Best Keyboard Cleaning Gel: Most Effective Options for 2022

Whether you’re an office worker, a creative designer, or a gamer, you spend a lot of time at your keyboard. It’s how you do you work, or interact with your games. But over time, your keyboard collects dirt and grease. Hair falls off of your head, and gets down in between the keys. And if you eat at your computer – don’t we all? – there are going to be crumbs. Over time, this gets gross. Nobody wants to be touching a dirty surface all day. But dirt and grime can actually interfere with your keyboard’s performance. If your caps don’t travel down all the way, your keystrokes might not register. And if your keys are greasy and grimy, you’ll end up making more mistakes.

Point being, you need an effective way of cleaning your keyboard. There are many ways of doing this. In the past, we’ve reviewed the best keyboard vacuums and dusters. During the course of our research, we found some high-quality machines. But a miniature vacuum isn’t always going to be the best solution. Depending on your situation, a cleaning gel might be more your speed. A gel doesn’t require electricity, so you don’t have to use it near a power source. This makes it more versatile than a vacuum, since you can clean more than just your keyboard. Car vents, ducts, and even un-powered circuit boards are all fair game.

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We’re about to review three of the best keyboard cleaning gels we were able to find. To begin with, we’ll check out the ColorCoral Cleaning Gel. This is a single jar of scented cleaning gel, perfect for small or one-time jobs. Next, we’ll look at the Fesciory Dust Cleaning Gel. This is a complete kit, with five keyboard cleaning tools, in addition to four jars of gel. Finally, we’ll examine the MECO Cleaning Gel. This is another full kit, with five similar tools and two jars of cleaning gel. But which one of these kits is going to be the right one for your needs? Let’s take a closer look at all three of them, and see how they compare.

keyboard-cleaning-gel-before-and-after

Cleaning Gel Basics

Before we get too far into the weeds, let’s talk about some of the basics. Cleaning gel is a relatively new type of product, and not everybody is familiar with it. So, how does this stuff work, and what is it capable of? Just as importantly, when would you be better served by using a different cleaning product?

In a nutshell, you can clean just about anything. If it’s a surface and there’s dust on it, you can clean it with gel. The great thing about gel is that it gets into gaps and cracks that other cleaning methods might miss. That’s why it’s so popular for cleaning keyboards! But it can also clean anything else. It’s great for phones, speakers, gaming mice, and video game controllers. Just be careful about cleaning any exposed wires or electrical contacts. The gel may be conductive, so unplug your device before cleaning those kinds of surfaces. Now, let’s talk about some more specifics.

How Does it Work?

Using cleaning gel is simple and straightforward. If you ever played with Nickelodeon Gak when you were a kid, you’ll already be familiar with the consistency. So take it out of the jar and knead it into a nice ball you can hold in your hand. Now, you roll it slowly over your keyboard – or whatever other surface you want to clean. As you go along, you’ll find that the outside of the gel gets dirty and coated with dust and dirt. When this happens, just knead it around in your hand a little more. The dirt will get moved to the inside, and you’ll have a nice, clean outer layer to work with.

One thing to be aware of is that while gel will clean vents and slots, you don’t want to press too hard. If you mash the gel down onto a vent, it can actually get pressed through to the inside. Just roll the gel gently over the top and let it do its job. If you’re not happy with the performance after the first pass, you can go over it as many times as necessary.

Another thing to be aware of is that the gel can be damaged if it gets frozen. On the plus side, hot temperatures don’t seem to affect it. Obviously, you wouldn’t put it in your oven. But if you leave it in your car on a hot day, it won’t melt. It will just get warm.

keyboard-cleaning-gel

How Long Does it Last?

How long cleaning gel lasts depends on two factors: when it was opened, and how often it’s used. Generally speaking, a cleaning gel can be used until it gets gross. When you knead it around and the outside is filthy and slimy, you know it’s time to throw it out. It can’t be washed off, so there are no shortcuts.

Once a jar of cleaning gel has been unsealed, it will slowly begin to dry out. It will remain useful for some time, but after about three months, it will be too putty-like to be useful. When left unopened, cleaning gel should last for about two years.

What Are the Limitations?

The most important limitation of cleaning gel is that it does not disinfect your surfaces. It will remove any dust, dirt, and food you encounter. But if you want to kill germs, you’ll want to follow up with a disinfectant wipe. That way, your surface will be both clean and sanitary.

Along the same lines, cleaning gel won’t remove grease from food, fingers, and other sources. For keyboards in particular, this means it might leave you less clean than you like. If you’ve got a mechanical keyboard, it can make more sense to remove the keycaps and wash them separately. Soak them in lukewarm water with a mild dish soap for around an hour. Then, rinse them off and let them dry. The gel can still be used to clean around your switches, so the keys go back on a clean surface. If your keycaps aren’t removable, an alcohol wipe can help get rid of some of the grease. But buildup is more or less inevitable if you use your keyboard often enough.

Another potential concern is that some cleaning gels leave an alcohol residue behind. This is mostly harmless, and dries in less than a minute. But on keycaps with UV-resistant coating, it can eat away at the coating. This could lead to fading over time. Then again, you shouldn’t have to use your gel more than once a year or so. A brush can be used in-between these cleanings to handle the majority of debris. If you’re only using your gel once a year, you won’t have to worry too much about your UV coating.

That said, better-engineered cleaning gels won’t leave any residue. These are far better for your keycaps, since they won’t eat at the finish. They also won’t irritate your hands or dry them out like some cheaper gels will.

ColorCoral Cleaning Gel

ColorCoral Cleaning Gel

The ColorCoral Cleaning Gel is perhaps the most basic of today’s three options. It’s also the most straightforward. This is a single jar of cleaning gel, with a capacity of 5.6 ounces. The gel itself is gentle and clean. It doesn’t irritate your skin, and it doesn’t leave any sticky residue behind. It’s also scented, with a clean lemon scent that smells nice and fresh. As an added bonus, it’s biodegradable. We wouldn’t necessarily recommend throwing it in your compost, due to the alcohol content. But you don’t have to feel guilty about it going into a landfill.

ColorCoral Cleaning Gel

Of course, a gentle composition and a nice scent don’t guarantee good performance. How well does this gel actually work in practice? It actually works pretty well. You press it into a ball, then roll it slowly over whatever surface you want to clean. It removes all but the most caked-on dust and dirt, and it lasts for a reasonably long time.

Fesciory Dust Cleaning Gel

Fesciory Dust Cleaning Gel

The Fesciory Dust Cleaning Gel is more than just a gel. It’s a complete kit, with a set of five different cleaning tools, along with four jars of gel. Each gel has a capacity of 5.6 ounces, so you’re getting four times as much as the ColorCoral gel. It’s similarly good quality, with zero residue and a biodegradable composition. Now, you might be wondering why you’d want four small jars instead of one big one. Remember that cleaning gel has a shorter life once it’s been opened. By dividing the gel into four jars, you can open them one at a time. That way, the last jar will still be nice and fresh when you open it up.

Fesciory Dust Cleaning Gel

Now, let’s talk about the tools. To begin with, you get a keycap puller. This is a simple plastic clip that can be used to easily remove the caps from a mechanical keyboard. That way, you can wash them separately while you use the gel on the board itself. Next, there’s a soft brush, with a small plastic handle and long bristles. The second brush has harder, stiffer bristles that are great for removing more stubborn grime. There’s a little blower, with a rubber bulb that expels air when you squeeze on it. Finally, you get a little microfiber cloth for everyday dusting.

MECO Cleaning Gel

MECO Cleaning Gel

MECO is a well-known manufacturer of electronics and related gadgets. We’ve reviewed their smart video doorbell in the past, and it performed pretty well. So even though it’s an entirely different kind of product, we still wanted to check out the MECO Cleaning Gel.

This kit starts with a pair of gel jars, which have the same 5.6 ounce capacity of the last kits. The gel itself is similar in quality to the others. It’s biodegradable, so you don’t have to worry about what happens after you throw it out. The jars are actually recyclable, so they won’t damage the environment either. There’s no residue, and your hands aren’t sticky after you use the gel.

MECO Cleaning Gel

Along with the gel, you get five cleaning tools, which are similar to the ones you get with the Fesciory kit. There are some minor differences. For example, the blower has a flatter, wider bladder instead of a bulb-shaped one. But for the most part, you’re getting the same stuff. In addition to the blower, there’s a soft brush, a stiff brush, a keycap puller, and a soft cleaning cloth.

Final Verdict
So, which one of these keyboard cleaning gels is the best? Let’s quickly go over what we’ve learned. We started out by reviewing the ColorCoral Cleaning Gel. This is the best value for small jobs, since it’s the most affordable. That said, you don’t get any tools. And if you’re doing a bunch of jobs, you’ll want a larger kit so you can save money on quantity. But for a few small jobs, it works just great, and the lemon scent is crisp and refreshing.

The Fesciory Dust Cleaning Gel falls on exactly the opposite end of the spectrum. With four jars of cleaner, you can get a lot of work done before you have to buy any more gel. And with five convenient tools, you can also brush and blow at your keyboard. The keycap puller is a particularly nice addition, so you can better clean mechanical boards.

The MECO Cleaning Gel is somewhere in the middle. You get five tools, all of which are similar to the ones in the Fesciory set. You also get two jars of cleaning gel, of the same capacity. The issue here is that the Fesciory kit is only a few dollars more. So on a jar-for-jar basis, the MECO gel isn’t as good a value. Unless you have some specific need for two jars, the Fesciory kit is a better bargain.

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