Do White Keys Get Dirty? Steps You Should Take

You have to admit, white keycaps look mighty good on a black keyboard. All-white keyboards are no eyesore either. But many of us keep ourselves away from getting white keycaps, however shiny they might look, simply because they get dirty over time. Or at least that’s what we have been told. However, that’s not the case always.

In this article, we’ll try to answer the question do white keys get dirty and how to prevent that from happening. Let’s begin.

Do White Keys Get Dirty

Do White Keys Get Really Dirty? And Why?

The simplest answer to the question is no. White keys, in particular, don’t get dirty. That is in the sense that they don’t get any dirtier than any other keycaps. All keycaps get dirty over time. But the grease from your fingertips and those smudges show more on a white surface than a black surface. That’s why sometimes white keycaps can appear dirtier over time, than any other color of keycaps. It simply stands out more. So yes, white keycaps can turn yellow over time.

Truth be told unless you’ve been regularly sanitizing your hands before using your keyboard, chances are, your keycaps are already pretty dirty, even though they may not seem so, to the naked eye. Oils from your fingertips, dust, and other particles often leave residue on your white keycaps without you noticing. Over time, this residue can leave your keycaps looking quite grimy.

Sometimes it’s just a quality issue. Cheaper quality plastics are UV sensitive. So, they change color and turn to a more yellowish color from white over time. However, that’s not the case with good-quality PBT keycaps.

While some discoloration is expected over the years and you can’t do anything about it, you can certainly stop your white keycaps from looking dirty. Here’s how

How Do I Stop My White Keyboard From Getting Dirty?

As the old proverb goes, prevention is always better than cure, keeping your white keycaps from dirty in the first place is always better than cleaning a dirty one. Here’s how to keep your white keyboard from getting dirty.

  1. Use a dust cover to cover your white keyboard.
  2. Wipe off dust and small smudges from your keyboard every once in a while.
  3. Never use your white keyboard when your hands are dirty.

How Do You Take Care of a White Keyboard That’s Already Dirty?

There’s a noticeable difference between ABS and PBT keycaps in terms of getting dirty. The latter one, being superior and more durable, needs lesser cleaning. Regardless of your keycaps category, here’s how you can take care of your white keyboard.

  1. Use compressed to blow off specks of dust and other particles at regular intervals.
  2. Use a wet paper towel or baby wipes to wipe oily or any lasting marks off of your white keyboard.
  3. For proper and thorough cleaning, take off the keycaps using a wire keycap puller and wash them with warm soapy water. Make sure to take a picture of your keycap arrangement before pulling them off, for error-free installation later.

Frequently Asked Questions And Answers

Can I use hand sanitizer to clean my keyboard?

Yes, hand sanitizer or isopropyl alcohol is an excellent cleaning agent, and cleaning your keycaps and your keyboard with it won’t damage anything.

How often should I clean my keyboard?

Depending on your usage, cleaning your keyboard once a month is more than enough.

Can you unyellow a white keyboard?

Yes. In a hydrogen peroxide solution, put your keycaps and leave them under direct sunlight for a few hours.


White keyboards, like any keyboards, can get pretty dirty. But that doesn’t have anything to do with colors. It’s about how you use it and under what conditions. Without direct sunlight exposure, the discoloration would take decades before it is noticeable. Even so, it’s nothing you can’t take care of. Thanks for reading.

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