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Cleaning keyboard

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by sportsaholic, Dec 15, 2008.

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  1. sportsaholic

    sportsaholic Banned Thread Starter

    Apr 15, 2008
    When I was in school, my teacher told us it was ok to throw our keyboard in the washing machine to clean it. Has anyone ever heard of that and actually done it?

  2. CDATech


    May 1, 2008
    If you try this method, make sure to not put any soap in. I would recommend using canned air and some windex instead, however this method does work as long as you let the keyboard dry upside for at least a day afterwords.

    I'd still stick with the canned air...

    I also wouldn't recommend using this method on the more expensive keyboard with LCDS, etc...just your plain membrane based keyboards.
  3. 1002richards

    1002richards Retired Trusted Advisor

    Jan 29, 2006
  4. dustyjay


    Jan 23, 2003
    First Name:
    I certainly hope this teacher was joking! Cleaning a keyboard should consist mainly ofa can of compressed air, and a vaccum (used externally), and a dampened cloth to clean the dirt off the keys and case. Spaying any liquid on it should be avoided unless you are good a disassembly and reassembly for proper drying purposes.
  5. TheOutcaste


    Aug 7, 2007
    Actually a dishwasher would be safer as it won't toss the keyboard around.

    Many companies clean circuit boards using either a dishwasher with a mild detergent, or a Freon bath. It all depends on the components (mainly capacitors); some can take aqueous washing and not Freon, and vice versa.

    The main problem with membrane type keyboards is they can take several days to dry, and it's difficult to make sure no soap residue is left behind.

    My roommate washed his wireless keyboard in the dishwasher after his 3 yr old spilled a soda on it. Three problems; he used regular dishwashing soap, didn't rinse it well afterwards, and he didn't wait long enough for it to dry. Didn't work after plugging it in, so he bought a new one and gave it (and the associated wireless mouse) to me.

    Took me 15 minutes to clean the dried soap residue off the membrane that was shorting two of the column line together and have a nice wireless Multimedia keyboard for free.

    If this is a membrane type desktop keyboard, it's much easier to just take it apart and wash the membrane with a mild soap and rinse it well, then dry with a soft cloth. You can have it back in service in 10-15 minutes. Some keyboards are riveted together though, so you can't get to the membrane to clean it.

    And this should only be done if liquid has been spilt on the keyboard, and you have keys that are not working. For "normal" dirt and grime, canned air, cotton swabs, and a soft cloth will do the job.

    Definitely do not try to wash a laptop keyboard this way while it's still installed in the laptop.


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