[Explained] Do PBT Keycaps Get Dirty?

Polybutylene Terephthalate or PBT is among the hardest and ultra-durable keycaps materials that are available today. While the cheaper alternative ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) keycaps develop a greasy and shiny look over time, PBT keycaps can hold their own for years. They tend to retain their appearance and textured feel even after long usage.

But, nothing in this world is indestructible. So even though PBT keycaps don’t show wear and tear as much as cheaper ABS keycaps, they do tend to get dirty but take considerably longer time than regular ABS keycaps in doing so.

Do PBT Keycaps Get Dirty

How Long Do PBT Keycaps Take to Get Dirty?

When considering wear and tear, there are so many factors. Everyone uses their device differently and for different purposes. So, while a good quality set of PBT keycaps may last someone decades, it may not give you the same sustained performance. For day-to-day usage, you can expect your PBT keycaps to retain that textured look and feel for a minimum of 5 years. However, for heavy users, it’ll take considerably less time. And when the PBT keycaps lose their texture, they tend to get oily and greasy and get dirty as a result.

But, as PBT wears out, though slightly slower than others, they will eventually get dirty.

How Do PBT Keycaps Get Dirty?

Again, they don’t get dirty as easily, but depending on your usage, here are some possible reasons.

1. Using white PBT keycaps

While they are arguably more beautiful to look at, white keycaps show wear and tear more quickly than others. However, a good cleaning every once in a while can take care of it.

2. Gaming

You might have noticed that while gaming, you tend to use a few keys all the time. This includes movement keys, Shift, Spacebar, etc. So it is only natural that they will wear out quicker than other keys, as a result, gets dirty over time.

3. Heavy Usage

If you are someone who uses their computer for long hours every day, you will notice dirty keycaps faster than other users, it’s a no-brainer. With heavy usage, you can expect your PBT keycaps to get greasy within a year or two.

4. Dirty Hands

Even though PBT keycaps are textured, and textured surfaces are less prone to accumulating dust, they do gather dust on the texts/letterings. So, make sure to use your keyboard with clean hands only.

Preventive Tips to Keep Your PBT Keycaps from Getting Dirty

Proper maintenance is the key to prolonging the life of any electronics. Your PBT keycaps are no different.

  • Make sure to wipe off dust and debris every once in a while.
  • Use a dust cover to cover your keyboard when you are not using it.
  • Don’t use your keyboard with dirty hands.
  • If your palm and fingers are sweaty, wipe them at regular intervals.

Frequently Asked Questions And Answers

How do you clean the PBT keycap?

Pull out your PBT keycaps, and use warm soapy water to soak them. Then rinse them in clean water. If you still can’t get rid of grease, use a soft brush.

Does PBT yellow over time?

Only white PBT will be yellow over time. But it’ll take significantly longer than ABS. Also, exposing your keycaps to UV light will cause yellowing.

Can alcohol damage PBT keycaps?

No. You can use alcohol to wipe your PBT keycaps without any worry.

Are PBT keycaps good for gaming?

Because they can withstand pressure more, PBT keycaps are better for gaming than ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene).

Final Thoughts

If you want to use your keyboard for a very long time, we recommend investing in a set of PBT keycaps. With their ability to withstand almost anything, they will give you worth your money. And even though you might start seeing dust and debris after a few years, you can always clean them off. Thanks for reading.

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