How can I clean under the MacBook trackpad button?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by daveseibert, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. daveseibert macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    So, first of all, here's some advice: Don't leave your macbook open, on the floor. You never know what cups you've left there.

    In other news, I spilled coke (the soda) on my macbook keyboard/trackpad. I put it on the floor because I thought that it would keep it cooler, since I was installing something and the fans were going *******.

    The keys seem fine, but now the trackpad button has a sticky feeling and sound to it, which is very annoying/disconcerting. Is this a genius bar job, or can I get in there and clean it myself?

    It's mostly cosmetic, as the trackpad still works, but I wonder what will happen as the coke starts a new life under there congealing and whatever.

    Thanks for any help!
  2. JONosk macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2008
    The same thing was happened to me, and I have the same question. How can I wash under trackpad button?
    If you already solved this problem, could you teach me that?

    Actually, I have to pay a lot if I ask Apple to clean under trackpad button.
    Since I spilt soda on my computer, fortunately, my macbook has worked normally, but I went to a genius bar because of the sticky click. The genius said it costs at least(only cleaning) 140. And if it is needed to repair, it costs 400 plus several(I forgot the exact price)...
  3. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    looks like you've got to remove top casing.

    personally, i'd just turn on tap right-clicking.
  4. e12a macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2006
    I know you can at least see part of it through the bottom where the battery sits. Pull the battery and take a look.
  5. JONosk macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2008
    From the bottom side of my MacBook, partially trackpad button could be seen, and I made sure that many part is hidden by metal plate..

    BUT, I put a peace of copy paper(cut into thin and long, and folded once:two sheets thick) between the button and the metal plate and moved the paper to scoop out dried Dr. Pepper. Also, I put same thing into the button's margin from the upper side and scooped out the sticky thing.
    Finally, it became much better!!! Easy!!!

    If you have the same trouble, try it. and...does my English make sense...?

  6. illegallydead macrumors 6502a


    Oct 22, 2007
    Sorry everyone for bringing this topic back from the ancient dead, but just wanted to say that the paper trick mentioned here works pretty darn well. I got Slurpee in mine, and had resigned myself to having a sticky trackpad (keys are easier, but still a little bad...) Anyway, tried the paper thing, and my trackpad button now sounds like new, and feels at least significantly better.

    P.s. JONosk: not sure if you will actually read this ancient post, but yes, your english is just fine!
  7. Axemantitan macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2008
    I don't quite get it. Do you insert the paper from the top of the trackpad or do you open up the Macbook (remove the battery, for example) and clean it that way?
  8. chrisIsMyName macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2010
    Just in case this topic should ever die I thought I would share tonight's success story with you.

    The button on my white macbook stopped working today. :(
    when I got home I googled the problem, because of this forum the problem is fixed. :)

    It wasn't a cola / slushy problem for me, it was just an unresponsive button that would not bounce back up after it got pushed down. I think it must have been as tired of java as I was :p

    Thanks to whoever pointed out that you can see the button from the underside with the battery out, I was able to get in there with a can of air (Pure, compressed dry gas it says on the can, you can get this at camera/hobby shops). After a couple of minutes of short bursts of air the button now works better than it has for a while.

    I suppose this topic will die eventually as the newer macs don't have buttons. It's - so - sad :(

    Thanks y'all!
  9. ridgewalker macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2009
    Trackpad key removable?

    Does everyone agree that the paper trick and canned air are the best we can do? It's pretty easy to remove the caps from the regular keys, how about the trackpad key? Does anyone know whether it is removable for really thorough cleaning?
  10. crapday macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2004
    Just found this post via google and it saved me from opening up my 2006 macbook. The paper cleaning under the track button via the battery compartment is great.

    Thanks guys.
  11. buzzrobotics macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2011
    Thank You guys sooooo much!!!

    Thank you thank you thank You!!!!
  12. Jml99, Jan 3, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013

    Jml99 macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2013
    Suction cup

    I've just spent 20 minutes of my life on the insane sign up protocol to share what just worked for me.

    Take a shower suction cup, suck it onto the recalcitrant trackpad, and give it the old up-down, real savage. Like I said, worked a trick for me and avoids breaking out the tiny screwdrivers, which so often ends in tears.
  13. swbratcher macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2009
    I used paper, without opening the macbook air.

    I worked the corner of paper into the tiny crack at the edge of the trackpad, in an area that I thought to be clean (to avoid pushing gunk deeper). I got it in there about a half inch, then slid it across the trackpad edge very slowly pulling it out (to sweep any gunk out instead of across). Repeated this (with fresh paper each time) until no more gunk came out on the paper.

    Boom. All fixed.

    (mine was a known ketchup bomb, so your mileage may vary)
  14. Marnie2013 macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2013
    How can I clean under the MacBook trackpad button?

    I know this is an old thread but I found this thread and have used paper to clean under and above the mouse and trackpad and I can hear the mouse button click for the first time in two years!

    It's so obvious really; the White Macbook (old 2007 - I think) I'm using was an office machine, used by many different people eating their lunch over the laptop so of course crumbs had probably solidified around the trackpad!

    I used some slightly thicker paper - probably 120-150gsm, and ran it along the gaps visible around the mouse from above. Immediately little bits of dirts were scraped up by the paper. I kept cutting the paper to have a sharp corner to scrape anywhere it felt like there was something stuck. I also used the edge of the paper to scrape beneath the mouse.

    I then looked at the mouse from beneath the trackpad with the battery removed, pressed down on the mouse to see where it might be sticking and then scraped around the area, the same as I had from above.

    The paper was difficult to get into some of the gap from underneath, so I inserted it after holding down the mouse button as this creates a bigger gap.

    Anyway, voila! I can hear my mouse click loud and clear.

    I thank the contributors on this blog for taking the time to share their tips.
  15. shaqaruden macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2014
    Worked great!

    Found this thread after spilling a little bit of pop on my trackpad.

    I used Post-It notes to clean. I folded them as such to have a thing and thicker edge (not completely in half) and from the top of the macbook without opening it cleaned out the sticky mess, not my trackpad works good as new!
  16. TJune macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2015

    I am so glad this thread is still active. Just started using an older Macbook with the button type trackpad and it was horrible. Really making my life miserable. It picked up ghost images and dragged them all around, wouldn't release from different panes, lit up everything in blue, etc. I tried the cleaning with the thin piece of paper and it worked.

    First I shut down the computer and removed the battery and saw that there was a lot of debris around the edges of the battery cavity which I cleaned with a damp Q-tip. (I think the gunk was from an old cola spill, as others have mentioned). Then I cut some thin strips of paper and inserted in the edges of the trackpad metal cover and just cleaned around that area as much as I could. I had to try a few different folding methods and paper types before I could insert the paper into a crack. Keep scissors nearby to keep cutting a clean edge of the paper. Paper from a magazine worked pretty well.

    Then I replaced the battery and flipped it over and used the paper strips around the trackpad including the button. I turned the laptop sideways on the table to help any debris drop out. Some debris came away on the paper strips including cat hair. :eek: (They often borrow the mac without permission.) I also used a mild glass cleaner (no ammonia) to clean the trackpad and keyboard.

    This all took about 20 min b/c I used quite a few paper strips. And now no problems! Thanks for this great suggestion.
  17. webmaster4o macrumors newbie


    Jul 22, 2015
    New Paltz, NY
    I'll help with english:
    Looking at the underside of my MacBook, I could partially see the trackpad, and lots of parts were hidden by a metal plate..

    BUT, I put a piece of copy paper (cut thin and long, and folded once) between the button and the metal plate and moved the paper to scoop out the dried Dr. Pepper. Also, I put the same thing into the gap from the top side and scooped out the sticky thing.
    Finally, it got much better!

    If you have the same problem, try it. and... your english is pretty good.
  18. tresmith macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2014
    With me I spelled a bit of ice tea.

    But I couldn't get the paper method to work, so I found another solution.

    I dropped little bit of rubbing alcohol along the edge of the trackpad allowing it to fall through and then I just started pressing the track up and down working it til it started loosening up. It may take two or three tries with the alcohol but it did start to move freely. Allow the alcohol to dry in between tries.
  19. adannemiller macrumors newbie


    Feb 9, 2017
  20. amor macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2017
    Just tried this after using the post it advice and this work immediately. Thanks!
  21. chazrwood macrumors newbie


    May 18, 2017
    The paper trick

    For anyone still reading this in 2017: the paper trick (as it shall be known forever more) works a treat. Just take a nice piece of paper (some a4 paper from a printer will do) that, crucially, hasn't been dog-eared so the corners are nice and sharp. Feed it into the edge around your track pad (between the trackpad and the aluminium body) from the top, just as if you were about to use your laptop (no need to open it up or anything). Once you've got the thin paper into the crack, slide the paper up and down a few time. Repeat for all 4 edges of the trackpad. Works a charm. I've gone from sticly feeling click on brand new feeling trackpad. :apple:

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20 January 21, 2008