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Thread: Sticky Keys

  1. #1
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    Sticky Keys

    I spilled soda pop on my laptop. Fortunately I did not drench it. However, I have 6 keys which are sticky. Before I start dousing them with chemicals, like TV Tunner Cleaner (do they still make that stuff?) I thought I would put out a query for a proper solution.

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    Re: Sticky Keys

    Some people might suggest loading the keyboard into the washer. On the other hand, check out the snapshot for a better solution...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Regards,
    Bob

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    Re: Sticky Keys

    Just realized you said laptop!!! Forget about using the washing machine. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    Regards,
    Bob

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    Re: Sticky Keys

    If this were a desktop, the solution would be simple -a new keyboard. They are cheap enough. Truthfully I use an external keyboard and mouse 80% of the time anyway. I have found that the external keyboard will hold exactly 1/2 of a 16 ounce cup of coffee!

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    Re: Sticky Keys

    IF your laptop has easily removable, and easily replacable keycaps, you may be best off removing them, and then cleaning with cotton swab and alcohol. Maybe even distilled water with the cotton swab.
    Christopher Baldrey

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    Re: Sticky Keys

    Cecil,

    Instructions for cleaning the laptop keyboard might provide some help.

    Bob
    Regards,
    Bob

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    Re: Sticky Keys

    Yes they do make electrical contact cleaner and lubricant - perfect for switches - try Radio Shack. Dependig on the severity, you can try to fix it without pulling the keycaps off. Protect the screen from overspray, then have someone hold the laptop upside down over newspapers or the sink - in a well ventilated area. Protect your eyes, then spray "up" into the key mechanism - pressing the adjacent keys may give a better angle. Work the offending key while spraying. Let it drip dry thoroughly. Hopefully that may do it.

    I had a similar situation a few years ago with a boss who liked a little bit of coffee with his cream and sugar - not a pretty sight. The above method did not work. Radio Shack also sells an IC puller which looks like a pair of tweezers with the tips bent inward to latch on to the underside of the keys. This allows you to pull up evenly. Map the keyboard so you know where the keys are (a photo is easier), then remove the keys. Then clean the mechnisms with spray and an old toothbrush heated up and bent at the head to make a good angle. Using a Q-tip may help but you must be careful to not leave any fuzz. I would spray the bristles with contact spray first to ensure the cleaner did not start to eat up the bristles - we did not have any problems but I would cehck any way.

    Note that some keyboards have a membrane type pad under the keyboard, covering a circuit board - they used to call that type "chicklet" (like the gum) as the keys resemble that shape. This pad is very good at protecting the innards from liquids but if liquids get underneath it, the pad is very good at trapping them there.

    On the bottom of the pad are carbon blocks positioned under each key. When the key is pressed, it causes the carbon block to short two or more contacts to make the letter. If the soda seeps. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to get to the underside of this pad as it requires a great deal of case disassembly. But once there, you can use the cleaner with a clean lint free cloth and even a clean pencil erasure to clean the contacts.

    Good luck.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
    Freedom is NOT Free!
    Heat is the bane of all electronics!

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  8. #8
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    Re: Sticky Keys

    Thanks Bill but it was <!profile=Cecil>Cecil<!/profile> who posted the original question. Hopefully <!profile=Cecil>Cecil<!/profile> is monitoring the thread and will see read your comments.

    Bob
    Regards,
    Bob

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    Re: Sticky Keys

    Yeah - I keep my view in "flat" mode instead of "threaded" mode (which I hate) - it makes it easier read and follow the process and time line - unfortunately, that makes it easy to mess up the reply tree too. Sorry.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
    Freedom is NOT Free!
    Heat is the bane of all electronics!

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