Cleaning the keyboard!

Discussion in 'hardware' started by ratchet, Dec 6, 2011.

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  1. ratchet

    ratchet Registered Member

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    So most of you are probably are aware that it is "supposedly safe" to clean a keyboard in a dishwasher. So humor me and assume that it is for a normal non-illuminated one. I use a Logitech illuminated keyboard. Do you think there would be greater risk involved putting it in the dishwasher, e.g. damaging the LEDs or whatever they use to illuminate the keys? No jokes please and thank you!
     
  2. Spysnake

    Spysnake Registered Member

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  3. ratchet

    ratchet Registered Member

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    Actually it's pretty clean. I was just throwing out here in case it would get really bad. I love it to much to ever take the chance!
     
  4. Ranget

    Ranget Registered Member

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    i use an alcohol spray on my keyboard as an On demand Anti virus for my keyboard :D i don't like viruses running under my fingers

    i spray a little on the keys not flooding the keyboard down
    also i use a non concentrated alcohol so the letters on the key won't be washed out

    as for dishwasher i don't think it's a good idea
    you always have a chance of screwing the keyboard when removing electric part of it
     
  5. treehouse786

    treehouse786 Registered Member

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    cheers for the laugh :D :thumb:
     
  6. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    This is funny. For a while I was using some Microsoft Keyboards that I bought for 10 bucks apiece.

    I was curious about this myself, but not having a dishwasher, I filled my kitchen sink with hot water, thru in some dishwashing detergent and let the dirtiest one soak and swished it around. Then I rinsed it well under running water, shook the water out, and let it dry well for about 3 days.

    Keyboard worked fine.

    I would note, I now have to Avant Stellar keyboards, and I don't plan on trying it with them.

    Pete
     
  7. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    That's an ol' wives tale - that came from days of old with mechanical keyboards that used springs and levers and not carbon pads like today's keyboards use - and it only had marginal success at that. In most cases, deposits and minerals in the water left a film that only made things worse. And that's assuming you could get all the water out.

    Another problem with dishwashers is they use hot water only - they don't even have a cold water hook up. And unless you select the energy saver setting, they heat the water even more - enough to warp the plastic. Not good.

    If worried about germs, use an sanitary wipe. If worried about cookie crumbs under the keys, take the keyboard outside and blast it with an air compressor that has been properly setup to use on electronics.

    If still no luck, buy a new keyboard. You can get one for $10.
     
  8. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    You can get electronics wet as long a there is no current running through them. If it is thoroughly dried before use it should be fine. Because of the heat you would only want to use the top rack and never let it go through the dishwasher's drying cycle. Would I do it? No, but none of my personal keyboards get that dirty to begin with but if done correctly it should be fine.
     
  9. ratchet

    ratchet Registered Member

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    I had the heat part covered if I was ever going to try it as I did consider that, I was going to throw a few pans of cold water in the tub. By the time it filled it would only be lukewarm. Just one quick rinse, no soap. But like I stated, I'm now totally gun shy!
     
  10. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    As a blanket statement, that is absolutely NOT true! There are many electronic devices that should NEVER get wet, regardless if current is running through them or not. These include some types of transformer windings, carbon pads (depending on composition), varistors, some capacitors, motors, even some circuit boards have substrates that are soluble in water - not to mention highly caustic dishwasher soap in hot water.

    And while the top rack protects from excess heat of the heating coil used during the drying cycle, I say again, hot water straight from the hot water heater is more than enough to cause some plastics not intended for use in hot water to warp or disfigure.

    Finally, as I said before, there are many minerals and other deposits in water that remain behind. Note that pure distilled water does NOT conduct electricity - it is all the impurities in the water that causes water to conduct. When the water dries/evaporates, much of that is left behind and that can have a very real and adverse affect on electronics, especially micro-electronics.
     
  11. Johnny123

    Johnny123 Registered Member

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    Microsoft keyboards are really easy to clean, I have three of them myself. Turn it upside down and remove all the screws. Then you can just lift off the top part with the keys, all of the electronic stuff is in the bottom half. I spray the top half that holds the keys with a liquid cleaner like Windex, let it soak in a while and then spray it off in the shower. Shake out the excess water and let it dry over night and you can put it back together again the next day.
     
  12. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I would recommend electrical contact cleaner rather than Windex. Electrical contact cleaner is designed for just that, cleaning electrical contacts.
     
  13. Johnny123

    Johnny123 Registered Member

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    The top half of the keyboard (which is the part I wash) is 100% plastic, all of the electronics are in the bottom half.
     
  14. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    And that's probably fine - in fact, some contact cleaner can discolor plastics so washing with water may be better. But still, for my keyboards, I just wipe them down for the exterior with one of those Clorox sanitary wipes and I flip the keyboards upside down and give then a few "gentle taps to shake out any crumbs - or blast them with compressed air if really dirty.

    If you have cats or smoke around the keyboard (or both) then more drastic measures may be needed - including using keyboard skins.
     
  15. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    You are correct, and I should have elaborated on that. I meant within the context of a cheap keyboard. I truly was not advocating taking a power washer to a TV or anything like that.
     
  16. Johnny123

    Johnny123 Registered Member

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    Sounds like a good idea, especially for keyboards that aren't easy to take apart.

    This is OT, but since cleaning is the topic, I have the most trouble cleaning LCD screens without leaving streaks. I'm hesitant about using cleaners that could eat up the surface or make scratches. Got any tips for this?
     
  17. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Well, in the old days (35+ years ago) we did that to our radios. We had to remove all the transformers and caps that had paper in them and then we would hose them down, then blast them out with compressed air and finally let them bake in the Arizona sun for a couple days. But that was in the days of vacuum tubes and discrete (not integrated) components, and no plastics. I would never recommend that today.
     
  18. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I use a clean microfiber cloth like those found at eyeglasses shops. I might mist the cloth first with Endust for electronics or eyeglasses cleaner but I don't spray the screen directly.

    And speaking of microfiber cloths, when you wash them, use only a tiny bit of laundry soap and double rinse. Then either line dry or in the dryer but never, as in NEVER EVER use fabric softener or one of those dryer sheets.
     
  19. Johnny123

    Johnny123 Registered Member

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    Thanks, I have one of those cloths, I'll give it a go the next time.
     
  20. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    Johnny123, I use Sprayaway Glass Cleaner, found at Sam's Club, and like Bill_Bright, it goes on the cloth first, then the screen.
     
  21. siljaline

    siljaline Former Poster

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  22. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    If I use cotton swabs on my two 22" monitors, by the time I have finished I will have to start over again. ;)
     
  23. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    How about a laptop keyboard?
    No crumbs, no peanut butter, no spilled liquids, but just bits of dust which vacuum cleaner isn't sucking up. Eight years of dust. Some cat hairs too.
     
  24. siljaline

    siljaline Former Poster

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    Hi,

    Dustbuster from Staples or similar, no liquids anywhere near the keyboard - some damp baby-wipes would work.

     
  25. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    Thanks, I'll check it out.
    Thanks, while you're here, for the HOSTS job.
     
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