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Cleaning Apple Wireless Keyboard

44504 Views 20 Replies Latest reply: Apr 2, 2014 3:54 PM by ggfromcp RSS
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pputnam Level 3 Level 3 (575 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 12, 2011 3:18 PM
Spilled some wine on the keyboard last night. Seems I got to most of it fast enough, but 2 keys are now sluggish. On the old keyboards, I use to pull out the keys to clean. Do these keys pull out? Not willing to try to do it and break a key. Thanks.
27"iMac 2.66GHz intel Core i5, Mac OS X (10.6.4), iPhone 4 32GB Black/iPad wifi+3G
  • rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (40,505 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 12, 2011 4:13 PM (in response to pputnam)
    Nope you can't clean it or fix it, I suspect you're going to just have to replace the whole keyboard. You can find them at OWC for about $45. They're address is www.macsales.com. I know that isn't what you want to do but liquids of any type and keyboards just don't mix.

    Roger
    iMac 6 GB RAM, MacBook Air 4GB, 128GB SSD, Mac OS X (10.6.6), iPhone 3GS Airport Extreme Airport Express
  • jwaltersiv Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 19, 2011 9:18 AM (in response to pputnam)
    I recently spilled coffee on one of my aluminum wireless keyboards.

    I quickly got the excess liquid off of the keyboard. I removed the batteries immediately, putting them back in after the keyboard seemed to be dry. It worked fine, but many of the keys were sticky/sluggish.

    Based on numerous posts on other threads/forums, I decided to pour isopropyl alcohol onto the keys that were sticking. After again removing the batteries, I flushed over the keys numerous times, pressing them repeatedly with each "wash" before draining the alcohol off the board [it seems to drain well to the bottom corner, away from the battery compartment]

    The keys are no longer sticking and the board is totally dry on the surface. I expect the alcohol to be completely evaporated in a couple of days at a maximum.

    I'll do my best to report back as to whether the keyboard properly functioned after taking a "bath"

    **I've read on one forum that top-rack dishwasher worked (allowing the board to fully dry for a week afterward was successful. While I'm not willing to attempt this myself, it does have me optimistic about the alcohol bath.
    2 MacPro, iMac, MacBookPro, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • jwaltersiv Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 20, 2011 11:12 AM (in response to jwaltersiv)
    24 hours later, the keyboard functions perfectly. None of the keys are sticky.
    2 MacPro, iMac, MacBookPro, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • david davis Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 21, 2011 2:48 PM (in response to pputnam)
    You CAN clean this keyboard. I spilled a beer on mine (dumb, I know) and was plagued with a sticky left side of the keyboard. As long as it wasn't a full on dump and the fluid isn't affecting the electrics, you can pull off each key and clean under with a cotton swab, toothpick, and gentle work.

    You need to pry up the individual keys from the bottom, there's a hinge that they click into at the top. DO NOT FORCE, they'll come up. I used a guitar pick. Once they're up, you can clean up the half-dissolved adhesive goop on the bottom of the key and any other nastiness where the key presses down.

    Be careful with keys that are not square! They get pried up from the side (cannot remember which side) and some have small metal springs that will want to get lost. Just take your time.

    The keys take more pry than you will feel comfortable doing, but once you get the hang of it with one or two you'll know how much before they come loose. The sticky keys will drive you crazy, take your time, google up the topic (you'll find one or two vids that show this) and don't rush it.
    I-Book 14, Other OS
  • ChicagoLarry Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 15, 2011 7:27 AM (in response to pputnam)
    Last night I spilled some wine on MY wireless aluminum keyboard. After the initial cleanup, I came on here and the first result of my search was YOUR wine-spill story.

    After flinging out as much liquid as I could, I noticed everything worked except the "c" key, which was playing weird tricks on me. I was afraid other keys in the area might start sticking as the wine residue dried and got stickier, so I removed the batteries and sprayed a lot of rubbing alcohol onto and around the "c" key, drenching it. Then I flung it around with great vigor, so that the alcohol would exit at the corner farthest from the On/Off button and nearest the "c" key.

    I then stood it up to dry over night, such that any more alcohol would drain out that same corner. Typing this post is the next morning's test. It's working fine.
    imac Intel core duo, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • ChicagoLarry Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 17, 2011 5:54 PM (in response to ChicagoLarry)
    RETRACTI0N!

    I was too hasty in claiming the keyboard worked fine. I later noticed four of the number keys werent working. Did the same alcohol cleaning routine, removing batteries and then really soaking everything and then letting it dry for a full day while standing it up to drain. Results: now many keys dont work, including the apostrophe, delete key, capital-o and others.

    So as it turned out, that was a seventy-dollar glass of wine, and the real kicker is, I didn’t even get to finish it (the part that spilled).

    So as to not lead anyone astray, if anyone knows how to delete my previous post, that would be great. or maybe better yet, if someone knows how to edit it, you could add: But read next post.

    Thanks
    imac Intel core duo, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • deconfrost Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 8, 2011 3:25 AM (in response to pputnam)

    Yup Alcohol 70% did the job with my coffee soaked BT keyboard..

     

    I spilled like half a cup, and immediately removed the batteries. I also immediately washed the keyboard with alcohol..(realy soaking it) Alcohol leaves no residue.. so it washes out all the coffee and after a couple of second drying.. .everything works perfectly again.

  • Glsllc Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 20, 2011 10:55 AM (in response to pputnam)

    Couldn't believe it either, but dishwasher method worked for my red wine spill in wireless keyboard - thanks!

  • KirkinClovis Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 18, 2011 1:20 PM (in response to david davis)

    I read all of these posts and tried prying keys from the bottom - but found them not very ready to pry off. Then I read a post from Germany which suggested prying them from the top of each key. This I did with a used Starbucks card (yet another way to recycle!) and it popped off much more simply. Then I was able to clean under each sticky key (only 2 - from orange sherbet) and now it works just fine!

  • Manta Mom Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 9, 2012 9:35 AM (in response to KirkinClovis)

    Thanks to everyone's comments, my keys no long stick and our keyboard looks and feels brand new!

     

    I gently pried off the 8 key from the top. It feels like it's going to snap off and break, but it won't if you only use a little pressure to lift the key up and off. I used 70% rubbing alcohol with a saturated Q-Tip, getting under the plastic piece. The alcohol dries up immediately.

     

    Getting the key back on was a little tricky because you have to lock in the bottom first. I used a keyboard brush around each key to get out any dust or crumbs and then finished up cleaning the entire top of the keyboard with a microfiber towel and rubbing alcohol. Works and looks great!

  • Migster Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 10, 2012 8:34 AM (in response to jwaltersiv)

    Thanks for the alcohol suggestion.  I spilled a bit of coffee on mine.  Thankfully it was just on the bottom righ but later in the day I noticed the bottom arrow key was sticking.  

     

    After finding this article I removed the batteries, dripped a bit of alcohol into it and blew it out.  I repeated it about 3 of 4 times and let it dry overnight.   The key is back to normal now and I saved myself from having to remove the key.

  • Tommycat1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Apr 6, 2013 4:52 AM (in response to Migster)

    Where do you buy the alcohol?

  • Tommycat1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 6, 2013 4:53 AM (in response to Glsllc)

    How long between the spill and the dishwaher treatment?

  • Radiation Mac Level 5 Level 5 (4,630 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 6, 2013 4:54 AM (in response to Tommycat1)

    Any pharmacy such as Walgreens, CVS, etc. in the US carries the required "99% Isopropyl" alcohol. 

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