Sticky Keyboard Cleaning Question

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by prechrchet, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. prechrchet macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    #1
    Has anyone on here ever sucessfully cleaned a Macbook keyboard that had a Pepsi spilled on it?

    By spilled, I am not referring to a major flood, just a small one that does not penetrate any farther than the keyboard module.

    (There is more to the story coming after I get a few replies.)

    Chet
     
  2. mac-convert macrumors 6502a

    mac-convert

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Location:
    Are we there yet?
    #2
    Okay - let's hear the rest of the story. You're biggest problem will be when it dries and crystalizes, unless you shorted things out. Is it a wireless or USB type?
     
  3. prechrchet thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    #3
    Neither. This is the keyboard that is part of the Macbook itself. And there was no shorting, just sticking keys on the keyboard.
     
  4. mac-convert macrumors 6502a

    mac-convert

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Location:
    Are we there yet?
    #4
    Sorry - I didn't see that about the Macbook :eek:

    That could be tough to clean up - you may want to consider a trip to the shop unless you consider yourself good at these things.
     
  5. prechrchet thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    #5
    Yeah, it was. Here is the whole story...

    A few months ago, my wife was on the Macbook, with a can of Pepsi sitting nearby. One of our cats jumped up onto the table, knocking the Pepsi over, spilling some (not much, thankfully) onto the keyboard. My wife quickly wiped up the spill as best she could, and the computer seemed ok, no shorts or anything.

    Then, after it dried, the "o" key, along with several adjacent ones, started sticking. Everything worked, it's just that about 5 keys were messed up.

    We took the MB to a local Apple Authorized repair shop, but they wouldn't touch it, told me to take it to the Apple Store in Atlanta (3-4 hours away), and that they would ship it off to California. Great, don't have the time or the money to do that.

    So, this past Wednesday, I pulled instructions off of ifixit.com, and disassembled the MB. (How many bullets did I dodge here?)

    Everything went fine until it came time to actually unplug the keyboard module (I could tell as soon as I got in there, that the Pepsi had not penetrated beyond the keyboard module). The instructions called for a Spudger, which is made out of plastic so as to reduce any static electricity. I didn't have one, so I just used a philips head screwdriver to pop the connection loose. Except for when I dropped a screw and momentarily lost it in the carpet, taking everything apart went well.

    Next, I took an eye dropper, and put just a few drops of rubbing alchohol around the offending keys, and worked them up and down. This seemed to do the trick, as the keys started to move smoothly again. I was sure to dry everything using a can of compressed air.

    I put everything back together, and turned the MB on. It powered up just fine, and I was able to use the track pad just fine. However, except for the power button, none of the other buttons would work.

    So, I took it apart again, and made certain that the keyboard module had been firmly plugged back in, which it was. Putting everything back together again, I discovered that most of the keys were starting to work again, but some weren't. You could bring up Word, and even though you weren't mashing, say, they "\" key, it would start making a row of them, one after another.

    At this point, I am having visions of a ruined MB, which I cannot afford to replace.

    After a day or so, everything turned out fine. The keys are now all working just fine, except that instead of having about 5 keys that really stick, I have about 10 keys that feel a little funny. I'm guessing that the pepsi, when mized with the alchohol, spread out some, and then re-crystalized.

    I'm trying to decide whether I want to go in again, and try to clean it out some more. Any suggestions? :)

    Chet
     
  6. mac-convert macrumors 6502a

    mac-convert

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Location:
    Are we there yet?
    #6
    It could very well be that the alcohol is not removing all of the residue from the pepsi. I don't know how far apart this unit breaks down, but I have seen on other web sites that it's recommended to give the parts that have the soda on it a good warm water (and some use a mild soap) bath to get it off completely. They then follow up by either using the alcohol to dry the remaining water, or by placing it over one of those heater vents in the floor - obviously not a hot one - and let the dry warm air take care of the remaining water - overnight. Use caution when using alcohol to clean plastic parts.

    If it was me - I'd spend the money and send it to Apple. Call them and see if they will mail you a box.

    Good luck on this one... :(
     
  7. Bryants97240sx macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    #7
    I havent done it to a macbook, but my g/fs dell had some sweet tea spilt on it. So i just popped the keys off and cleaned them warm soapy water, also i cleaned under and around with a q-tip with soap and water.

    The keys pop off the same way on the macbook( i have taken one of mine off). I would only advise this if your confident in yourself, putting the keys back on can be a little challenging. Hope this helps.
     
  8. prechrchet thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    #8
    How exactly did you go about poping the keys off without tearing something up?
     
  9. Bryants97240sx macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    #9
    I just used the tip of a butter knife and worked around the keys that i was removing.
     
  10. prechrchet thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    #10
    What's the secret to putting them back on? You might not believe this, but this evening, after all that we have been through with this keyboard, my daughter reached out and grabbed at the keyboard, and ripped off the function key and the control key.

    I'm trying to get them to fit back on. Is there a secret to it, or just keep trying until everything lines up?
     
  11. classof2011 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    Flying with American Airlines
    #11
    I've never spilled anything on my MacBook, but I did have soda spill ontp my Inspiron 9300's keyboard. I got a paper towel, moisted it, and gently cleaned off the keys. A MacBook is different, but just throwing in my idea.
     

Share This Page