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I just cleaned out my keyboard.

 8:03 am on Nov 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think the appriopriate word would be "Ew".

I have a keyboard with hard to take off keys so it only gets cleaned about once a year. It was pretty dirty. Now I can't decided if I should be happy that it's clean or horrified at what was in there. Maybe I was better off not knowing?

Oh and apparently I eat a lot of crackers at my computer. Never mind that I don't remember buying crackers...



 8:11 am on Nov 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

I usualy just turn it upside down and drop it from a couple of inches on to the table top a few times. If it still needs treatment I just use the brushy thing from the vacume cleaner.. seams to do the trick ok. :)

If the keys get messy the best thing i have found is a tooth brush with mild cleaning solution. Brings them up like new.

On the subject of keyboards, have you ever noticed how after about a year of use the "A" "E" "I" "O" "U" keys are the ones that are getting hard to make out properly. so it's true the vowels are the most common used letters.


 8:19 am on Nov 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

The best tools I've found to get keys off are a lobster fork or cuticle scissors. I never thought of the vaccuum cleaner goodie, but mine seems to get gunked up with what looks like tar.

>apparently I eat a lot of crackers at my computer

Better at the computer than in bed, because if you want to eat crackers in bed you'll have to learn to sleep with crumbs.


 8:30 am on Nov 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Um, there are crumbs in my bed too :) Apparently I'm a rather messy person.


 8:41 am on Nov 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

>best thing I've found

Put some very mild dish detergent in the bath tub and fill with a couple inches of water. Throw in the keyboard and let it soak overnight. Wash it throughly under the faucet. Works good if you have a soft bristled brush like a paint brush to brush between the keys. Hang it outside on the laundry line to dry in the sun for most of the day. (helps if you have an air compressor and can blow them out after you wash them to get most of the water out of them before you dry them).

Done that probably a hundred times with my favorite kb since the 80's. Too bad the springs are slowly wearing out.

Gateway used to make the best kb in the biz. Now all you can find is the low quality logitechs or microsoft that wear out in a few years. I think keyboard quality has gone down the tubes the last five years - you just can't buy a decent one any more.

Visit Thailand

 8:52 am on Nov 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Does anyone know if you can clean the KB on a laptop? Am using Dell Inspiron and would love to give it a soak.


 9:09 am on Nov 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

For laptops just use the vacuum cleaner approach.
I once ruined my machine by just spilling a few drops of water on the keyboard and the water penetrated the circuits below.
Was a quicte costly and time consuming repair.
For desktop keyboards: vacuum and clean with a light detergent (applied with a soft cloth).


 9:14 am on Nov 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

An inspiron is not too difficult to take apart. Head to dell and grab the parts pdf out of support. About 10 screws and the ribbon cable connector is the tricky part.

Excellent kb eh? I have to ammend my statement that all kbs are poor these days - dell laptop kbs are excellent. Low travel, clickless, and a smooth stroke. I wish I could find a desktop kb that was made just the same way in a 101/104 configuration. I find myself using the laptop more these days just because of the lcd screen and keyboard.

Visit Thailand

 9:42 am on Nov 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks all.

Have to agree Dell's kb's are brilliant, and tough, as is the whole computer have had mine for many years and never a single problem.

You do not recommmend removing the keys one by one then cleaning them and putting them back?


 9:47 am on Nov 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

>You do not recommmend removing the keys one by one then cleaning them and putting them back?

I've been wondering about this too. Thre was such a network of cat hair under mine that I can't imagine all those crumbs getting out on their own. The first time I shook it without the keys nothing came out. I had to remove the hair before I could get out the crumbs. But then maybe this wouldn't happen if I cleaned it more often?

Also, is there any way I could decide if it's waterproof? I have a slightly unusual keyboard and I literally can't replace it. I don't want to risk it, but at the same time it gets kinda sticky sometimes(chocolate ice cream). A quick rinse would be useful.


 10:55 am on Nov 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

one of those wooly ear cleaner things with window cleaner on it, (but not soaked).

Chiyo (Martha Stewart) Hyiuki


 1:29 pm on Nov 25, 2002 (gmt 0)



 1:44 pm on Nov 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

If you don't have an air compressor at home, take your kb with you the next time to the filling station when you get gas/petrol. Most stations will have an air compressor there. Just ask the attendent if they have a blower nozzel. You can blow most cat hair out of a kb.

If you flip over your desk top kb, you'll probably about five short screws. Sometimes they are hidden under the little rubber feet and you might have to peal those off. After that, just pull those screws and the kb will come apart in three peices (top, bottom of the case, and the main board). Once apart, you can usually hold the kb upright and tap it aggressively (don't be affraid, give it goodd whack - they are tough). All those dead skin cells will come falling out of it and make a nice pile of dust bunnies ;)

If it is the key tops that are sticky and dirty, you can use a spray. Use some milde window cleaner with a squirt bottle that sprays a fine mist. Just hold your kb up and give it two or three squirts to put a fine film across the whole kb (don't let it puddle or run). Then just let it set for a few minutes and carefully dab it off the keys. Go over each key. Some times I do the same with a qtip on each key. It never fails to amuse me how much nicer a clean kb feels.


 4:26 pm on Nov 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Keyboards are the worst! I am a clean freak ... but also a smoker. Very bad combination particularly when it comes to keyboards.

Brett is right, high pressure air is the best thing, but if you aren't disposed to taking your keyboard to the gas station, you can buy cans of compressed air. For those of us who scuba dive ... finding compressed air is never a problem.

My office is right next to a scuba shop, so my keyboard gets a "bath" once a week. :)

I also use one of those dust mitts (can't remember the brand name) ... but you know what I mean. Oh ... its Swiffer, I think. I spray a fine mist of Windex on that to clean the keys. Much easier than Q-Tips.


 7:06 pm on Nov 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

For those of us who scuba dive ... finding compressed air is never a problem.

How can you smoke and dive? I use up enough air without reducing my lungs effectiveness. Used to use a fifteen liter tank when everyone else in the club was on a 12 and still run out of air before everyone else. And that was *after* my high-consumption beginning dives. (Sorry if my vocab is confusing. I've never used English in connection with diving.)

I haven't been under water longer than I could hold my breath in about three and a half years. :( Anyone know of a place in the US midwest that honors Federation Francais d'Etudes et de Sports Sous-Marins certification?


 8:22 pm on Nov 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

dingman, see your stickymail.


 10:42 pm on Nov 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

>If you don't have an air compressor at home, take your kb with you the next time to the filling station when you get gas/petrol.

What a great idea! I have to go put air in my bicycles tyres every couple of weeks already so taking my kayboard along will be easy.

I'm going to try all the other cleaning tips too when I get time. The keys are still kinda sticky. Hopefully it won't get into such a terrible state again.

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