- Make sure cords are covered in plastic (though some people don’t even bother with this)
- If cleaning in the sink, use a mild soap
- If putting it in the dishwasher, put it on the top rack and use little or no detergent
- If you remove the keys for individual washing, make sure the water isn’t too hot or they can warp
- Most importantly, give it enough time to completely dry; plan on a week to be sure
Now, if you are extremely law-abiding and aren’t comfortable going against the manufacturer's recommendations, then maybe you should consider buying a keyboard that is officially marketed as washable. There are a number of these options available.
First off is the recently introduced Logitech K310. For $39.99 you can have this keyboard which can be washed in the sink without fear. Kensington offers a similar washable keyboard, also for $39.99. HP (remember them?), too, sells a washable keyboard, along with a washable mouse, for $69.
None of the Logitech, Kensington and HP keyboards, however, are (officially) dishwasher safe, although there are keyboards advertised as such, if you prefer to avoid dishpan hands. Unotron offers a line of dishwasher safe keyboards and mice, as does Seal Shield, at a range of prices. Both companies’ keyboards have water-proof USB cables and can be used wet or even submerged (in case, say, you need to work on those TPS reports while scuba diving on your honeymoon). There are other options as well, though many are geared towards specific industries such as health care providers.
Of course, if this all sounds nuts to you, then just keep the 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke - not to mention the kids - far away from your keyboard and you shouldn’t ever have to worry about such things.