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Best way to clean laptop keyboard (under/between keys)

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by FuzzyWuzzy, Jul 4, 2004.

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  1. FuzzyWuzzy

    FuzzyWuzzy Thread Starter

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    Its hard cause they are scissor keys and dont have the spacing that standard keyboards have beteween the keys. Will a can of air work? Im not sure if the plastic tube will fit between to blow the dust out.

    I occasionally turn it upside down and shake it like mad too, which helps.
     
  2. thumper289

    thumper289

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    might try a vacumm

    :p
     
  3. flavallee

    flavallee Frank Trusted Advisor

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    F_W:

    A brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner hose works wonders for sucking up everything(dust, hair, food particles, skin flaking, etc.) between those keys.

    Turning your laptop upside down and shaking it hard is a good way to damage or loosen something inside.
     
  4. Skivvywaver

    Skivvywaver

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    I just blew out one of my machines with a 60 lb tank of dry nitrogen. What a trip. The dust seemed to disintegrate. I had the regulator set down to 50 psi but the volume of the blast really cleaned her up from 3 foot away. The room got kinda dusty but man the machine is clean:D. I wouldn't really recommend this though. I figure if you got too close or set the regulator too high you could blow the board clear out of the case. The max on a full tank is over 1000 psi.
     
  5. flavallee

    flavallee Frank Trusted Advisor

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    Do you get the feeling that Skivvywaver is pulling our leg or blowing smoke up our backside? :rolleyes:
     
  6. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    On many keyboards, it's also not that difficult to pop some of the keys off. I've removed alternate rows of keys from a keyboard and then was able to clean more throughly between the remaining one. :)
     
  7. Skivvywaver

    Skivvywaver

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    No blowing smoke. Why would I make such a thing up? Check it out. :rolleyes:
     

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  8. Cosmic

    Cosmic

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    There is a bit of a trick for that extra cleaning power that gets the impossible grunge.

    Get a foam spray cleaner. Something like a carpet cleaner or maybe Big Wally. You want something with a thick foam, that then turns to liquid and is a powder when dry. Test it on something else before if unsure of its characteristics.

    Clean with a vacuum prior to application of foam.

    Hold the keyboard upside down. Spray up at an angle. You want to impact the keys but not blow a lot of spray deep between keys. Don't get super close, something like a foot away. The general idea being don't get a super amount behind the keys. Change angles to cover all recesses. You can get the foam layer pretty thick.

    Continue to keep the keyboard upside down for the entire process. Let the foam sit, it will tend to collaspe into a liquid state and drip down bringing all the oil, dirt, and corruption with it. At some stage begin to gently dub with a paper towel to collect the liquid and work the keys a bit. After it appears to be pretty dry, rig the keyboard in an upside down position and let sit for several hours. Any foam that got behind the keys should turn to a powder.

    Then vacuum with as strong a suck as possible, a big opening nozzle is OK the powder entrains the grunge and comes out easy. I prefer vacuum because blowing can embed the powder inside the innards. If you use the skivvywaver high pressure method, maybe wear a dust mask, who knows what that powder will do to your lungs.

    I have done this procedure many times on all sorts of keyboard. Never had a problem. It will give the best clean possible to get without any disassembly. Sometimes the keys don't quite feel right after wards. Maybe a bit too clean and even sticky to the touch. Dampen a paper towel with water or windex and wipe the surface of the keys. A little use, regains the correct feel.

    If it is a laptop, maybe want to tape off any openings like the floppy drive, etc before hand to prevent any spray from accidentally entering.
     
  9. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I wouldn't do this to a keyboard on a bet! :rolleyes: FWIW, it's normally pretty easy to separate a keyboard from a laptop for better access, and I'd do that if you really want to clean under the keys.
     
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