Help cleaning Macbook keyboard


macrumors newbie
Feb 18, 2009
Dog breaks Mac

My dog knocked the coffee table and my brew landed smack onto my brand new uninsured Mac pro - I caught it quickly and proceeded to clean it up but then unimpressed my mac book pro died ... anyway I put it on charge and a few hours later it came back to like , like a clever little thing it is and is running fine again... although the cd drive leeps making a noise every now and then and the keys are sticky has anyone got any idea what I should do as its not insured and i don't have that much money now I'd be really gratefull and so would my poorly mac :)


macrumors 6502
Feb 5, 2006
Irvine, CA
If you're feeling adventurous, take it apart. Otherwise, grab some wyndex and wipe it off. Other than that, sad to say it but, you're screwed.


macrumors newbie
Apr 3, 2008
I was hesitant to open mine, but believe me you'll want to, even if you have a pro do it. I had coffee all over my cpu. Heat kills a CPU, and it seemed to be crusting over from the sugar and milk from mine... not a good thing.


macrumors newbie
Feb 21, 2009
Shining Keyboard

Hi everyone!!

I'm having some problems with my aluminium MBP keyboard.

The keys are shining. Maybe because of oil from my hands, and i don't know how to clean it.

Does anyone can help me??? I want my black, no shining keyboard back!!!!



macrumors newbie
Apr 6, 2009
Cleaning keys on a Macbook Pro

Thanks meneerTan! Your post offers detailed instructions on how to clean under the keys of the Macbook and Macbook Pro, but above all else, your post gave me the confidence to pop off the keys without thinking I was breaking it.

It does take a gentle touch and nimble fingers to get all the pieces to fit back together correctly, but after a few tries this became very easy. My command and space bar keys no longer stick from the soda that was spilled on it last year. Once I removed the keys, I could see the sugar residue that was causing the problems. Some denatured alcohol on a paper towel took care of that.

Some things to take note of: I did unfortunately break off a small tab of plastic on the back of a command key. The key still works but is a little loose. I found this website to replace the individual keys ($9 each) Regardless, it was well worth getting rid of the annoying sticky and clicky buttons I had. I don't mind paying a little bit of money to replace the key I broke, considering the guy at the Mac store told me it would be a few hundred to have it serviced there.

The keys on Macbook Pros have the same mechanics as Macbooks, for those wondering, although I am not sure how the new Macbooks/Pros work.

Thanks again for all the posts everyone!

Macbook Pro 15" 10.4.11, 2.33 GHz, 4gb ram; iPhone 3G


macrumors newbie
Apr 15, 2009
Need delete key for MacBook Air

The delete key keeps falling off as the "hooks" on the key are broken. Is there anywhere I can get a key?


macrumors newbie
May 13, 2009
what about the shift key?

I'm about to pop off this particular key on my macbook ... coffee spill... and was wondering if anyone knew the direction I should start from. It's a big key so I don't know how it's attached. Is it like the spacebar?
Thanks for any help!


macrumors newbie
Jun 15, 2009
I spilled soda on my keyboard as well. I took the sticky keys off and cleaned with a qtip and water.....worked well for about a day then now the keys are sticky again.... what a p.o.s lol:mad:


macrumors newbie
Jan 1, 2010
I have a problem with sticky spacebar on MBP 13" (Mid '09), and I'm not able to find guide (with pictures) to remove the button on that specific hardware - the keyboard seems different compering to the earlier MBPs. Has anybody seen such a guide somewhere on internet?

Yes, it happened during the New Year's Eve party, fortunately wine spill was limited :)


macrumors newbie
Aug 9, 2010
thirsty macbookpros


I had a similar problem with sticky keys, due to an accident with a bottle of beer.

It actually proved not that difficult to remove the keys from my macbook keyboard.

The problem of the sticky keys is caused by the 'things' that connect the key to the keyboard. These 'things' (I really don't know what to call these) are two little pieces of plastic that together hold the key to the keyboard as it is pressed upwards by a little plastic thing. In my case - and I suppose also in all the other cases - the residue of the beer made these two plastic pieces stick together, causing e.g. the spacebar to only slowly rise after pressing it - which was very irritating.

Removing the sticking keys (instructions below), removing the plastic things (not that difficult; take a close look at the pictures and you'll be able to work out how to remove and reassemble these structures) and cleaning them with some alcohol, and cleaning the key and 'keyhole' with a cottonswab and some alcohol solved all my problems :)

To remove the keys:

For the BOTTOM ROW of keys (ctrl, space etc.) pull the key at the topside (nearest to screen) until it lets go with a 'click' (this can be a bit scary, with every key I feared I had broken the mechanism, but it actually turns out to be quite sturdy); then slide the key towards the topside.

The spacebar is a little bit more tricky, as it is attached at two points, and furthermore is connected to two little metal bars, but with appropriate pressure, these will also let go.

For the keys above the bottom row such as 'M' the procedure is basically the same, but you'll have to pull at the LEFT side, and then also slide the key to the left in order to remove it.

:confused: Please note that I did not take off any other key above the bottom row other than 'M'. I don't think it's likely, but it could be that the keys on the left side of the keyboard are connected differently: be careful. :confused:

To reassemble:

First slide the key from top to bottom (or left to right, for keys above the bottom row), then push down for the 'click' (spacebar should have two clicks for the mechanism, and several for the little metal bar)

Hopefully some pictures will clarify the process:

:) Clearly it is possible to clean your macbook keyboard yourself :)
i am quite relieved to see this post. last night my 2wk old macbook pro drank some st.paulis. words cannot describe the anger, fear, and torment i have experienced these last 12 hours as i waited for my mac to dry out. luckily (knock on wood) everything seems to be working fine. i am going to wash the keys out though as directed by you. sorry for the long backstory but my real question is... did you notice any change in your mac's performance after it consumed alcohol? i am concerned that in the long run my spill may adversely effect performance/longevity. do you have any consolation to offer?


macrumors newbie
Aug 10, 2010
Trouble cleaning Macbook keyboard

I got a little vacuum to clean my macbook keyboard ( but it has to be connected to the laptops usb to turn on. But obviously its hard to clean around the keys effectively when the laptop's keys are on. So, there must be a way to turn the keys off while the power is on? but for some reason I can't figure it out in google, apple support, or here.

Help please!


macrumors newbie
Oct 26, 2010
Yeah i try this first i Remove the sticking keys then removing the plastic things (not that difficult; take a close look at the pictures and then i will be able to work out how to remove and reassemble these structures) and cleaning them with some alcohol, and cleaning the key and 'keyhole' with a cottonswab and some alcohol solved all my problems...

duct cleaning md


macrumors newbie
Nov 18, 2010
I spilt pepsi on my MacBook Pro, now please tell me had it cleaned and diagnosed and everything is fine except for sticky keys. I've been told that I will need to replace the entire top shell at a huge cost. Is there anyway that i can clean it without replacing the entire top shell?I am in very tension. please tell me about this problem.

g4 powerbookboy

macrumors regular
Aug 10, 2010
Good Morning fellow mac friends,

I kinda have the same issue that others here do, a friend of mine accidentally spilled his iced tea from starbucks on my g4 powerbook titanium keyboard when he was using it. it was really the crappy tables fault but thats another story. it didnt want to boot up at first but i unplugged the keyboard and it booted up fine. let the keyboard dry for a week and plugged it back in and now some of the keys dont work. im using an external apple keyboard from my g3 imac and it works fine however its kinda a pain to have to keep conecting it up everytime i put it back in its case or want to use it. wondering if i shouls get some electronic parts cleaner spray or something like brake cleaner and spray it out good and see what happens or am i doomed to use the external keyboard..... hopefully not!

apples are the best though i had my dog knock over a cup of water on my windows laptop and it was doa compleately and forever at least the mac will still function. :apple:


macrumors newbie
Nov 15, 2010
WARNING to pre-unibody MBP Owners

Just a heads-up WARNING NOT to try this if you're using a 2008 "Pre-unibody" Mac Book Pro (MacBookPro 4,1).

The keyboard design is different for this model, and you are more likely to break the individual keys by attempting to remove them (it'll SNAP when removing it, but it's likely the snap sound resulted from breaking the plastic retaining tabs on the bottom surface of the key).

That means you've likely just bought the expense of replacement of the ENTIRE keyboard assembly (which is a one-piece design). $$$$.

So likely NOT worth it just to clean some grime under the keys (ie you haven't spilled beer or Starbucks on the keys, but are just looking to remove some lint/grime that is underneath the keys).

PS meneerTan, your filcker page gives an error message, "Oops! This page is private: you are not authorized to view". I know the thread is old, but it would be helpful to future readers to make it available....
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