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Keyboards are one of the most abused parts of the average system. They get pounded on, covered with dirt, loaded with dust and food particles, and even the occasional cup of decaf. :^) The extent to which keyboard care is important depends on how much you care about your keyboard, and what it costs. Cheap keyboards go for as little as $10 these days; if you don't care about what kind of keyboard you use, you can practically treat them as a disposable item, just getting a new one when they get damaged or gummed up from excessive gunk. (A rather wasteful attitude, I think, but one that does make sense in some circumstances.) Other people (such as myself) rely upon unique keyboards with special features, some of which are hard to replace if they become damaged, and so care and maintenance become much more important.
Fortunately, most decent keyboards are fairly resistant to abuse, but over time, if they are never maintained, they can eventually fail. Common failure modes are keys that stick or repeat, or have to be pressed multiple times to get a character to show up. Assuming that you do want your keyboard to last, I recommend the following routine care steps be taken:
In the unfortunate event that you spill coffee or other liquids into the keyboard, it is still possible in some cases to save the device, but often you will need to replace it.