How to Clean a Rubber Key Fob (4 Methods!) + Tips

Has your key fob ever gotten dirty, slimy, and all gooey-like, making it look unpleasant to your eyes, and you’ve tried removing these stains, probably by washing it off with water, scrubbing it with soap or trying to wipe it off with alcohol but the grimy stains won’t come off?

The good news is, I’ve got the right methods for you to follow to clean your Rubber Key fob!

Ranging from bacteria to dirt to grime, one thing is certain; key fobs are certainly most likely to be covered with unpleasant stuff.

How to Clean a Rubber Key Fob (4 Methods)

Car keys rank among top germ-infested things that we touch on a daily basis.

Now that we are on the same page, this article aims to explain the right ways to keep your key fobs looking clean by following the different methods listed out below.


If your key fob is looking used, this is the method to use.


1- Liquid wax
2- A clean rag
3- Cotton swab


STEP 1: Apply a small amount of the wax onto a clean rag you’re holding and use it to thoroughly scrub your key fob, paying special attention to the areas (like grooves and patterns) which tend to accumulate more dirt than the others.

STEP 2: If the piece of rag you’re holding can’t penetrate the dirty edges around the buttons, a cotton swab dipped in the wax does the trick.

You should avoid soaking the rag with the wax to avoid the solvent penetrating the electrical parts within the key fob.


If the rubber of your key fob is looking deteriorated, this is the method to use.

Ensure you perform this method by spreading a towel underneath, to prevent the solvent from eating up your wooden furniture. Acetone nail polish remover is known to eat up wooden structures once it comes in contact with it.


1- Acetone nail polish remover
2- Paper towel
3- A towel
4- A cotton swab


Step 1: Apply a little Acetone nail polish remover to a paper towel and scrub your key fob well to remove the gumminess. You also have to be careful while applying the solvent as it might remove the images on your key fob.

STEP 2: A cotton swab would be needed if the paper towel can’t reach into the edges around the buttons of your key fob.

If the rubber of your key fob is sticky.

Isopropyl alcohol is one of the most efficient alcohol solvents to use in trying to get rid of the stickiness on your key fob.


1- Isopropyl alcohol
2- Paper towel
3- Cotton swab


STEP 1: Pour a little isopropyl alcohol onto the paper towel or clean rag. When this is done, scrub your key fob, the edges, and surfaces, to ensure you carry out this task efficiently.

STEP 2: A cotton swab can be used to clean the dirty spots where the paper towel or clean rag can’t clean.

STEP 3: As you clean your key fob with the alcohol solvent, you’ll notice a dirty patch on your paper towel or your rag, this signifies that the stickiness or dirt is actually coming off. You would then be required to scrub your key fob till the stickiness and dirt have been completely erased.


If your key fob is looking old and grimy.


1- Prepsol (Hydrocarbon solution used by paint shops)
2- A clean rag
3- Cotton swab


STEP 1: Apply a little bit of prepsol to the clean rag or paper towel and scrub the key fob to remove the crud.

STEP 2: Prepsol does a satisfactory work of erasing grime off your key fob and although it is heavier when compared to an alcohol solvent, it still works.

When you feel satisfied with your scrubbing work, examine your key fob to see if the dirt and grease have come off.

STEP 3: When this is done, you would then be required to leave your key fob, in order to allow the prepsol solvent to evaporate and when this process is over, you would then clean off the oily film left after evaporating with a clean rag leaving you with a clean key fob.

Car Key Fobs – Maintenance Tips

1- You should ensure that you clean your key fobs on a weekly basis or at most, within a period of two weeks depending on how often you use them. Carrying out this regular cleaning prevents the dirt and grease to penetrate the electronic components of the key.

2- Keyboards and cell phones accumulate skin oil from the fabric of your cloth and microscopic bits of skin, so when your key fob is placed in your pocket, it’s very likely to pick up this oil and dirt from the accessories in your pockets.

Using key fob cases helps to drastically reduce the chances of getting soiled or dirty from sweat or grime from our palms or clothes. Some of these key fob cases protect the key fob buttons as well.

Do’s and Don’ts of Cleaning Key fobs


1- Make sure you wear hand gloves before you apply these solvents to a rag or paper towel, some of these solvents might be harmful to your skin.

2- Do not overindulge in the solvent. You should be wary about the amount of solvent you apply on your clean rag or paper towel to prevent the solvent from seeping into the key fob from the surface.

3- For strong solvents such as Acetone, ensure you perform the scrubbing of your key fob away from any furniture close by to avoid it getting ruined if an accident should happen.


1- Don’t perform any chemical cleaning without the use of safety equipment if your skin easily reacts to chemicals.

2- Don’t make use of two different kinds of solvents or methods while attempting to rid your key fob of its dirt. It could produce chemical reactions and harmful toxic fumes.

3- Don’t dip your key fob into the water in an attempt to wash the dirt off. Key fobs aren’t waterproof devices.


Taking out time to care for your tiny rubber items such as key fobs or those rubber keycaps of your keybord can be a bit time-consuming process. Applying any of these various and simple methods would not only keep your key fob looking brand new always but also keep you safe from unwanted bacteria and resulting illnesses.

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