How to Remove Lube from Switches

Hey, keyboard enthusiasts! Ever spilled your coffee over your keys during an intense gaming session or a productive work spree? Or perhaps you’ve used an unsuitable lubricant and need to give your switches a thorough cleanse? Cleaning your keyboard switches may seem daunting at first, but fear not. I’m here to guide you through it step by step. You’ll have those switches shiny and working like brand new in no time.

Step 1: Disassembling Your Switches

The initial step is to open your switches and dismantle them into their individual parts. Depending on the type of switches you possess, you may need a small flathead screwdriver or tweezers to pry them open. For Cherry MX style switches, pry the two tabs away gently. Kailh Box and Outemu switches have a ring tab that needs a dedicated opener. Divide the components into four groups: top housing, bottom housing, stem, and spring. Remember to stay organized; no one wants a missing piece in the end!

Step 2: The Cleanse

Now comes the dirty work. You can clean your switches with either alcohol or a soap/warm water mixture using a small brush. If you’re going down the alcohol route, a q-tip or towel will be your best friend. Don’t dunk the components in alcohol for an extended period to avoid damage. Squeeze out any extra alcohol from the q-tip before you start scrubbing.

The bottom housing can be tricky to clean, so be careful with the copper pieces. Those tiny parts are critical for your switch’s operation. The top housings, usually made entirely of plastic, can be cleaned effortlessly using a q-tip with alcohol. The stems can be cleaned using a towel or microfiber cloth.

Got some springs that need cleaning? Put them in a bag with alcohol. Add some salt to the mix; it helps to remove the lube more swiftly. And don’t forget those clickbars – they can be cleaned in the same way as the other parts.

Just remember, it’s essential to let all the components dry naturally before reassembling them. Trust me, you don’t want any residual moisture wreaking havoc in your switches!

Step 3: Ultrasonic Cleaning

If you’ve got an ultrasonic cleaner lying around, it’s time to bring it out! It’s a mighty tool that can give your switch components an extra level of clean. Use distilled water and add some dishwashing detergent for surface tension and oils. For smaller parts, you can use a mesh bag or wire mesh. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to lube your switches, which also discusses using an ultrasonic cleaner in the process.

The Why Behind the Clean

Cleaning or removing lube from switches isn’t always due to an accidental spill. Sometimes, it’s a deliberate choice. Maybe you’re unhappy with the pre-existing lubricant or the effects of a bad lube job. Perhaps you’d like to relube with a different product or reduce tactility due to spread lubricant on stem legs or leaves. A clean slate gives you the opportunity to make the switches work exactly how you want them.

Don’t Forget the Keys!

Lastly, if your keyboard keys need a cleanse too, a small vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment, compressed air, or diluted isopropyl alcohol can work wonders.

Cleaning your keyboard switches might seem like a bother, but it’s an opportunity to tailor your keyboard to better match your typing or gaming preferences. Now, with these steps in your arsenal, you’re prepared to handle any keyboard mess that comes your way.

If you’re interested in understanding the benefits of lubing your keyboard switches, check out this informative article on what lubing accomplishes. It’s always beneficial to have a comprehensive understanding of the subject!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Why would I need to remove lube from my keyboard switches? A: There are several reasons why you might want to remove lube from your keyboard switches. It could be because you’re unhappy with the pre-existing lubricant, you want to change to a different lubricant, or you’re experiencing issues with the switch’s tactility due to the spread of lubricant. Removing the lube allows you to start fresh and customize the switch’s performance to your liking.

Q: Can I use isopropyl alcohol to remove lube from my switches? A: Yes, isopropyl alcohol is an effective and efficient option for removing lube from mechanical switches. However, it’s important to note that certain plastics may react with isopropyl alcohol, causing a white haze. If you choose to use isopropyl alcohol, ensure that it’s diluted appropriately and exercise caution while cleaning the switches.

Q: How do I clean the bottom housing of my switches without damaging the copper pieces? A: Cleaning the bottom housing requires careful attention to avoid damaging the critical copper pieces. Use a small brush with either alcohol or a soap/warm water mixture to gently clean the bottom housing. Take your time and be gentle to ensure the copper pieces remain intact and functional.

Q: Can I use an ultrasonic cleaner to clean my keyboard switches? A: Yes, an ultrasonic cleaner can be an effective tool for cleaning keyboard switch components. If you have access to one, use distilled water and add some dishwashing detergent to enhance the cleaning process. For smaller parts, you can utilize a mesh bag or wire mesh to prevent them from getting lost or damaged. Refer to the guide on lubing keyboard switches for more information on using an ultrasonic cleaner.

Q: How long should I let the switch components dry after cleaning? A: It’s crucial to allow all the cleaned components to dry naturally before reassembling them. The drying time can vary depending on factors such as humidity and ventilation. As a general guideline, leave the components to air dry for at least 24 hours to ensure they are completely dry before putting them back together.

Q: Are there other methods besides alcohol for removing lube from keyboard switches? A: Yes, besides alcohol, you can also use a soap/warm water mixture to clean your keyboard switches.

Bear in mind, maintaining and cleaning your keyboard switches is an important aspect of ensuring optimal performance and longevity for your mechanical keyboard. If you have any more queries or need further assistance, don’t hesitate to peruse the extensive resources available in OnGameStart’s keyboard switches guide.

Disclaimer: Exercise caution while dismantling and cleaning your keyboard switches. If you’re unsure or uncomfortable with the process, consider seeking professional assistance.