Alternate to compressed air - clean butterfly keyboard

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kirky29, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. kirky29 macrumors 65816

    kirky29

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, England
    #1
    Is there anything else I could try to clean my MacBook Pro (Touch Bar) butterfly keys?

    I've got quite a few that are sticky/unresponsive.

    I might have got some sand stuck under a few and I'm in the middle of know where in Australia, no shops here sell cans of compressed air and the mail takes 3 weeks.......

    Thank you!
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    Do you try using your mouth to blow out the sand? Seriously, I'm sure its not ideal but if you don't have access to compressed air...
     
  3. Maxx Power macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2003
    #3
    Do you have access to a computer/mechanics/electronic/automotive shop ? If so, they should all have compressed air that is used for power tools. You can hose down the computer keyboard with that source. This is actually the preferred method at my local computer shops, because mechanically compressed air with a compressor is way cheaper than buying cans after cans of compressed air. Just watch the amount of flow, some may be too high, use your sense of discretion.

    I suppose in a real big pinch, you can try a bicycle pump and pump vigorously while aiming the nozzle at the keyboard...
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #4
    The only risk there is the air pressure leaving the hose, may be much higher then in the canned stuff, and that could damage the delicate parts in the keyboard.
     
  5. kirky29 thread starter macrumors 65816

    kirky29

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    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, England
    #5
    Good idea, I could take it down to the local mechanics shop! I've got an airbed compressor in my car, maybe I'll give that a try!!
     
  6. Maxx Power macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2003
    #6
    I agree, absolutely be careful. There is usually an air-spray attachment to any compressor that allows you to use the compressed air specifically for air-cleaning and it offers some level of control. Can also hold the hose/nozzle further back from the keyboard to reduce air pressure.
     
  7. Falhófnir macrumors 68030

    Falhófnir

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2017
    #7
    would a vacuum set to the lowest setting with a small nozzle attachment work?
     
  8. Maxx Power macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2003
    #8
    Just do a palm-check on the pressure and flow rate first, from a distance and gradually closer to find a decent point. Some of these compressed air systems can generate enough flow to potentially remove key caps, if you use them up close (about several inches).


    --- Post Merged, Mar 27, 2018 ---
    I'm not sure. I use a vacuum to clean lots of dirty computers and they do a good preliminary job, but for the remainder, I would always switch to compressed air, because the vacuum, even at the highest setting is not competitive with compressed air. Another concern may be that if your keys are loose (you may not know this), you risk sucking up some key caps into the vacuum.
     
  9. Falhófnir macrumors 68030

    Falhófnir

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2017
    #9
    Yeah I was thinking along those lines when I suggested lowest pressure - that'd be a bit of a thing :confused:
     
  10. Maxx Power macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

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    Apr 29, 2003
    #10
    I am sure that I have done something stupid like that before (full power without discretion), inadvertently sucking up screws and parts...
     
  11. WristyManchego macrumors member

    WristyManchego

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2016
    #11
    Jumping in here to say that using an air compressor is a poor idea, not only because of the pressure potentially blowing the keys off but also the moisture from the line.

    Condensation develops in the lines and tank and can exit when expelling air. I'd suggest using a compressor with a filter/moisture trap attached or not at all. Buy a can.
     
  12. SDColorado macrumors 68040

    SDColorado

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Location:
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    #12
    If you have a camera shop nearby you might be able to find one of the Giottos Rocket Blaster Dust Removal Tools. Just squeeze the bulb.

    They run about $12 USD

    [​IMG]
     
  13. avxkim macrumors newbie

    avxkim

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2017
    #13
    Is that thing powerful enough to clean the dust off butterfly keyboard?
     
  14. KhunJay macrumors 6502

    KhunJay

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    #14
    RIMG0868.JPG RIMG0869.JPG

    I plan to use this to clean my mbp 2018 keyboard...is it safe?
     
  15. avxkim macrumors newbie

    avxkim

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    Nov 5, 2017
    #15
  16. SDColorado macrumors 68040

    SDColorado

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    Nov 6, 2011
    Location:
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    #16
    The larger size is and one of its market purposes is...

    - Ideal for keeping your laptop and computer key board clean.
     
  17. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #17
    Just out of curiosity, but who thinks it's acceptable for a keyboard to be prone to these type of problems? I've lot count of the number of laptops I've had over the years and I've never had one that is bothered by tiny bits of sand or generic dust/debris from every day life. Only Apple have managed this.

    Seriously, sling it back at Apple and tell them to fix it. This should not be happening, it is NOT normal. You are not 'holding it wrong'. It's simply a poor design. The type covers on most tablets offer a more tactile and reliable typing experience and that really shouldn't be the case.

    I'm not trolling or Apple-bashing, it just think it's unacceptable from Apple to release such dire products in the name of making stuff thinner. Think I'm wrong, have a look at the number of threads on the same subject.
     
  18. Ma2k5 macrumors 68020

    Ma2k5

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    Location:
    London
    #18
    No one, obviously. MacOS let's them get away with it (no modern alternatives).
     
  19. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #19
    I use our regular vacuum with the smallest nozzle we have. It has small hairs, and is used for... Something, normally? But it works quite well at lowest setting for cleaning my MB keyboard.
     
  20. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #20
    It depends what apps you run. Unless your apps only run on Mac OS.
     
  21. antonis macrumors 68020

    antonis

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    #21
    I used a small piece of thin paper (a piece of notebook A4 page). Inserted it partially under the key and tried to move it as far as the key allowed me, back and forth. It eventually unstuck the Enter key that was half-responsive and had lost its clicky feel.
     

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