Bluetooth keyboard dirty? Just get a new one

So let’s paint a picture here. You’re the sort of person who uses a Bluetooth keyboard with your phone or tablet. Maybe you’ve turned your mobile device into a productivity powerhouse. Maybe you just write a lot of emails. Whatever the reason, you’ve been pounding on that bad boy for a few years. It’s beginning to look pretty bad.

Keyboards are disgusting.

Personally I think all keyboards, at least all older keyboards, are really disgusting. They absorb oils from your fingertips and that attracts grime. Dead skin accumulates under the keys, and so does hair, dust mites, and who knows what else. The best, most waterproof keyboard is going to be a real mess after you’ve used it for hours and hours every day.

There are some people who will tell you that you can put a keyboard in the dishwasher and it will get clean. Maybe that’s true for some keyboards. I honestly don’t know. It doesn’t sound like a very good idea to put something electronic in the dishwasher. I mean, there are only a few volts going through it but all that means is that a keyboard that has water in it will short out instead of completely catching fire. That doesn’t sound like a very good deal to me.

They also don’t last forever.

Maybe you’re old enough to remember when every computer came with a nearly indestructible keyboard. I remember those old IBM PC keyboards from the 1980s. I guess people still refurbish them. After 35 years they’re still going strong. Of course in today’s dollars they’d probably be ridiculously expensive… I found a listing online for one for $700! At that price they’d better last 35 years.

There are also gaming keyboards, which stand up to the rigors of computing life really well. If you’re interested in something like that you can find a decent gaming keyboard online for about a hundred bucks. The problem is that they aren’t built for phones or tablets. Gamers want instantaneous response, and you can only get that with a wire. Bluetooth is strictly out in that case.

Most Bluetooth keyboards work well for several years, then about the time they get so filthy that they don’t work anyway, they may be starting to stick a little. Or, the Bluetooth standards may have evolved enough that they don’t connect the way they should. There are all sorts of really valid reasons why a Bluetooth keyboard can just be “done.”

Don’t sweat it.

Folks, I’m not what most people would call a “conspicuous consumer.” I believe in reduce, reuse, recycle. Whenever I can, I hold onto something as long as it’s useful. But there is a limit, and when health is concerned I understand that there are some things that just can’t be reused anymore. Would you drink out of the same glass for 3 years without washing it? That’s kind of what you’re doing with a keyboard.

If it’s gross and disgusting, if it’s not working right, it’s ok to think about replacing it. It’s just a fact of life that things wear out and become obsolete. Sometimes you just have to do something about it.

And that something is…

If you’re ready to get a new keyboard, check out the excellent selection you’ll find at Solid Signal.  You’ll find standalone ones, ones that turn your tablet into a mini-laptop, and everything in between. What are you waiting for?

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.