignore the importance of cleaning the external parts or hardware of our laptops. Without knowing that we are risking the life span of our computer in whole. I've read an article about the importance of a clean environment and laptop in enhancing internal air flow of laptops. This is to avoid overheating which would further harm the CPU. So as simple as cleaning and dusting your laptop does not only promote cleanliness to your laptop,it is also lengthen the life of your computer.

  2. Eddy Barrett
    November 12, 2008 at 7:54 pm


  3. Jackson
    November 9, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    Great, looks like KC has its Windows companions.

  4. Vale
    November 9, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    Toddler Keys does pretty much the same thing:

  5. Mark O'Neill
    November 9, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    A Windows version that I use is Toddler Trap - . It doesn't install anything and so can be run from a USB stick. You can unfreeze the keyboard by using the mouse to close the box.

  6. jan
    November 9, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Woohoo! Thanks for the nice review! :)

    Check out the discussion on the site, the media-keys are left on o purpose. It's a feature that you can stop music when you get a call during the cleaning.

    Keyboard Cleaner is Donate for Keyboard Cleaner, btw *cough* :) and it does work on Tiger. And the FaQ is just awesome :D


    • Jackson
      November 9, 2008 at 11:57 pm

      Hi Jan,

      Thanks for dropping by. That was quick! Are you a regular MakeUseOf reader? I'm really happy with Keyboard Cleaner. Maybe you could shed some light on how it hows and what you use to shield the keystrokes?

      Glad to hear that it works on Tiger, it'll make them feel a little left out since most apps are for Leopard nowadays.

      Hope to hear from you again soon. Thanks again for dropping by.