possible to clean macbook keyboard?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by marshmonkey, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. marshmonkey macrumors newbie

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    Oct 4, 2006
    #1
    I accidentally got some tazo green tea sprinkled on my keyboard, and now some of my keys stick down when pressed. Is there any way to take off the keys or get underneath the keyboad to clean the dang thing or are you just totally screwed if you ever get anything under your keys?
     
  2. joooollie macrumors member

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    Sep 29, 2006
    #2
    keyboard cleaning options

    At this point, I think you have two options. Green tea sounds like a "sticky" situation. (dont mind my puns.) I would try a can of compressed air or whatever, you can buy it at any staples, office store, or best buy sort of place. This probably wont work is my guess, but its worth a try. It wont cost you more than 7 or so bucks. The other option is to take it down to your nearest apple store, which i know often isnt so near, because mine is forty minutes away. Make an appointment with a mac genius ahead of time, you can do this on the apple website. Or you can just call the store and have them make the appointment for you. Talk to the genius and see what they say, they will probably be able to do something about it. I doubt you will be able to remove the keys safely, but if you want to try, stick a fingernail under the grey peice that covers the entire inner part of the laptop,pop that off and you may be able to access the keys. I would not recommend doing that until you have tried the air and the genius. Ask the genius if its possible to take off that peice.
     
  3. ormandj macrumors member

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    Aug 29, 2006
    #3
    FOR YOUR SAKE - DO NOT TAKE YOUR COMPUTER IN.

    Once you do, it will be documented in your account that you have spill damage, and all warranty coverage they can possibly blame on a "spill" will NOT be covered at any point in the future, AppleCare or not!

    You need to figure out how to take it apart and get access to clean the keys. The only issue would be if it's a part of the upper casing. I've never seen an article on doing it, and I'm not sure one exists. I no longer work for Apple so don't have access to internal documents - my apologies.

    Lesson to be learned (and I hope *everyone* learns from this) - it's really dumb to mess around with liquids next to a $1k+ computer. Take the 5 seconds to put the glass a bit away and get up to drink from it. Either that, or take the risk of such a situation.

    Compressed air won't work, either. It's the resin from the tea leaves almost assuredly, and that stuff is hard to get off. Your only real chance is getting the thing apart, good luck.

    David
     
  4. joooollie macrumors member

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    Sep 29, 2006
    #4
    David is one hundred percent correct. my bad. Although compressed air wont take the sticky off, it may remove some dried residue. not likely. another thing you can do is go into the store, dont make an appointment, and just ask one of the sales people how to clean out under the keyboard if the compressed air isnt doing the trick. Just ask them if there is a way to get in there. let me try and elaborate on what i meant about taking the laptop apart. Thinking back, it probably isnt intensely risky. Do it at your own risk. I would be too nervous to do it, but it depends on the person and the amount of money you have available to you, whether it be your own or your parents. If you are going to attempt to take a peice off to get inside there, i recommend starting from the back. Take a thin putty knife, or something you can gently wedge in to pry open the mac. now sit facing the screen, and look at the macbook logo at the bottom under the screen. now i recommend trying to pry off the grey faceplate, so to speak, starting from back there, as it seems it would be easier. be very careful. If you DO do this and something goes wrong, and you cant get that grey peice of casing to stick back on, you can bring it in and say it loosened and popped off. first try to clean out the tea though, because if they see the the residue, they may put two and two together.
     
  5. ITASOR macrumors 601

    ITASOR

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    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Oneida, NY
    #5
    Go to an Apple reseller instead of an Apple store and see if they can help you take the sticking keys off, then you should be able to clean them and pop them back on yourself. With the Apple resellers, most of the time they won't record anything, as its usually a really simple task for them.
     
  6. marshmonkey thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 4, 2006
    #6
    while i was taking in my macbook (for the second time) for randomly shutting down (and a broken ram lever) i asked if there was any way to get under the keyboard and he said that there really wasn't that he knew of. I was hoping someone would have had the same experience and would have some advice. Compressed air wont work since the problem is actually some congealed sugar type solid substance that the tea turns into after drying. Too bad I wasn't drinking something sugar free : (

    I wish I knew more about how the keys are attached to the bottom of the keyboard so I could know more about if prying off keys and re-attaching them is an option.
     
  7. ormandj macrumors member

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    Aug 29, 2006
    #7
    You can pay me later. ;) (Hope this helps...the keyboard is part of the upper case, you'll have to buy a replacement. Sorry.)

    http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/86.1.0.html
     
  8. marshmonkey thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 4, 2006
    #8
  9. ormandj macrumors member

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    Aug 29, 2006
    #9
    Yes, unless you figured out how to take the upper casing apart even further.

    It is "extreme" to replace the entire upper casing of the notebook, but it's also pretty "extreme" to spill liquid into an electronic device that cost over a grand. ;)
     
  10. marshmonkey thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 4, 2006
    #10
    yea, yea, i know. I'm so tied to my desk during work though that I can't really afford to step away to a different location every time I need to take a drink. I still wonder if those keys are re-attachable though becuase popping a few off and scrubbing off the sticky stuff and popping them back on sure would beat stripping down my macbook and replacing the entire front of it.
     
  11. joooollie macrumors member

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    Sep 29, 2006
    #11
    more tips

    Taking your comp to a mac reseller might not be a great idea, because many are teens and younger adults who dont really know what they are talking about. Some of them do, some dont. again, computer stores almost always specialize in PCs and dont know much about macs. i have never seen a mac at best buy, or circuit city.
     
  12. joooollie macrumors member

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    Sep 29, 2006
    #12
    It is "extreme" to replace the entire upper casing of the notebook, but it's also pretty "extreme" to spill liquid into an electronic device that cost over a grand. ;)[/QUOTE]

    i think even if you take it apart, from the looks of those pictures, it doesnt give you more access to the keyboard than you have already. if you call apple support and tell them your comp has been freezing, they will have you send it in and while they examine it its likely they will fix your tea problem. Another question.
    Exactly how bad is the stickyness. Is it unbearable, or can you deal with it.
     
  13. generik macrumors 601

    generik

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    Minitrue
    #13
    What nonsense is this? Green tea is sugar free! I should know, I drink it every day!
     
  14. ormandj macrumors member

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    Aug 29, 2006
    #14
    He's talking about the resin. It's not sugar, but acts much like a spilled soda would due to sugar. :) (I drink green tea too...)
     
  15. marshmonkey thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 4, 2006
    #15
    It's pretty annoying so I would like to fix it if possible, but I don't know if it's worth replacing the front. On some keys instead of "clicking" it will stay depressed and then slowly rise back up. Some keys require me to press down extra hard in order to get a register. It's only about 3 or 4 keys but it's pretty annoying. I wish they would have considered keyboard spillage when they designed the thing, you would think that would be one of the most common ailments to happen to any laptop. How great would it be if you could just pop off the keys and take a sponge to it.

    my book is just getting shipped back from repair now, and there was some issue that they thought might not be covered under warantee or applecare which they wanted me to call in about (although when I did they had no clue what I was talking about and it seemed to have been repaired anyway) so maybe they were wondering about the keyboard too after they tried to type on it and ended up replacing it. I'll keep my fingers crossed for that since the least they could do is replace my sticky keyboard after having to ship it off twice for shutdown issues.
     
  16. marshmonkey thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 4, 2006
    #16
    yea, probably that. It's kind of a funny story actually, I like to shake up my bottle of green tea before I take a drink, and I usually have the cap on to prevent these kinds of accidents. I have tons of other electronics at my desk (powermac G5, desktop pc, 3 monitors one of which is a 30 incher) and when I went to shake up my tea I realized pretty fast I had forgotten to put the cap back on. Tea literally RAINED all over my office and I'm glad the only thing that seemed to be affected is my macbook. The first thing I did was run my macbook over to the kitchen and go over it with a damp paper towel but I guess I wasn't quick enough. My powermac keyboard is sticky too but it's no big deal to replace that.
     
  17. ormandj macrumors member

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    Aug 29, 2006
    #17
    If you sent it in for repair, and they noticed the spill, your warranty coverage will be void for anything that could have possibly been affected. You may have gotten lucky, they repaired things, and forgot to mention the spill in the report. You better hope so. ;)
     
  18. marshmonkey thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 4, 2006
    #18
    well I know they didn't mention a spill in the report becuase the genious had me look over the repair sheet notes to make sure everything was accurate. It maybe they noticed the sticky keyboard while at the repair facility and wanted to ask me about it but it seems like they repaired it anyway. If they did replace my keyboard they can't charge me for it if they never got in contact with me about any additional charges.
     
  19. joooollie macrumors member

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    Sep 29, 2006
    #19
    solution to your problem

    If you are typing reports on airplanes this wont help you, but at a desk, it will. Buy a wireless keyboard or something for your laptop.
     
  20. marshmonkey thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 4, 2006
    #20
    I mostly use my macbook on the couch or just for music at work so I dont really do enough hardcore typing on it to justify an external keyboard setup. plus I love the feel of the macbook keyboard (when it's not sticky)
     
  21. joooollie macrumors member

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    Sep 29, 2006
    #21
    two more options

    one, you can get a portable laptop station desk that slides easily for about 20 dollars, and it sits on two columns and is a good few inches off your lap and you can slide it up so it is in front of you on the couch. other option, sell laptop on ebay and buy a new one. You could do this one of two ways. you could go the honest route and say a few keys are a bit sticky, or you could just not mention it. im not saying either is better, just advocating all the possibilities
     
  22. ChickenSwartz macrumors 6502a

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    #22
  23. marshmonkey thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #23
  24. joooollie macrumors member

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    Sep 29, 2006
    #24
    If you pack your comp up

    Pack your blackbookbaby up and send it to apple. they basically do a full body scan so to speak. they will probably clean the keys when they find something else wrong as well.
     
  25. drake macrumors 6502a

    drake

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    Jul 5, 2005
    #25
    I was going to suggest eBay. Anyway, if I were to try taking a Macbook apart, I'd definitely setup a video camera to record my every move so that I can refer back to it when it comes to putting it all back together. I also heard that you can try soaking electronics in distilled water go get nasty sticking things out (and let it throughly dry). Do at own risk, of course. Once many years ago I dropped a full sized standalone CD player into an aquarium. Let it dry and worked fine after.
     

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