[24hoursupport] Re: Keyboard Question

  • From: "Mike" <mikebike@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: 24hoursupport@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 04 Feb 2003 21:09:57 -0800


Hi Michele,
I found this site;
Cleaning Laptop Keyboard
This technical note is brought to you by Thomas Plummer,
After having searched the web for advise about fixing a sticky keyboard on
my laptop, and finding nothing very helpful, I put together this HOWTO based
on my own successful method. This will restore the keyboard to new, or
better, performance.Laptop keyboards don=B4t wear out, they foul out. Proper
cleaning and lubrication as described here will restore your laptop keyboard
to the snappy and smooth performance it had when new. There are several
reasons why the keys will start to stick, spilled drinks, normal wearing off
of the factory lubrication, weakening of the rubber pieces which give each
key its snap action, and contamination by dust and hair. The following will
completely solve these problems and return the keyboard to perfect

This will require about 2 hours time once you have collected the proper
cleaning materials. 

Cleaning materials: 
Cotton swabs 
Cosmetic foam rubber cleaning pads ( use only with naptha (lighter fluid),
NOT alcohol) 
Paper towels 
Rubbing alcohol 
Lighter fluid (naptha) 
Fine tipped tweezers 
Kitchen strainer 
Household cleaner, Windex or equivalent 
Super Lube Dry Film spray (critical - DO NOT SUBSTUTUTE !) K-Mart
This is a PTFE (teflon) based lubricant which dries perfectly DRY and is
ideally suited for this application. 
Proceed as follows:
IMPORTANT: Make a keyboard map so you know where each key goes.
Carefully pry each key loose with a small screwdriver and place in a
container. They pop off. DO NOT use excessive force. There may be a small
rubber piece for each key. Remove all of these and place in a separate
container. CAREFUL, these are small and like to jump away. 

CLEAN KEYBOARD ( do this well...... you will be wonderfully rewarded ) 
Clean the keyboard with cotton swabs SLIGHTLY DAMPENED with water. Replace
these often and BE SURE they are only slightly damp. If they are too wet the
excess water will contaminate the keyboard through capillary action. This
will clean all water soluble contaminants like Coca-Cola, coffee, and sugar
residue. For the very small places, cut the foam rubber into small pieces
and use the tweezers, again SLIGHTLY DAMPENED, for cleaning. You must clean
each and every key space, inside and out, this is critical since this is
where the key touches and moves. 
Repeat this procedure again using rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs but NOT
the foam rubber as it disintegrates when used with alcohol. 
Finally repeat this procedure using naptha (lighter fluid) and foam rubber.
You can clean even the smallest key guides with small pieces of foam rubber
and tweezers. This action will remove any petroleum based contaminants as
well as the grease that is sometimes used on the wider keys which may have
guide wires, for example, the SCACE BAR. 

Some keys may have wires attached and some grease on them, clean these first
with cotton swabs and naptha (lighter fluid). Remove all traces of the
Place all keys in a kitchen strainer. Spray with household cleaner and let
stand for 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with hot water and place keys on paper
towels to dry. Let dry completely. 

Place all rubber components in a kitchen strainer. Spray with household
cleaner and let stand for 5 minutes. Use stopper in the sink so that you
don=B4t lose these if they jump out of the strainer. Rinse these thoroughly
with hot water and place on paper towels. Fold the towels over and press to
squeeze most of the water out of the pieces. Let dry completely. 

Place all keys bottom-up on a paper bag. Lightly coat the keys, at a 45
degree angle with Super Lube Dry Film lubricant. Do this from all 4 sides to
assure penetration and coverage into the small and critical guide spaces
inside each key. Let dry ( this happens nearly instantly). DO NOT overdue
this step as the carrier solvent may affect the plastic. 

Mask off the laptop with paper and scotch tape. Apply lubricant (as above in
LUBRICATE KEYS) to the keyboard and let dry. 
All right, you now have perfectly cleaned and lubricated keys, keyboard, and
rubber components. 

Place all rubber components into the keyboard. 
Install keys with wires. Make sure wire is secured in the key, usually
snapped into place. Place ends of wire in the guide slots adjacent to the
key location as you align the key. Firmly press down to snap the key into
Install the rest of the keys by aligning and firmly pressing down. 

CONTRATULATIONS, you now have a keyboard which will operate smoothly and
perfectly for years to come.  

I have also heard that you can take the keys off and the cover, and put them
through a dishwasher cycle.
Use at your own risk!

I hope this helps.

Mike ~ It is a good day if I learned something new.
Editor MikesWhatsNews see ~ http://www.mwn.ca 
See my Anti-Virus pages ~ http://virusinfo.hackfix.org
A Technical Support Alliance Charter Member 
*********** REPLY SEPARATOR  ***********

On 04/02/2003 at 10:06 PM Michele wrote:

My daughter has an old Compaq laptop, LTE 5300.  Last night, she spilled pop
on it and now the keys are sticking.  Does anyone know if the keys can be
removed for cleaning?


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