Keeping your Computerized Key Machine Clean

Feb 6th 2023

How do you keep your Computerized Key Machine Clean? This is a serious question. Most manufacturers place warnings on their Key Machines (See Picture 1).

However, not all Manufacturers explain these warnings (See Picture 2).

It is very important to understand how to properly clean your Computerized Key Machine. Cleaning your Key Machine on a regular basis will prolong the life of the Key Machine. Keeping your Key Machine clean will maintain a more professional appearance as well. First and foremost, never, and I mean never, use compressed air to clean your Computerized Key Machine. The best way to clean your Key Machine is to use the brush that came with the machine or use a vacuum. I find that a lightweight portable 1 gallon, Shop-Vac Type vacuum works the best (See Picture 3).

Most of these small vacuums come with a mounting bracket. Use this mounting bracket to mount the vacuum in your Van or on the wall in your shop (See Picture 4).

The warning stickers that I referenced above are there to keep you from making a costly mistake. Let me tell you a cautionary tale, of a person who didn’t adhere to the warning stickers on their Key Machine. This person called us and described some very strange issue with their Computerized Key Machine. We walked them through some troubleshooting steps that did not resolve their problem. We connected with this customer by Video Chat, to see the issue first hand and try to pick up on any details that we might have missed earlier. We were not able to resolve the issues after our Video Chat. As a last resort, we asked the customer to ship their Key Machine to us for repair. When we received the Machine the outward appearance was very clean, and the Key Machine appeared to have very little use. We did notice a very strong smell of burned electronic components coming from the Key Machine. We took the front cover off of the Machine and immediately we found the issue (See Pictures 5, 6, and 7).

After discussing what was found with the customer they admitted that they “always” used compressed air to clean their Key Machine. Doing this caused the brass shavings from the keys to be blown into the Key Machine, causing cross-connections that ultimately damaged the Key Machine. We asked the customer about the Warning Sticker on the front of the Machine, and they said they didn’t know what the picture meant.

This cautionary tale isn’t meant to put this customer down, in any way. Something that seems very basic to one person, isn’t so basic to another. If you have been using compressed air to clean your Machine, and it still works, then you have time to stop. If you have been using compressed air to clean your Key Machine, unplug the Machine, take the covers off and get all of those brass shavings out of the Machine before it is too late!!

We hope this Tech Tip has been helpful to you. Stay tuned for our next Tech Tip. If you have any requests for Tech Tip Articles or if you have questions about this Tech Tip Article, please email us at