I once worked with a guy who wiped his laptop down with a disinfectant wipe every day when he came into the office. His commitment to clean keys was shocking and inspiring, but I knew I would never do the same. I’ve worked on messy desks and computers for a lifetime (I’ll admit that during one dark period, I spent over a year using a laptop with a broken screen) — and I’ve always been more the type of person to flip my keyboard over, shake out the crumbs, and move on.
But one day, on a deep online dive for desk accessories, I found the Hay laptop brush. I’ve known the Danish design brand since it opened a mini-market of playful home goods in the basement of MoMA’s Soho design store, and loved it from the bright-yellow toothbrush I’ve been using for the past few months to make me feel like an extra in Her, so I called one in to test it out on my work computer.
And in a turn of events that even I couldn’t anticipate, thanks to this little brush, I’ve become that guy. To start, it’s like the mid-century modern teak console of desk accessories: perfect in its simplistic elegance (and now that you know what it is, much like with the console, you’re going to see it everywhere). The front piece — made of tough, short, black goat-hair bristles — is meant for the keyboard. You can hold it vertically and either swipe straight across the keys from top to bottom, or, as I prefer, horizontally to get a more thorough swipe between each row of keys. This also means that you don’t have to press down a jumble of keys, and accidentally close all your tabs (like with that disinfecting wipe), just to get out the crumbs stuffed between K and L, which is incredibly satisfying. The longer and softer horsehair bristles are meant for the screen, gently swiping away any pockets of dust bunnies. I also tested the horsehair out on some piles of dust half-hidden behind my computer, where it worked just as well as a mini-duster. The best part is probably that it all folds up into a narrow 1.75-inch-wide beechwood base that can stand up on its own — I’ve taken to leaving mine on the foot of my monitor, a new furry desk mate — and it’s only 3 inches long, so it can also easily fit into a laptop carrying case or bag. Dusting on the go — at La Colombe, on the subway, wherever you open your laptop — has never been this elegant.
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