My "C" key is sticking: how safe is it to take it off?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by LordJim, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. LordJim macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    #1
    I was just wondering if there were any good instructions/videos out there for removing keys, or if this is recommended at all. My "C" key just starting sticking (having to do with eating near my laptop, presumably) and it's driving me insane. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    #2
    Very straight forward and simple, as long as you do so with care.

    See my video.

    I recommend using plastic to pry the keys, not metal, to avoid scratching or marring the laptop surfaces.
     
  3. onthecouchagain macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    #3
    Both my Apple (aka Command) key make odd clicks, and they sometimes feel like they have not necessarily a hard time coming up, but just come up oddly, every now and then when I use them. I'm considering prying them off to see what's the problem.

    Does anyone else know at all what I'm talking about? It's like there's an extra "click" that shouldn't be heard or felt.
     
  4. TheRealDamager macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
  5. Sirolway macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #5
    Careful! Your keyboard might be possessed & be trying to tell you something.
    Are you sure it's not turned into a Ouija board?
    If it's only the 'c' that is "stuck," perhaps your spirit-on-the-other-side has a stammer?
     
  6. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000

    MultiFinder17

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    #6
    So long as you're careful (that video is a good guide, kudos to the poster), there should be no problem taking your keyboard apart and getting it back together. I tear mine down every year or so to thoroughly clean under it, and it's still working after nearly three years.
     
  7. onthecouchagain macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    #7
    How do you clean under it? You just wipe out the dust? Or do you use compressed air to blow it out?
     
  8. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    #8
    ^ I normally give my board a good cleaning the moment that I notice anything under them or they respond differently than normal.

    I peel off each cap, then take a small but bristly paint brush and use a combination of "sweeping" and a vacuum hose to remove any particulates. Regardless of what some might say, using a vacuum cleaner will not create a deadly ball of static electricity that will zap your computer or suck you into the 43rd dimension, so don't worry about it.

    However, if you're going to use the vacuum, be careful not to dislodge any of the scissors. You will be missed, F3...

    Now I'd like to know if there's any known solution for shiny keys. Yes, I know, it's natural and all, but if there's some solution in which to bathe the caps and remove any and all oils, I'm up for it! The matte keys are so much more appealing...
     
  9. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000

    MultiFinder17

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    #9
    I pop off each key along with its scissor mechanism, then clear out the key wells with a combination of compressed air (for 99% of the stuff that gets under there) and tweezers (for the stubborn stuff). Then I separate all the scissor mechanisms from the bottoms of the keys, keeping track of special keys (the modifiers, arrows, and keys with a metal support bar underneath) and lumping all the rest together. I clean the keys with warm soapy water (a cup to chuck 'em all in, a spoon to stir 'em up, a strainer to rinse them, and a towel to dry them), replace the scissors, then snap the keys back on. I'm obsessively careful, so it generally takes me two hours or so, much of which is spent swearing at whatever engineer at Apple made their scissor mechanisms the most frustrating things in the world to put back in.
     
  10. TheRealDamager macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    #10
    You mean shiny as in worn down and smooth? Not sure there is any solution to that one...
     
  11. LordJim thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    #11
    So I removed it without any trouble, and after wiping the area under the key down a bit it has started sticking again. It isn't really unbearable, but strange nonetheless.
     
  12. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Isla Nublar
    #12
    Nice video iDecker!

    I always dread a popped off key at work, especially HP keyboards since the scissor mechanism doesn't stay connected and is either broken, or half missing by the time the user brings it to the IT offices.

    That and I'm terrible at putting them back on :p
     

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