Health Alert — How Dirty is Your MacBook Keyboard?


Your MacBook keyboard puts the world at your fingertips. Six rows of keys are all it takes to write a book, edit a video or send that message to connect with a long-lost friend. It’s an incredible tool we get to use every day. The downside? Apple doesn’t provide us with a MacBook keyboard cover. In fact, not only do they not provide an Apple keyboard cover, they don’t even mention why you should demand one in the first place.

The truth is MacBook keyboard covers are so rare because we don’t want to think about how dirty our keyboards actually are. We are touching these keys constantly, if we had to think about how dirty they are, we may not get anything done. But it makes total sense that they would be covered in bacteria and dirt particles.

We use our hands to complete virtually every task we perform in a day. And we very rarely wash our hands, especially compared to the number of things we do with our hands, the surfaces we touch and the people we interact with on a daily basis. Even when we do wash our hands, most of us aren’t doing it properly. We don’t wash for long enough or use the correct water temperature.

To put it plainly, our hands are dirty. And because we touch our MacBook keyboard all day, it too is covered in countless germs. If you consider that we wash our hands infrequently at best, it’s safe to say we essentially never wash our keyboards. They just stay dirty. That’s why we all desperately need a MacBook Keyboard cover. And if Apple won’t give you one automatically, we are here to save the day.

The Truth About Your Exposed Apple Keyboard

To accurately paint the picture of just how dirty our keyboards are, all you have to do is look at the data. Scientists have reported their findings on the state of our keyboards for a while now. They mostly look at the germs on MacBooks without a MacBook keyboard cover and compare that number to the germs on other public surfaces that are widely considered gross. Think public restrooms or transportation.

One British microbiologist studied 33 separate keyboards, 1 toilet seat and 1 bathroom door handle at an average office. The study revealed four of the keyboards were so bad they could be classified as public health hazards and one particular keyboard had five times the amount of germs than the toilet seat. Other studies estimate that one keyboard carries about 7,000 bacteria per swab. Compare that to your headphones which average 2,550 bacteria per swab, or the bottom of a purse which carries about 2,520 bacteria per swab.

You’re starting to pull your hands away from your keyboard as we speak, aren’t you? Word to the wise: don’t even think about counting the number of times you’ve touched your face after typing an email. It’s too much.

Now, some argue that we’re around bacteria all day. It’s a fact we simply cannot escape. So is a MacBook keyboard cover really necessary? To that, we say yes, of course. Because it may seem harmless now, but there are certain times when a dirty keyboard really can put you at risk, and a keyboard cover can help mitigate those risk. For example, at the Chicago Northwestern Memorial Hospital, researchers found that two deadly drug-resistant types of bacteria could survive on a keyboard for up to 24 hours. And probably more commonly, the bacteria on your keyboard is enough to cause an infection if you happen to have any open cuts on your hands. Why wouldn’t we protect ourselves from infection and deadly bacteria?

How A MacBook Keyboard Cover Helps


If you haven’t already clicked to buy a MacBook keyboard cover, you may be wondering what kind of impact it would really make. The bacteria is still going to be there, it’ll just be on your keyboard cover instead of the actual keys. And that is precisely the difference that makes an Apple keyboard cover so helpful. It’s far easier to make a habit of cleaning your keyboard cover than it is to clean your MacBook’s actual keyboard.

For starters, the stakes are much lower with a MacBook keyboard cover. You’re not risking a couple thousand dollars worth of equipment when you run your keyboard cover under water. There is also less disruption to your workstation and the workstations of those around you when you only need to clean your Apple keyboard cover. You don’t have to unplug anything, move any parts or blow the dangerous particles onto your neighbor’s keyboards. A MacBook keyboard cover makes the process convenient and therefore more likely to do. Plus, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your hands are not covered in germs every time you work on your computer.

Beyond bacteria, an exposed Apple keyboard also puts your computer’s function at risk. Without a MacBook keyboard cover, liquid spills from your morning coffee or crumbs from your afternoon snack can wedge between the cracks and ruin your MacBook. The keys may get jammed and stop working. The liquid could get to the wire components of your MacBook and fry them. Without an Apple keyboard cover, it’s really just a matter of time before something goes terribly wrong and you’re forced to buy a new computer.

Cleaning Your MacBook Keyboard Cover

Normally, to clean your keyboard you have to go through a whole system. First, you shut down your MacBook to makes sure there’s no risk of electrocuting yourself. Then you tilt your whole computer to shake off any loose debris that may be in or around your MacBook keyboard. Next, you would have to take a can of compressed air and spray along every key and crack to make sure nothing fell into the interior of your computer. Lastly, you take a solution of water, soap and alcohol to sanitize each key individually.

People who are even more dedicated to a pristine keyboard go further by removing each key individually to scrub and sanitize. While the keys are removed, they’ll even go over the MacBook with a light vacuum just to pull out any stray dust or particles that might have avoided the compressed air can. With so many steps involved, it’s obvious why people rarely clean their keyboards. The whole thing sounds painfully tedious.

But it doesn’t have to be — not if you just buy a MacBook keyboard cover or two. Maintaining a clean Apple keyboard cover takes half the time and involves fewer steps. You simply peel it off, walk to the nearest sink, then shake and scrub. No worrying about electronics or replacing the keys one by one. With a MacBook keyboard cover, your MacBook is as good as new in half the time.

How often you clean your MacBook keyboard cover is up to you, but most experts suggest you do it frequently. You could wash it as often as you wash your hands if you really wanted to stay on top of the bacteria build up (and your Apple Keyboard cover makes that easy as we know). But every day is also sufficient.

Anything longer than a weekly wash and you start to run the risk of getting sick or infecting any open cuts you may have on your hands. It’s especially important to clean your MacBook keyboard cover after you’ve let someone else use your MacBook or you’ve worked on it in a public place. Ironically, hospitals are the most dangerous for germ build up, but places like public transportation or busy coffee shops aren’t far behind. The only imperative is that you do build a habit of cleaning your keyboard — for your health and for those around you.

Other Ways to Protect Your MacBook

Maintaining your MacBook’s quality involves more than a single MacBook keyboard cover. You should be investing in ways to protect every part of your MacBook if you want to ensure that it functions properly for years to come.

Just like an Apple keyboard cover, a MacBook screen protector does double duty of keeping your MacBook clean while also protecting it from the harm of everyday use. Unlike your MacBook’s screen, you can wipe down your Apple screen protector quickly with any soft cloth without risking a scratch. If you do happen to damage your screen protector in any way, you can replace it quickly and without much damage to your wallet.

We offer a range of MacBook screen protectors that come in every screen size. Make sure to pick the size that matches your MacBook for the most protection. As a bonus, we offer all the tools you need to properly apply your screen protector with every purchase. Don’t worry about annoying air bubbles or crooked plastic. We’ve got you covered.

If you want more tips on how to keep your MacBook clean and safe subscribe to our email list by entering your information below. We’ll send out the latest product announcements, exclusive deals and any other important information we think you’ll find interesting. We promise not everything will be on the thousands of bacteria you’re dealing with every day!

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