Would lubed switches collect dust and dirt over time?

I’ve been reading a bit and come across a discussion in which people talked about how one of the reasons Alps were dust magnets and got bad over time is due to them being factory lubed.

[Edit: Sorry if I wasn’t clear I meant to talk about MX switches.]
So it got me wondering, would lubed switches survive the years? Or would they collect dust and dirt and the switch will be ruined?

I’m mainly referring to manually lubed switches with greases.
Alternatively, would dry switches survive the years in terms of durability?

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If you mean by Alps, I’ve also heard that alps are dust-prone, and can’t really touch that subject because I don’t own any.

If talking about mx style switches, then the short answer would be “probably no”.

The only way that dirt or debris can get clogged up in the switches are when the switches are pushed down to reveal the gap that some tend to spray lube inside of.

In reality, you should be having your keycaps one while using the keyboard, and when you do that, it kind of “surrounds” the switch when the gap is vulnerable, and when let go of, seal back the gap again.

Also, there are “Dust Proof” stems and Box switches that are meant to keep unwanted materials from entering the keyboard (if it ever happens).

Dry switches would probably be more or less the same to lube switches in terms of dust-proofness and duarbility if hand-lubed and done correctly. Might even help the durability to lube because you are lubricating parts where the switch plastics rub and might wear out without lube.


You might want to have a look at this thread over on DT: Kinda curious: What makes Alps so sensitive to dust? - deskthority

There’s also relatively new method of restoring Alps switches which you can find here: How to restore Alps switches for real (2021) I personally haven’t tried it myself, so you’re just going to have to find out on your own or take their word for it.

If you ever want to clean switches (especially heavily used Alps), you can always put them in an ultrasonic cleaner which is a cheap way to restore them. Remember, you can take apart Alps switches even when soldered on a PCB.

Idk, but if you lube “dustproof” switches, the lube rubs from the housing to the raised part of the stem, bringing lube to the outside for more dust to accumulate on it, so it can then be swept into the housing by pressing the switch. Ignore all that, I’m probably just crazy, and look at the stability of the switch. They are no less wobbly that regular switches.

They’re the dumbest gimmick to plague the hobby since speed switches, or gamer keyboards.

The answer is yes.

I was referring to the MX style switches sorry for the confusion.
Dust and dirt accumulate on the plate even if you keep the keyboard covered, unlubed switches are not a worry, dust and dirt can go away with use.
Lubed switches is a different beast, the dirt can get stuck in the grease/oil.

About dust proof switches, that concept is interesting.
Afaik the dust proof aspect is referred to enclosed contact leaf (in short leaf) in the BOX switches, so in theory the switch can be in a very bad shape, but should still work.
An issue with that design is that the stem is sliding on the top housing as well, thus it’s lubed, but in resting position it’s exposed to dirt and dust to stick on.
I guess that’s fine in Kailh case as it’s purpose is durability rather than longevity of the smooth sliding action.
But I can’t see how that works on other switches without an enclosed leaf, correct me if I’m wrong but other manufacturers only added a boxed shaped stem rather than isolating the leaf, so all they does is either adding friction points, and if that part is lubed (or you lube it yourself) than it’s more surface for dirt to stick on.

But I’m no engineer…