Hair and flake resistant keyboards

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by hubristol, Aug 18, 2006.

  1. hubristol macrumors regular

    hubristol

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    #1
    Hey guys, I was wondering if anyone had recommendations for keyboards that were built in a way that made it easy to remove the hairs and skin flakes that naturally find their way onto a keyboard. My current iMac keyboard came with the machine, and over the past 8 months or so, it's gotten really gross underneath. While I always made sure to routinely clean my keyboard, follicles and flakes couldn't help but find their way into the base of it. I'm now looking at it (why does Apple make the base of their keyboards clear? :p) through the glass, saddened that there's no way to remove it without possibly taking apart the keyboard.

    I know there are sleeves you can get for the keyboards, but are there any keyboards that are just naturally designed in a way that makes it easy to access spots like these? I'm guessing flatter keyboards may fall into this category but I'm probably wrong. Any recommendations? My keyboard's keys have been getting stiff in certain areas, so I'm in the market for a new keyboard anyway.
     
  2. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #2
    Buy a keyboard that costs $10, then when it gets dirty you just buy a new one.
     
  3. hubristol thread starter macrumors regular

    hubristol

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #4
    Have you tried using an air blower or a vacuum cleaner with the little round brush attachment?
     
  5. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #5
    Have you tried wearing a hairnet and gloves while you use your computer? Or wearing a clean room suit? (Intel should provide one free of charge with all new Macs.)

    That said, the mechanics of keyboards makes it really difficult to keep stuff out of them unless you have some sort of cover for it, but I find that they impede my typing. I just use compressed air on them every once in a while, and mine stay in pretty good shape.
     
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #6
    I'm not so sure. Macs have a history of setting these bunny suits on fire. You wouldn't want that. :eek: :(
     
  7. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #7
    Meh...Steve and the bunny suit have kissed and made up...it's all good.
     
  8. hubristol thread starter macrumors regular

    hubristol

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    #8
    Well I tried typing with a trash bag over my head once but, strangely enough, found myself hallucinating after a few minutes.
     
  9. Super Macho Man macrumors 6502a

    Super Macho Man

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #9
    Look into the Macally iceKey - it's all white and not transparent at all, so it probably wouldn't show dirt as much. It uses scissor keys like laptops. There are not many keyboards out there that have Apple and option keys on them. Any USB keyboard will work with its Windows and alt keys, but, yuck, who wants a Windows logo on their keyboard?
     
  10. typecase macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    #10
    The beauty of the Apple keyboard is that the keycaps come off easily and snap back just as easily. I just recently completed a 20 minute restoration which left my keyboard feeling and looking as good as new. Most other keyboards don't have removable keycaps which mean that once you have hair in there, even if you can't see it, it's never coming out. You can clean every nook and cranny this way. :D
     
  11. dcv macrumors G3

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    May 24, 2005
  12. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
  13. dcv macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    #13
    Hehe, I wouldn't know about that, I'm a vegetarian!
     
  14. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #14
    :D

    I have covers for both my iBook and my Apple Wireless KB on my iMac. The iBook I have generally nothing but positive things to say (it's from Lajo.biz). The iMac one I bought off of eBay. It's okay (and I'm still using it...hey...it completed the pink theme :eek: :eek: ), but I do have one problem with it -- a single key on the keyboard -- the up arrow -- tends to get caught up in it and held down by it, which is really annoying. Does not happen to *any* other key. I'm hoping eventually the plastic will adjust and it will stop doing that.
     
  15. iUserz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    #15
    I don't know about the iMac keyboards, but some keyboards have holes built into them incase drinks are spilled. These also come in handy for cleaning, you can literally just put the keyboard under the tap or in the tub or wherever and see if some junk comes out.
    (However I might not recommend it if it doesn't have the holes...I have no idea, never owned an imac)
     
  16. zero2dash macrumors 6502a

    zero2dash

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Location:
    Fenton, MO
    #16
    I just took our G5 keyboard apart to clean it; not only the underside but also the sides of the keys. It's the second keyboard I've taken apart and cleaned, so I'm somewhat used to the hassle and time spent. This time, I remembered to pull up a picture of the keyboard before taking it apart so I didn't forget where the keys went. :D

    It's a hassle, but it's also great to have a spot free clean-as-new keyboard again. I also notice now that the keys feel a lot softer now just like a new keyboard. :) My routine is - pop off all of the keys with a small pointy object (ie small flathead screwdriver), clean the base with cleaning stuff put onto a cloth, and then I throw all of the keys into a sink filled with water + dish or hand soap, let them sit for a few minutes, then start swishing it around for a few minutes. Drain the water out, rinse the keys good, put them on a towel and tap them down on the towel (as you pick them up one at a time to put them back) to remove any excess water and voila.
     
  17. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #17
    Have you ever broken a key or the locking mechanism on the keyboard doing that? I know that usually popping keys on and off is fine, but I thought occasionally something breaks....Anyway, outstanding for your success! :)
     
  18. chris y. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Location:
    los angeles, ca
    #18
    ive cleaned my wired apple keyboard a few times already and it seems to be quite durable to removing the keys. Theres only a handful of keys (shift/return/spacebar keys) that uses a piece of metal which I guess you have to be careful not to bend or break.
     
  19. zero2dash macrumors 6502a

    zero2dash

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Location:
    Fenton, MO
    #19
    Nope, never broken a key or the clips on the backside of the key. I'm not rough when popping them off or anything, you just have to be 'firm' but don't yank too hard. Again, using a small flat pointy object like a screwdriver, I just pop the keys up from underneath and it works well. Usually I'll pop a few off until I can fit my finger in and then I'll start popping them off with my fingers.

    I still had a few minor problems figuring out where keys went...the I key and the / num key look identical, and with the arrow keys it was a little tedious until I realized that the arrows on the arrow keys are at the bottom left corner of the key.

    Like Chris said, you just have to be careful of the metal supports on some of the keys (the larger ones); space bar, 'enter' and 0 on num key pad, both shift buttons, return, delete - I think that's it. I even remove and clean those metal paper clip-esque pieces. :)
     
  20. Colonel Panik macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    #20
    Oh yeah. My keyboard is clean on top, but new life is evolving from the primordial soup that's gathered at the bottom. I've got an old keyboard that I'm using for my PC, so it's seen a lot of use.

    I've tried to find the little screwdrivers for taking it apart, but the new 'boards are cheap. But back in the day they'd set you back 70 Euro, so cleaning was preferred.

    I've actually got a design for a keyboard which would be very easy to clean, but I need some financial backing... Anyone got a couple hundred grand to spare?
     

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