cleaning keyboards in the dishwasher

James Fogg James at
Fri Jan 6 08:26:13 CST 2006

> > I have washed motherboards and cards (most are 386s or 486s) for 
> > numerous times. No heated dry though. Just use a fan to 
> blow air at it 
> > overnight.

In printed circuit board production everything gets "dishwashed" after
wave soldering to remove flux, masks and junk. It is then baked in an
air oven. It's been 20 years since I've been around PC board production,
but as I recall it was a very hot water/acid/detergent wash.

So, it's nothing that your components haven't seen before.

Some things to remember -

The cleaner the water the better so maybe put a charcoal filter on the
washer line,

City water has some chlorine and has a tiny risk of bleaching,

All automatic dishwasher detergents have lots of chlorine and might
bleach (great for discolored plastics),

Powdered automatic dish detergent has silicone dioxide (sand) and will
scour your boards,

Because of the above 2 items you might want to use "hand" dishwashing
detergent, but not much since it will foam,

Since isopropanol will aggressively bond with water molecules I like to
chase the water off with an isopropanol rinse (pure, if you can get it,
or 90% sold in drug stores),

Follow with some kind of gentle bake (direct sun on a warm day, hair
dryer, oven, fans). The isopropanol rinse is good for drying since
alcohols evaporate easily. Iso is used by "re-work" technicians to
remove flux on boards that are touched up by hand, so iso is generally
safe, but might remove ink printing on labels and might attack the label

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