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coke all over my notebook keyboard! how do i clean the keyboard?

Posted on 2006-11-03
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-11-17
i spilled coke over my laptop,

i removed the keyboard from the laptop immediately and not a single drop went into my laptop

my laptop works fine and after i dried my keyboard, all keys were tested and were working properly

the only problem is.....

some of the keys became sticky inside and so when i press it, it is harder to push and slower to get back up (because of the coke)

here are my options..

1) dip the whole keyboard in water and let the coke dissolve away slowly (while keeping the data connector above water)
               b) if it was possible, some drops of detergent or soap would speed up the process

2) remove each key from the keyboard and use a cotton swab with some water to remove the sticky coke (but i don't know how to remove the keys!)

i know option 2 would be much safer but i'm not sure how to remove the keys... looking from the bottom, each key has 5 holes.  I think of notebook keyboards are similar in how the keys are attatched but just to let you know, it is an ECS notebook.

if anyone else have a better option or idea (other than buying a replacement keyboard) feel free to tell me your ideas

Question by:shpark82
LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:David Wall
ID: 17869953
It depends on the keyboard if you have seperated thye keyboard from the laptop you may be able to split keyboard so the you can clean the contacts, often you can remove the the back of the keyboard and get to the two contact layers you can gently swab off the sticky fluid, with water or a solvent and then dry gently with a clean dry cloth.

Then reassemble. good luck david
LVL 69

Expert Comment

ID: 17869967
Try the dishwasher - just kidding.

If you need directions on option 2, this guide may help: http://www.computing.net/howto/simple/keyboard/
LVL 31

Accepted Solution

rid earned 1600 total points
ID: 17870384
I think the soaking idea is innovative, and it might work if you use distilled water and make pretty damn sure you dry it out as quickly as possible after the immersion/soaking/coke-dissolving. Shine a table lamp (40 W incandescent lamp or so) at it from  10-15 cm distance and create an air flow (fan of some description) over it and let it sit for a day or two. The contacts as such in a KB aren't naked to be cleaned and the "make" and "break" isn't really galvanic in most cases, but some kind of capacitance change that is detected by electronic circuitry in the KB.
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Author Comment

ID: 17871490
would putting soat in the water be safe?

Author Comment

ID: 17871492
LVL 69

Expert Comment

ID: 17872112
You want to avoid anything that would leave a residue, which could jam the key action.  Plain old water (distilled, as rid suggested to get rid of minerals that might deposit) is good; just make sure you dry thoroughly before using.
LVL 26

Assisted Solution

PCBONEZ earned 400 total points
ID: 17872625
The sticky is due to the mechanicals under the key and not the actual switch.
If the switches were fouled it would act as if keys were pressed all the time even when none are.
The mechanicals vary a great deal from one keyboard to the next.
Some have keys that are easy to remove and replace and if that's yours that would be the thing to do.

You should use 70% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) instead of straight water.
Alcohol is a natural solvent and will loosen/soften the goo much faster than water.
The 30% that' is water will evaporate away easily and quickly with the alcohol and you will be less likely to have residual water 'stuck' in crevises.

~ If the keys come off then use it with a cue-tip.

~ If the keys don't come off....
What I would do is put some in a spray bottle that will spray a stream.
Open all your windows (or go outside).
Then, placing the keyboard on edge (or upside down is even better) so you only get the solvent in the area right under the keys, depress the key(s) next to the problem key(s) with something (a screw driver?) and flush under them with a stiff stream. You may have to let it soak some and do this over a few times. Once the problem keys are working put the keyboard on edge again at a slight angle with the keys side more down. Pour some (flush) between the keys and the keyboard's panel to flush the overall keyboard. Put it someplace warm, on edge, with a fan blowing on it until it's good and dry.

Expert Comment

ID: 17953213
a more easy way to clean your keyboard, but might not be as good or as thoroughly as what PCBONEZ has suggested.

use 70% isopropyl alcohol + 30% distill water as suggested by PCBONEZ, then put it in a spray bottle.

Spray them on the keyboard in different angles and tilt it to let the solvent drains out.

This is a lazy method~I tried this once myself and it works ok, but not to make your keyboard works perfectly like new.

Remember to disconnect your keyboard from your laptop before doing so~

happy spraying!

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