Method #1: Dishwasher
This method is easy and will work on most cheap rubber membrane keyboards. In this process we will simply take the entire keyboard and place it upside-down on the highest rack in your dishwasher. A quick run through the most gentle cycle should quickly power through most of the grime and leave it sparkling clean. This is the most time effective method and well worth it if you don't mind losing the keyboard.
Method #2: Partial dismantle
If you've managed to keep your keyboard fairly clean but can't stand the few crumbs and hairs hanging out below the keys you may be able to clean a little deeper. In this case you can pop off all the keys and pass a vacuum attachment or damp cloth. In my experience even the most aggressive cleaning detergents don't seem to do any damage, but if you are unsure you can test a spot on the bottom side of the keyboard. Dish soap can be effective but a bathroom disinfectant does a more satisfying job.
Method #3: Full dismantlement
So you've bought that keyboard from the thrift shop. Yes, that grimey Model M that's been caked in cigarette ash and cola. Your only option in this case is to break out the screw driver and start taking it apart. Pop off all the keys and keep all the plastic bits separate so you can bathe them. Take a large bowl or tub and fill it with warm water and a few cap-fulls of bleach and let everything sit for an hour or so. In the mean time you can wipe down the internals with a disinfectant cloth. After you've got the internals smelling fresh, go over each of the plastic bits with a disinfecting wipe.
The small plastic films and crevices inside of a keyboard can take up to a week to dry completely. Be sure to leave everything in a well ventilated area to speed up the process. Give the parts a good shake before you put everything back together to make sure there is not water left inside.
Time to chat
Once you have finally dried your keyboard, you can finally relax. The only thing you can do next is plug it into your computer and hope for the best. If it doesn't work on the first try do not give up hope. It is possible that there is a loose cable or some humidity. If you get frustrated it is better to try again the next day. If your keyboard is working fine then rejoice! Test all of the keys to be absolutely sure you are done. Then come and join us in the #TaLKiNg chat channel on Rizon.
See you there!