View Full Version : Strong sweat-like smell coming from my powerbook's keyboard? o_O

Sep 4, 2010, 02:16 PM
Okay, sorry for all the threads I just had to ask about this to make sure its not some issue on the inside of the machine. When I first got my powerbook(3 days ago) and yes it was used, I took it out of the box and was looking over it. I smelt an odor over the keyboard so I got closer and smelt it(yes it sounds very weird LOL) and the keyboard smelt like human sweat, it was nasty.. I heard about iBooks keyboards absorbing sweat in the keys after years of use then giving off an odor, is this the same here? Nothing else smells like this but the keyboard. Probably the only reason I am asking is to make sure its not like a blown capacitor smell etc. Is this just from the sweaty original owner :p? Or could it be something gone bad in the inside :(.


Sep 4, 2010, 06:37 PM
This brings back memories of the old iBooks. Just clean it off with soap and cleaner, old toothbrush works very good too. That will get rid of all the stick :D

Sep 4, 2010, 06:49 PM
gross. oh boy, i think i threw up a little bit in my mouth reading this thread. :(

Sep 4, 2010, 08:20 PM
I think the thermal compound used on some older Powerbooks and iBooks would smell bad after some time. My mom owned an iBook G3 that always had a nasty smell it gave off once it started getting hot. I think it wasn't uncommon.

Sep 4, 2010, 08:26 PM
Thanks for the replies guys. I don't think it's an issue with the internals because it smelt like it out of the box and doesn't worsen as I work. I will clean it off in a bit.


Sep 4, 2010, 09:45 PM
The one thing I liked about my iBook was the ability to remove the keyboard and clean it. Harder with the PowerBook.

You could look into finding a gel keyboard cover if the problem doesn't go away. A quick google search found this light blue one (not really a great color, but it's a start):


Sep 7, 2010, 12:21 PM
I've experienced that smell on the iBooks as well as a G4 I had.
The smell comes from the adhesive used on the keyboard itself to hold the membranes together, and with age the chemicals start to give off that odor.