cleaning keyboards in the dishwasher

William Maddox wmaddox at pacbell.net
Tue Jan 10 07:49:12 CST 2006


Chuck Guzis wrote:

> If I felt a need to wash some electronics, I'd do it with warm or hot water
> and a simple detergent without added salts. 

I would recommend washing "by hand" as well.  The less time equipment is 
exposed to water, the less moisture infiltration of supposedly "sealed" 
components will occur.  There are detergents specifically designed for 
washing circuit bords, e.g., Alconox Detergent 8, that avoid corrosive 
alkalais and residues.

http://www.alconox.com/static/section_top/gen_catalog.asp#Anchor-56867
Alconox, Inc. - Product Catalog

Putting a keyboard in the dishwasher doesn't strike me as a particularly 
good idea.  Unless you disassemble the keyboard anyway, there will be 
water trapped inside that will dry out very slowly.  I clean a keyboard 
by pulling all the keycaps and washing them separately in dish 
detergent, and clean the area formerly under the keys with isopropanol,
cotton swabs, and a detailing brush.  This is good for the usual sorts 
of gunk that accumulates on a keyboard, but perhaps not for spilled 
coffee, etc.

I have an excellent tool for pulling keycaps that came with a Northgate 
Omnikey keyboard.  There are two wire loops attached to a handle.  You 
slip the loops over the key and they hook underneath, allowing you to 
pull the keycap straight up and off.  Very quick and tidy.

--Bill



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