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Spilled Tea over the Keyboard

By onbliss ·
My toddler tipped my tea cup over my keyboard. The brew had milk and sugar in it.

Now the keyboard is not working and is messed up. For example, if I type "w" it comes out as "\w", Backspace key does not work at all and things of that nature.

I opened the keyboard and swabbed any liquid and ensured things were dry and not sticky, but still no luck.

Any suggestions? I would like to give just one more attempt before buying a new one. (It is always interesting to open stuff and look around :-))

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Not worth it.

by cmiller5400 In reply to Spilled Tea over the Keyb ...

It would take way too long to clean out each switch and make sure that all the paths are clean and unshorted. Just buy a new keyboard. Or you could try the dishwasher method... Just remember to turn off the heated dry cycle! :)

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RE: Tea Over Keyboard

by scorp42714 In reply to Not worth it.

Drop the keyboard in a sinkfull of water. Then take it out abd sit it, upside down, on a towel for a few days. I've done this numerous times with success. Of course, just buying a new one is alot easier.

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by computab In reply to Not worth it.

search for a new or S/H keyboard for your system on Ebay. If its not an uncommon make you might be lucky.

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by Prefbid II In reply to Spilled Tea over the Keyb ...

Unless it is a high end keyboard, it is not likely that you are going to come out ahead trying to clean it up. I've tried a few back when keyboards were much more expensive than they are now and I still had no real luck. Most of the damage to electronic components occurred at the point when it was wet. The \W is a pretty good indication that something is wacky with the electronics.

However, if you want to try:
1. Unplug the keyboard from the computer (sorry if this sounds insulting, but I'm amazed at how many people don't know there is an electric current in the keyboard).
2. Take off the key caps -- if you don't have the QWERTY keypad memorized, you may want to write it down first. If you are really gutsy, skip this step.
3. Wash as much as you can with warm water. Unfortunately, water is the best solvant for sugar and the worst thing for electronics. Obviously the key caps can be soaked in hot soapy water. If you are really gutsy, soak the keyboard (don't use soap though).
4. **** dry everything and let stand at least 24 hours. If there is any hint that the keyboard may even be remotely damp, let it dry some more.

At the point that you plug it in to try again, you will find that it miraculously work -- or you made it worse.

My real suggestion is -- go to the store and buy a $16 keyboard.

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by computab In reply to Wash

the success of your method depends on one thing, calcium. If you are in a hard water area, use distilled water as the deposits in the water will make the keyboard unuseable. A water /alcohol mix would be a good idea.

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by Tink! In reply to Spilled Tea over the Keyb ...

You obviously are adept enough to open a keyboard, so while there try swabbing with a bit of rubbing alcohol. Although warned not to use on printer rollers, rubbing alcohol seems to work well when needing to clean electronics as it evaporates quickly.

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CM5400, Prefbid II, Tink

by onbliss In reply to Spilled Tea over the Keyb ...

Thanks for those tips.

My keyboard is 5 years old, HP. A good one that has served my family nicely. Yup, I did unplug the keyboard from the computer. After I swabbed, I cleaned it with a damp paper towel and dried it out (I also gave it a small ewwwwwww treatment:-)).

I did not remove the key caps though. Thought it would be pretty intensive work.

I will try, tonite, cleaning it with some alochol, and if still does not work send it to the recycling bin. Time to buy a nice ergonomic keyboard.

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by Dr Dij In reply to CM5400, Prefbid II, Tink

they make water resistant keyboards.

I also remember keyboard condoms - preventative covers of thin plastic that you almost don't notice when typeing on.

there were several layouts to match keyboards in use. but they might cost as much as the keyboard. handy for high-spill areas.

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spilled tea over any PC bit.

by michael_orton In reply to Spilled Tea over the Keyb ...

A few years ago Fred Langa ( delt with this problem.
He suggested that many PC bits could actually be washed in a dishwasher aand then dried, including floppy drives and mpother boards but only as a last resort.
But as keyboards onlyu cost a few pounds,is it worth it?
But to remove tea/milk/sugar, it might be worth washging it in the sink, take it apart as much as you can, then dry it in the sun, or in the airing cupboard or with a hair dryer,then put it together again. Use a liquid rather than a powder detergent.
Most electric things can be washed and dried, so long as they arn't still connected to the mains at the time.

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Pepsi in keyboard?

by MC6809E In reply to Spilled Tea over the Keyb ...

First thing: power down, take keyboard apart. Rinse off all parts with warm tap water, though you may need Windex or alcohol for nastier stuff. Be sure to separate the layers on membrane key switches. Let dry completely. Reassemble (you do know where each key goes?) and it should work. The key is to get power off quickly and get liquid out. If sugary or salty liquid stays on the circuit traces they tend to disappear or change into green goo.

This quick wash and dry has saved dunked big 2-way radios, organ keyboards, mice, Pepsied ham radios and switches. This is also the procedure for the white powdery stuff from leaking alkaline batteries. You get to brush or rub the rest of this off.

Have a keyboard that's had Pepsi in it 3 times, no longer have drink at or around computer!

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