How To Lube Keyboard Switches | Complete Guide

How To Lube Keyboard SwitchesOne of the things that create friction on conventional keyboard switches is dust. Particles in the air settle on your keys and create a film. This film rubs against its neighboring switch, which causes friction. Lubrication reduces this pull by wiping away particles so they don’t have the opportunity to settle anywhere., also, it reduces surface roughness. How To Lube Keyboard Switches?

I’m not sure if cleaner air would solve this problem – humidity probably plays a factor as well… But lube can be applied just about any time you want to reduce friction without changing surfaces or cleaning them off first – because it doesn’t leave behind any tell-tale residue!

As for how it works: Lubricants make the contact area between the cap and its stem bigger, increasing the lifespan of your keycaps and reducing key chatter.

The increased distance between keycap and stem reduces the amount of friction during typing and therefore makes them easier to press. This trick is often used with ball bearings in high-stress applications like power tools where you don’t want something seizing upon your mid-operation – same principle here!

How To Lube Keyboard Switches?

Lubricate your keyboard’s switches by first dusting them with silicone or graphite lubricant, and then wiping the excess off. This should allow you to operate the keys easily for longer periods of time without wearing out those keystrokes any more than necessary. Healthy habits like this will help extend the life of your hardware when combined with periodic maintenance, like getting that icky crud out from under your home button!

How To Lube Keyboard Switches? The best way to lubricate your keyboard is to use an electronic pencil eraser (the kind that’s whiter in color) because it removes light buildup while lightly lubricating the contact surfaces at the same time. Rub one side of each contact point in a flat, circular motion before flipping it over to the other side.

Healthy habits like this will help extend the life of your hardware when combined with periodic maintenance, like getting that icky crud out from under your home button!


Should You Lube your Switches?

Many keyboards that are designed to be water-resistant or comply with FDA regulations do not require any additional treatment. If you’ve doused your keyboard in coffee, sugared drinks, red wine, etc., then chances are it’s got some form of waterproofing on it (and it’s probably ruined).

As long as the materials used in fabrication meet health and safety standards, there is no need for them to be perfumed or lubricated unless they attract particulates like dust and dirt.

Lubricating a keyboard will add years of longevity to its lifespan depending on how often it is used; basically, an un-lubricated keyboard may last only a couple of years while a lubricated keyboard may last a decade.

If you must lube a keyboard, be aware that most silicone-based lubricants will deteriorate the plastic, so it’s best to use something with no or minimal lasting effects on plastics such as graphite or a dry Teflon spray. There are many different opinions on how much to lube, where to lube when to lube, and even if any keyboard should be lubricated at all.

  • I will not recommend that anyone open their keyboard and apply lubricant or attempt to clean out dust with a vacuum cleaner; do this only if you feel confident in doing so.
  • Otherwise, wait for a professional to take care of it.
  • Also, keyboards that are not designed to be or do not need to be waterproof (e.g. rubber dome, white membrane, buckling spring, membrane matrix) should never be lubricated as it can damage keycaps and/or the switches themselves.

It’s probably best to avoid opening up these types of keyboards at all unless you feel confident that you can replace a component inside or re-assemble it without damaging anything else. The only benefit from lubricating a rubber dome keyboard is to prolong the life of the keycaps, not the switches. Again this should be done by someone confident in doing so as dust will cling to any metallic object you use and could wreak havoc on your keyboard.

How To Lube Switches Without Desoldering?

You can also lube keyboard switches without desoldering them from the PCB. The goal is to coat the contacts where current flows through—that means around the tips of any kind of metal protrusion on a switch, not just through the hole in a plunger-style switch.

Coat both sides with a light layer of oil or petroleum jelly to form a thin film. You’ll have to reapply it often if you use your keyboard heavily, but for occasional use, this might work well enough.

Just a quick warning to those that have modern rubber dome keyboards. When you lube it, be sure not to get any in the switch housing or the barrel frame where the silicon cups meet when they rub together. It can cause problems with rubber dome switches if too much gets in there.

How To Lube Cherry MX Switches?

First, grab some compressed air. Blow out the dust and debris from all of the switches. Really drive the air down in there to make sure you get everything! Use an electronic cleaner like alcohol (or 91%+ isopropyl alcohol) to wipe off any residue that might be left behind on your keycaps.

It’s important not to use water or rubbing alcohol because that will lead to condensation inside your keyboard which can cause corrosion, some types of corrosion can acidify and corrode your circuit board (and other materials) over time-plus it’s always good not to get corrosive substances near electronics anyway! Place a drop of lubricant on each slider before pushing it. Lubricants are specially made for switches to work optimally.

Lube Cherry MX Switches

I recommend using “Super Lube” silicon spray lubricant because it’s designed for lubricating switches, is safe for plastics and electronics, does not attract dirt or dust, leaves no residue behind when dry (but remember to wipe down your keycaps with alcohol before any liquid gets in there), and lasts about 2-3 months.

Wiping down your keycaps with 91%+ isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) to remove any accumulated dust or oil. It’s very important not to use water because over time it will condense inside the keyboard and cause corrosion of internal circuit boards and components-plus it’s always good not to get corrosive substances near electronics.

Accumulated dust can also cause problems with the plastic parts of a keystroke sliding over each other, leading to stuck or delayed keys. Use a thin oil or grease for lubricating your switches if you feel confident in doing so.

If you’re not sure about how much-or what kind-of lubricant to use, don’t apply any. Remember, if you use too much it can damage your key switches over time!

How To Lube Linear Switches?

Gather common household supplies

  1. Rubbing alcohol (regular isopropyl alcohol) container, cotton ball/swab, some type of small container for water (preferably with some degree of opacity)
  2. Soapy water, small dish or bowl
  3. Paper towels or cloths to dry off hands and keyboard after washing/wiping with rubbing alcohol

Wash your hands thoroughly until it does not look like you put dirt on them (or use nail filer before washing).

Ensure that there are no visible oils on your fingers by wiping it on a paper towel then once again drying your fingers off.

This makes sure that any visible residue goes away which may cause damage to the parts or even your PCB.

Do not use a cotton swab to apply to rub alcohol on a PCB as it will leave small strands of cotton behind which can cause damage or short out certain components.

Also, don’t wipe the entire board from top to bottom. Instead, carefully take a clean cotton ball or swab and dip it in the rubbing alcohol then run it across the PCB to remove any visible grime.

Repeat this process once or twice more to ensure all dirt/dust is removed from the board. Do not touch the board before it dries off completely (usually about 10 minutes), else you could transfer oil onto other components, which can damage them.

How To Lube Kailh Box Switches?

Kailh Box Switches are becoming more and more popular these days. These switches are designed to be used on keyboards like the WhiteFox or Input Club’s K-Type, but they can also be found on the Lamborghini keyboard from WASD Keyboards.

You can find them in many popular keyboards like the Filco Majestouch-2, which has been dubbed “the tycoon” by keyboard enthusiasts everywhere. That’s why it’s important to know how to lube these switches if you want your board to last for years without any problems.

Before you get started lubing your switches, make sure that you’re aware of the proper way to do it. Despite what some people say, you should NOT saturate your switch in oil. Use only a few drops per key on the side of each switch (not on top). Even though this guide is for kailh box switches, the process is almost identical for other switch types. The primary difference is that kailh boxes use a metal plate instead of a PCB.

What you’ll need: latex gloves, q-tips (cotton swabs), sticky lube, and electric contact cleaner. Make sure to read the label on your electric contact cleaner because some of them have a strong odor that you might not want in your house.

Lubing is a personal preference. You can also mix up a thick paste using oil or petroleum jelly mixed with some soap or rubbing alcohol which will create a barrier between the metal and electrical contact points.

How Often To Lube Switches?

A healthier more humane approach would be to get a keyboard with mechanical switches, but if you are hellbent on using rubber domes then you should only lube them sparingly and not with oil-based lubricants.

In general, people should not be opening up their keyboards frequently to clean them out. The best solution is a properly designed keyboard that incorporates a drainage system and a 360-degree hinge to make cleaning easy.

It’s always safe to keep an eye on the textured surface of the keycap where it meets the baseplate for stains from coffee or cigarettes, but otherwise, oil-based lubricants are going to do more harm than good in this instance.

How To Lube Electrostatic Capacitive Switches?

The capacitive mechanism consists of two plates that are isolated from each other by an insulator. When the key is depressed, it collapses the space between these two components which initiates contact and completes the switching process.

A thin film of oil on top of this insulator can create problems by preventing one plate from fully coming into contact with the other. If you feel that your capacitive switch requires lubrication, using a silicone spray is suggested because it will not leave any residue and is least harmful to the switch assembly.

In general, capacitive switches are insensitive to changes in humidity and do not require lubrication. However, if a switch feels dry or is intermittent making contact there should be some means of cleaning out any dirt or residual lubricant that may have accumulated over time. The use of a degreaser with compressed air is recommended for this purpose.

How Much Lube Is Need To Lube Switches?

There will never be a need for too much lubricant. However, that said, too little can cause switch failures at the micro-level of contact between the moving contact and the stationary contact surface. This failure becomes more likely according to these rules-of-thumb:

  1. When operating at higher than normal temperature OR
  2. When under greater than normal endurance stress by repeating motion OR
  3. Loose fit or insufficient preload on snap coupling pressure rings.

A simple analogy to explain how too little lubricant creates micro switch failures is like riding a bicycle over a cobblestone road without enough oil in the hubs and/or spokes, or better yet, having no oil at all in the hubs and/or spokes. Eventually, you will create metal-on-metal contact that wears down the “spokes” (moving contact arm), the “hubs” (stationary contact ring), and between them, to metal-on-metal.

If the load is high enough this surface damage may also happen on rubber surfaces. The minimal amount of lubricant that I recommend you apply during keyboard disassembly is just enough for the moving part of the switch to barely create a film when it moves against the stationary part of the switch.

How To Lube Alps Switches Guide?

Alps Switches are tactile mechanical keyboard switches made by Omron. The switch consists of a light spring surrounded by a rubber dome, with a terminal plunger on the left and right. It is an inexpensive return-to-center switch that operates like those on many portable 37-key calculators (which don’t use keycaps) – you push the plunger in either direction.

It returns to center. Though the Alps were originally designed for computers, they never found mainstream success as their tactile feedback was not particularly pleasing and tended to wear out quicker than other switches like buckling springs or Cherry MX Blue.

The role of lubricants, in general, is to decrease the contact area between two mating surfaces. In order for a lubricant to work properly, you have to apply it uniformly over the surfaces being joined before joining them together. So, if you’re going about lubing Alps switches by massaging oil into each individual switch plate and then putting the keycap on

Is It Necessary To Lube Keyboard Switches?

Lubrication helps reduce buildup or short-circuiting caused by dirt and other particles in the switch. It also reduces corrosion on metal contact points for added reliability.

It is considered necessary to lube keyboards, because of the following issues;

  1. The oils from your fingertips can reduce the life expectancy of the mechanical switch contacts, eventually leading to repeated keystrokes not being registered by the system. This leads to inaccurate typing and frustration on your end as you mistype again and again.
  2. Keyboards are often oily through no fault of their own – people will use lotions or hand sanitizers during cold/flu season (anything that contains alcohol).
  3. Sweaty hands make it hard to get full coverage with either type of keyboard cleaner. Specialty-purpose products like Ducky Shine cloths offer extra wetness protection for keyboards that are exposed to excessive hand sweat conditions due to intense gaming sessions.

Most of the time (if you are experienced with opening keyboards) it is safe to do so. However, if you are not confident in your abilities then I would recommend taking it to a professional. Any damage done to the keyboard will be on you and could cause more problems than intended. There is also some disagreement within the mechanical keyboard community about whether it is safe to open your own keyboard, so it would be best to ask around.

How To Lube Gateron Optical Switches?

Complete guidance and the full process of lubing Gateron optical switches in a mechanical keyboard. You will need Kanthal wire, a silicon mat, a lighter or stovetop burner, cotton balls, and q-tips.

The first step is to clear off any debris from the key gateron switch if present using the q-tip dipped in acetone.

Next, gather your tools in three different containers. In one, you want to have Kanthal wire and cotton balls soaked in an ethanol/water solution, another with dry cotton balls and fiberglass fiber lubricant (lube) applied generously onto its surface, and finally one with pure acetone for cleaning purposes.

Place your switch topside up on the silicon mat on its side. Apply a small amount of lubricant to your cotton ball and roll it over the switch, applying more if needed until you get even coverage across all of the exposed metal parts of the switch. Repeat this step for each group of three switches you have.

For the Kanthal wire, I use a small piece that is about 1.5mm wide and 15-20cm long, fold it in half, and roll the looped section over the cotton ball with some pressure to work it into the switch’s pins. This will clean out any dust or debris from between them as well as help spread lubricant onto those surfaces as you reassemble the switches. Repeat this step for each group of three gateron switches you have.

Acetone can be used for further cleaning between the pins with a q-tip, but it will remove what little lubricant you may have managed to get in there. Note how much antistatic protection these keycaps offer given the silver coating on the part that usually makes contact with the keycap.

For further protection, you can use antistatic silicone stickers or pads, which are great for keyboards that don’t have mounting holes to install the included plastic feet.

Do not use your keyboard for at least 24 hours after lubricating switches. This will allow them enough time to dry completely.

How To Lube Ducky Keyboard Switches?

Ducky keyboard switches are one of the most common mechanical switches used in keyboards today. These switches are very different than other types of keyboards because they require lubrication for optimal performance. If you aren’t sure how to lube ducky keyboard switches, read on! You’ll find out everything you need to know about what type of grease you should use and where exactly it should go.

Ducky Keyboards use a Cherry MX series switch. These switches are some of the most common in the world of modern keyboards, but they’re still very different than pretty much anything else on the market. These switches require lubrication because they have metal contacts that rub together to create an electrical connection for every keypress you make on your keyboard. Without proper lubrication, these metal contacts will get stuck together and prevent your keyboard from working at all.

So naturally, you want to make sure that your switches are properly lubed up! This is especially true if you’re using a Ducky keyboard because it uses Cherry MX switches. However, there are some important differences between how Ducky keyboards are lubed, and how other types of mechanical switches are lubricated.

Tools You Will Need

Before you begin this process, make sure to gather up all the items that you’ll need. That way it will be much easier to get everything taken care of in just one sitting. Here’s what you should have before starting: Q-Tips Can of Silicone Grease Lubricant (for Keyboards)

Grease and Oil Don’t Mix

There are a lot of different lubricants that you could potentially use to lube up your Ducky keyboard, but many aren’t the best idea. For instance, oil-based lubrication usually works okay on other types of keyboards, but oil doesn’t work well with Cherry MX switches.

This is why you should always use lubrication that’s designed for keyboards instead of just grabbing some WD-40 or another type of spray lubricant. Something like a silicone-based spray can actually cause problems with your Ducky keyboard because it will create a very thin layer of gooey liquid that will probably get under your keys and cause them to stick.

How To Lube Mechanical Keyboard Switches?

Mechanical keyboards are popular and in-demand because they offer a satisfying experience. However, this doesn’t come without setbacks: the most common complaint is that their switches can get gummed up and need to be lubricated periodically.

For some switches, such as Cherry MX-style clones, the cost of lubrication can be minimal. However, there are some particularly problematic switches that need a bit more attention and care before they’ll work well again.

The difference in eras when it comes to lubricating a mechanical keyboard is that they used to just be sold un-lubricated. The more modern classic Buckling Spring keyboards use O-rings instead of lubes, and there’s evidence that this helps the springs last longer.

Lubing a vintage rubber switch requires different techniques than what we typically recommend for lubing Cherry MX switches.

How To Lube Tactile Switches?

How To Lube Keyboard Switches maintenance is very important for keeping your keyboards in good shape, and keeping them clean inside will help to make sure they last for many years. So today we will show you how to clean and maintain your keyboard, we know there are many methods in doing this, but we will choose what is the best way to do it.

Tactile switches are a great way to make a custom keyboard. They come in many shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: the need for lube. But what kind of lube do you use? The answer is definitely not WD-40! Here’s how to properly lubricate your tactile switches.

You want to lube the sliding action of the keys, not necessarily make it quieter or “silent”. You can use silicon spray-on lube (e.g. G402) but I like using Nye Liquid Film lubricant for its superior properties such as low viscosity and how it penetrates into the mechanism better than other spray-on lubes.

To apply the lubricant, I like using a Q-tip to apply it directly into each individual key. Then you just reassemble your keyboard and test out your tactile switches!

I use a water-resistant silicon spray (tested with lab grade H2O) based lube called Nye Speed Shine. It’s in a yellow and black can (so you know it’s legit). The product in the video is an older version but still works great.

What Do You Need To Lube Keyboard Switches?

It is best to use a silicon-based lubricant as opposed to an oily one since silicon will not clog the switches.

You can also use graphite powder or a sewing machine oil, for example, but these tend to be messy and may work their way into other parts of the keyboard. Silicon-based lubricants simply soak into the material and do not leave a residue on metal components such as springs and the plastic of movable keys — making it ideal for keyboards.

The substance you want should ideally have water-resistance, non-flammability, low viscosity (think liquidy), minimal runoff from surfaces onto surrounding materials, drag coefficients near ‘0’ (usually found with silicone) in order to minimize the action of the keys, and good electrical insulation properties.

If you want to use a lubricant but want to avoid doing any damage – do it over a period of time. Just apply some every week or two and after about 3 months your keyboard will be as fresh as can be!

Conclusion

How To Lube Keyboard Switches? Liquid lubricants are tricky because they may enter the key from underneath and not lubricate properly or at all. Many liquid forms of lube will evaporate quickly, too – even though it seems like a good idea to apply the liquid in liquid form (e.g., liquid graphite), what actually happens is that the liquid layer separates into two layers by itself after a few days.

It would be better to put a drop of liquid on a Q-tip and then apply it directly inside the key as opposed to inside the keyboard itself. In general, powdered lubricants work best since they have less chance of getting under the keys.

Another thing you can do is take apart your keyboard and clean out everything from dust and dirt and then lubricate the pieces. However, if you do this it’s very important that you let everything dry before assembling the keyboard again and testing it out. If not, you might end up with a sticky mess!

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