Ghacks regulars know that a computer keyboard can be dirtier than a toilet, with up to 400 times the bacteria. If you are like me, you sometimes do eat in front of the PC that contributes to that.
I usually feel the urge to clean my keyboard when I'm working on the computer, for instance when I see some dust on it. The problem that I constantly face is that I cannot really clean the computer while it is running. The same goes for the computer mouse. The reason is simple: Both the mouse and keyboard send keys or actions to the system which are then executed if the computer is running. And you need to press down the keys or mouse buttons if you want to thoroughly clean the hardware.
Sure, it is possible to shut down the computer to clean the keyboard and mouse while it is off. Then again, why shut down the computer if there is a way to clean keyboard and mouse while the computer is running.
You could try and lock the computer while cleaning, but that method is not foolproof as you may hit a key accidentally that unlocks the PC again.
Toddler Keys is probably the more sophisticated of the two. The program adds an icon to the Windows System Tray upon execution. A right-click displays the available options.
Here it is possible to lock the keyboard, keyboard and mouse, drive doors or power button separately. A keyword to unlock the computer is set in the program options. The default word is quit which needs to be entered to unlock the keyboard and mouse again.
You basically start the program and lock the keyboard and mouse whenever you want to clean your keyboard or mouse. I'd suggest to shut down the computer though before you start thoroughly cleaning it, especially if you are using fluids to do so (via).
You may also want to take a look at Mike's guide on cleaning the insides of a computer.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.