Cleaning the Keyboard

So…I stupidly knocked over a can of a surgery energy drink, a bit of which spilled on the bottom right hand of the keyboard—the RAlt, RCtrl, RShift, greater than (>), question mark (?), quotation mark ("), and the arrow keys. Those keys are now sticky to different degrees. Some only make a sticky sound when you’ve lifted your finger after depressing the key. The others are much more sticky. They require more pressure to depress and raise back up relatively slowly. Nothing leaked underneath the keyboard.

I was thinking that I might “soak” (read: submerged but not for too long) in 99% ISO, blowing it with compressed air, and then let it dry. Would that work or is that a bad idea? Is there a better way?

PS—I am not thinking about thinking about or trying to remove the keys.

Personally I would use distilled water first since sugar does not dissolve in ISO. Also instead of soaking it I would do a couple of immersions until the keys work freely then do 1 clean wash afterwards.

You can then shake off the water and do a short wash with ISO to displace the water from the contacts. Then let it dry on an air vent or radiator for maybe 12-ish hours - depending on humidity. Frankly every time I had water in electronics it stayed in there at least overnight and caused issues.

You can always order a new keyboard from framework if it doesn’t work.


Alternatively you can use 45% vodka and then drink the sweetened result and of course drink some whilst you wait to save worrying. Best buy a new keyboard first so you don’t have too long a wait. :slight_smile:

But yes the above post is great. Soak in distilled water, you can still drink that later or water some plants. :slight_smile:

All the best


Sounds like someone with experience!

I also suggest to get a new keyboard soon, if you really can’t live without one (like external keyboard not possible).


@blkhawk – Thank you! I totally forgot about distilled water. I’m going to try what you described. How long would you let the keyboard sit in the distilled water? Just a few minutes at a time until the keys are un-sticky? And, as you said, if it doesn’t work, I’ll just order a new one.

@amoun – Love the idea! Unfortunately I don’t have any vodka at the moment but I do have a couple of gallons of distilled water and ISO. I think try that method but maybe I’ll go buy a bottle of vodka just to drink while I am working. Ha!

@Anachron – I think @amoun may very well have some experience. Haha! I have an external keyboard but it’s not very convenient to use a full sized keyboard in a cafe. Although it would be pretty funny. Luckily I can live without it for 12-24 hrs, I wasn’t planning on doing any work today anyway. :rofl:

PS–Thank you @blkhawk @amoun and @Anachron for your replies. I’ll let y’all know if it works.

1 Like

Yes just a few minutes - there is glue and stuff inside the keyboard that might soak up too much water - same goes for the isopropanol. iso will soften glues so you have to be a bit careful.
Basically I would soak in water for a few minutes until all keys are free if they are sticky at all. take it out and rinse it off with fresh distilled water - then shake off the water and remove as much as you can with - say a towel.
Next rinse it once in isopropranol to displace more of the water that has wicked inside the keyboards membrane.
Lastly put it on a radiator or heat vent overnight - there will be little droplets of water all over inside and that takes time to evaporate.


I’d prefer a ‘good’ airflow as pressure reduction is quicker that heat in some situations, so forced warm air, room temp 23° to 32° is warm.

I should probably not depress the keys while soaking so as not to exacerbate any possible weaken if the glue, yes?

What about also using compressed air? In combination with the shaking and a towel, of course.

That’s what I was planning. I am have a nice heater that I can an set the temperature of the air being blown through.

Thank you, once again, @blkhawk and @amoun
Greatly appreciated!

1 Like

Well compressed air will not really help you with the water droplets inside - yes you can remove a bit more water than just shaking it off but in the end you will have to let it dry.

Also time was somewhat of the essence with stuff like that - acidic soda corrodes traces - you should have long since dunked the keyboard by now to have the highest chance of getting it back to full working order. By now the soda did most of the damage there and all that remains is the stickiness.

1 Like

Well it may well help. Reducing atmospheric pressure ensures water evaporates, hence clothes in the wind dry better than clothes in the sun in some situations.

1 Like

Right - I forgot how it only takes seconds to dry clothes on a clothes line and how my mom always used a vaccum chamber to dry me off after a bath.

we are talking a keyboard here - you can very well blow off the key-caps with air-pressure before you ever get every little water droplet out of the inside of the key-caps.

Its better to just put it on an air-vent or radiator to let time dry it.


Yeah I know. Unfortunately, I was unable to find appropriate water yesterday. I did it a few hours ago, kept the water immersion to just a couple of minutes and then immediately gave it an iso wash. Dried it off and put in front of air flow with a moderate temp set to about around 20° C (had to do the conversation as I’m in the US). Set a time for every 3 hours to rotate it for as even airflow as possible. I’m going to give it 12-ish hours to dry out.

I do have an external to use, if I have to order a replacement.

Let y’all know how it works.


@blkhawk and @amoun I just wanted to let the two of you know that it was a success.

Following both @blkhawk’s instructions and @amoun’s suggestion about drying the keyboard. No issues have presented themselves. Keyboard works perfect.

Thank you both!


Thanks for the heads-up - my own advise was based on what I didn’t do right about 11 years ago :slight_smile:
In short I overdid it back then (I completely took the keyboard apart) and my keyboard wasn’t ever the same after :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like