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Last post Author Topic: Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.  (Read 29555 times)

mouser

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Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.
« on: November 22, 2012, 11:26:03 PM »
I'm not sure why it never occurred to me, but i have thrown out keyboards after they got too disgustingly dirty, under the assumption that they were too grimey to get clean without getting soap and water in them..

Then it occurred to me that maybe you could wash a keyboard with water as long as you let it completely dry before plugging it in.

Some searching on the internet suggests that it can be done safely.

Keyboard-2.jpg

So I gave the theory a real test, submerging and soaking my keyboard in a bathtub of water and then power washing it with a garden hose.

By the time i was done it looked brand new.  A couple of hours left in front of a strong fan and then a week left to dry, and it works 100%.

Don't know why no one ever told me about this before..
« Last Edit: November 24, 2012, 04:45:50 PM by mouser »

rgdot

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Re: Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2012, 11:33:38 PM »
I knew that but reason I never tried it was the attached PS/2, USB cables. Don't ask why I would think those can be damaged while the keyboard itself would not...

Renegade

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Re: Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2012, 11:45:07 PM »
Hmmm... I should check to see if I have an extra lying around and then give this one a try. It's pretty grimy right now. I was cleaning it with a Q-tip and hand-sanitizer the other day. Still could use a decent cleaning though. You can only get so much that way.
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eleman

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Re: Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2012, 01:34:01 AM »
I prefer to open the keyboard up and remove all electronics (the electronic part is usually located on a single circuit board smaller than half a credit card, so it's easy) and then wash the plastics with liberal amounts of liquid soap and a toothbrush (which I don't use for my teeth :)

After the plastics dry, I reassemble the kit. It's pretty easy, easier than installing cpu and fan on some motherboards I suppose.

apankrat

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Re: Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2012, 01:57:16 AM »
You should try baking next :)

BTW, I'd blow dry the keyboard though. Where I am at, the water is really hard. Even a simple drop of water dries into a visible circle, so letting the keyboard dry naturally is likely to result in a lot of extra calcium in the insides.

app103

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Re: Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2012, 02:28:24 AM »
I also open the keyboard, just like eleman does.

I used to keep my keyboards sealed in heavy duty plastic wrap (it stretches better without tearing and you can heat seal it instead of using tape) and never actually had to clean one till I gave up that habit. Bonus with the plastic wrap method of keeping your keyboard clean is that the characters don't wear off the keys. Might have to go back to doing that, as my daughter is a bit upset over the fact that since I started sharing a PC with her again, the E, A, S, and N keys are now blank.  :-[

Mark0

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Re: Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2012, 05:17:11 AM »
I remember a video documentary of many years ago, that showed some kind of PC motherboards manufacturing process.
The motherboards where washed in water & soap in one of the final steps!  ;D

Ath

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Re: Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2012, 05:22:41 AM »
the E, A, S, and N keys are now blank.
The SANE keys? :huh: ;D

Renegade

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Re: Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2012, 05:45:21 AM »
I used to keep my keyboards sealed in heavy duty plastic wrap (it stretches better without tearing and you can heat seal it instead of using tape) and never actually had to clean one till I gave up that habit. Bonus with the plastic wrap method of keeping your keyboard clean is that the characters don't wear off the keys.

That reminds me...

My "keyboard condom" was filthy dirty, and stretched, so I threw it out.

Pretty much every keyboard I've ever bought (well, since 1998), has come with a "keyboard condom" - a soft plastic/rubber cover - to keep dirt out.

Do they have them in the US/Canada/Australia/wherever?

I'm still using an old Samsung keyboard that I've had forever, and while it's pretty dirty, it still works very well. I think it was 10,000 won (about $9).
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

techidave

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Re: Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2012, 06:26:06 AM »
None of the keyboards I have boughten have had the "keyboard condom".  They came in a plastic bag.   I live in the heartland of America.

tomos

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Re: Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2012, 07:02:12 AM »
None of the keyboards I have boughten have had the "keyboard condom".  They came in a plastic bag.
likewise - in the eu.

Keeping in mind that I've never seen these covers, the idea of keeping the keyboard constantly covered sort of reminds me of keeping furniture in plastic. It's got it's advantages but I dont know could I live with it...
Tom

Gwen7

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Re: Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2012, 07:40:35 AM »
a couple of squirts of formula 409 or simple green cleaner and a gentle scrub with a soft nail or facial brush, followed by a wipe down with dry and then damp paper towels will give you the same result without going thru the heroics of dunking the entire keyboard. but dunking it does work as long as you take care to be sure it's completely dry before plugging it in. i learned about that when my niece dropped a full glass of cola on my keyboard at home and i figured what the heck? i soaked it for a few hours in my kitchen sink with tepid water, rinsed and drained it and let it dry for about a week. worked just fine. even the backlighting was still ok. :-)

Stoic Joker

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Re: Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2012, 08:39:29 AM »
the idea of keeping the keyboard constantly covered sort of reminds me of keeping furniture in plastic. It's got it's advantages but I dont know could I live with it...

+1 That would bug the hell out of me as well.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A few years back a clients server got hosed (literally) by the pest control guy. Seems he wasn't watching the nozzle direction and sprayed the box full of pesticide...which then corroded the motherboard badly enough to pop out some of the cards and render it dead.

I stripped it down completely (removing the batteries...), scrubbed it with a baking soda and water mix using a toothbrush, rinsed it off in a mop sink, and left it scattered across several car hoods in the parking lot to dry in the sun for a few hours.

After reassembly it ran perfectly for another 3 years.

40hz

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Re: Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2012, 09:57:08 AM »
scattered across several car hoods

Like it! The perfect drying rack! Good place to do the final curing of lacquer on a recently refinished guitar too. :up:

Just so long as it's not hot enough out that something melts. I've seen membrane-type keyboards malfunction after being left out in the sun a little too long.

barney

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Re: Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2012, 02:44:02 PM »
Guess I'm retarded  :-\.  I've been using the dishwasher for a decade+.  I put the cord & plug in a plastic bag, seal it with a twist tie, the stuff the bag in one (1) of the silverware/flatware trays (That keeps the plug dry and protects the cord from the heating element.).  Stand the keyboard up on it's thinnest long side, add Cascade, and let 'er rip.  Only time I discard a keyboard is when I've worn the decals off several of the keys, 'cause a number of my friends cannot type  :P.  (Yeah, you can get replacement decal sets, but none I've tried have been very good/effective - the decal is supposed to stay on the key, not my fingertip(s) :huh:.)

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2012, 05:13:42 PM »
I guess I'm just too lazy for all this stuff. I'll just buy a new keyboard every six years...
Given my lack of mechanical intuition for me the loss of time plus frustration and risk of mistakes outweighs 30 bucks every half decade.

IainB

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Re: Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2012, 06:16:09 PM »
Washing always works just fine. Just don't try and speed up the drying process using too much heat, like I did...
A few years ago, someone accidentally spilled a bit of red wine on my laptop keyboard. Not enough to flood the insides, but enough to stop the keyboard working.
So I took off the keyboard, washed it with lots of warm water, and because I was in a hurry I popped it into the oven which was still warm from my missus having baked a cake.
Came back a bit later and the keyboard plastic had all shrunk.    :-[

40hz

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Re: Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2012, 06:25:52 PM »
I guess I'm just too lazy for all this stuff. I'll just buy a new keyboard every six years...
Given my lack of mechanical intuition for me the loss of time plus frustration and risk of mistakes outweighs 30 bucks every half decade.

I like it! ;D

Obviously the The Phoenix values his time at more than $2/hr. like the rest of us apparently do. 8)

(That, or he buys much cheaper keyboards than some of us.) ;)

40hz

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Re: Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2012, 06:29:33 PM »
I was just thinking...the one thing I do that keeps my keyboard significantly cleaner than it used to be is Nuance's Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Since I've started using it regularly the amount of time my fingers are resting on keys has easily been cut in half.

4wd

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Re: Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2012, 08:26:07 PM »
I've been using the dishwasher for a decade+.

I've used a dishwasher to clean the odd circuit board and motherboard - you just need to recognise whether there's any components that will retain water in any cavity and either remove them or don't use a dishwasher.

Use a mild detergent and don't let it do the drying cycle - take them out and air dry, (eg. car hoods :) ).

superboyac

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Re: Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2012, 08:41:01 PM »
I was just thinking...the one thing I do that keeps my keyboard significantly cleaner than it used to be is Nuance's Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Since I've started using it regularly the amount of time my fingers are resting on keys has easily been cut in half.
Bam!  I was about to transition to DNS also to experiment with new ways to make my computing life more productive.  I'll need to hear your take on it all, but now I'm really going to try it.

Renegade

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Re: Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.
« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2012, 08:44:04 PM »
I guess I'm just too lazy for all this stuff. I'll just buy a new keyboard every six years...
Given my lack of mechanical intuition for me the loss of time plus frustration and risk of mistakes outweighs 30 bucks every half decade.


Obviously the The Phoenix values his time at more than $2/hr. like the rest of us apparently do. 8)


Sigh... This is one of the things that is fundamentally wrong with how we do things. Instead of fixing things or taking care of them, we just go out and buy a new one. I'm completely guilty of this myself. With the exact same logic... "What's my time worth?" Which usually wins out...

The "consumer economy" really is a very perverse thing. We waste and waste, then get all snotty and self-righteous about how we need to save the planet, recycle, etc. etc.

I like the idea of washing a keyboard if for no other reason than it saves me a trip to the store (which goes back to "what's my time worth"). I also like the idea that it reduces waste. That "reduce" there being the first R in "reduce, reuse, recycle".

Today is a beautiful, warm day, so if I have time, I think I'll dig out an old, dirty keyboard and give this washing thing a try. :)

Off-topic about reducing - not a rant ;)
I recently found a pretty darn cool way to "reduce" by replacing chemical drain cleaners with baking soda and vinegar. I've got a post about it here:

http://cynic.me/2012...ganic-drain-cleaner/

It's a neat way to 'reduce' because it's really a substitution where you swap out something that is innately bad for common, edible, non-toxic things that you already have in your house.

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

MilesAhead

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Re: Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2012, 09:20:04 PM »
I prefer to take mine to the local stream where the village women do their laundry. I dip it in the current a few times, then pound it on a rock to extract the excess water.  :)

barney

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Re: Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2012, 09:36:33 PM »
I prefer to take mine to the local stream where the village women do their laundry. I dip it in the current a few times, then pound it on a rock to extract the excess water.  :)

I'd be a bit careful with that ... might be cow urine in the water.  Urine can be corrosive.

MilesAhead

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Re: Why did it never occur to me.. You can wash a keyboard in water.
« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2012, 10:23:51 PM »
I prefer to take mine to the local stream where the village women do their laundry. I dip it in the current a few times, then pound it on a rock to extract the excess water.  :)

I'd be a bit careful with that ... might be cow urine in the water.  Urine can be corrosive.

I only use cow urine on Gateway PCs.  Moo.