How to recover from a beverage spill on your keyboard

cafe

Drinking and typing don’t go together well. However, since we spend most of the day glued to the monitor typing emails away (some may actually do some real work), drinking and eating at our desk are sometimes a necessity.

You know it is just a question of time. It’s going to happen, and there you go: the phone rings, you quickly move your arm to reach towards the phone and hit the glass of wine that starts to oscillate slowly. Paralyzed, you watch the glass moving right and left until it decides to land on your beloved keyboard. Next thing you know the keys are sticky, and the keyboard is unusable.

You basically have three choices: 1) dig out and use the $5 keyboard that was delivered with your PC and endure the discomfort, 2) get a replacement from us at a preferred customer price (http://www.daskeyboard.com/support.php), or 3) try to fix this problem. We always stated that a keyboard with a spill is doomed, but Christian, a happy Das Keyboard user, explained how he fixed his keyboard after a spill.

Christian writes: “… Thank you for the swift response. However, you stand corrected regarding your “no way to fix this” assessment.

After disassembling the keyboard (finally found all 3 screws below the rubbers and a sticker) and carefully lifting the plastic clips (without braking any, by the way), I stripped off all key caps, disconnected the main keyboard from the PCB, and bathed the board in 91% isopropyl alcohol for a few minutes whilst repeatedly pressing the 7 switches that had become stuck by the wine. After 5 minutes of dripping I then used a hair dryer for another 5 minutes to completely evaporate the remaining alcohol. The re-assembly then took another 10 minutes.

In summary, after $3 of alcohol and 30 minutes of my time the keyboard works again perfectly – as if nothing happened (typing on it now right).”

Thank you, Christian, for sharing this.

Daniel

17 Comments


  1. Nice fix. It mostly worked for me with regard to a melted ice pop. Trying just alcohol was insufficient in my case. The first attempt failed after letting it dry, so I ended up using a very light surfactant (heavily diluted dish soap and water). I followed that up with rinsing it all off with alcohol for a few minutes and dried it using the blow dryer for about 10-15 minutes.

    The keyboard survived the wrath of a sticky melted sugary ice pop!


  2. Only my Enter key and right Shift key were affected by a sugary drink, so I only removed those two keys, and cleaned them with cotton swabs and the 91% Isopropyl.

    Important to note. On the longer keys there is a metal stabilizer bar that runs the length of the key. The bar was particularly sticky, and slowed the key’s ascent when letting go. I used alcohol soaked yarn to floss out the plastic retainers the stabilizer bars connect to.

    This successfully restored my Shift and Enter keys to full working order, and with minimal dis-assembly.


  3. I spilled my drink on my laptop by accident and now everytime a type the letter s it brightens my screen when I push the letter d the number 3 and reverse with it as well my laptop is worrying because when I do the letter g the number 5 appears with it and I cant use my arrow keys either without it typing something else


  4. have spilled a glass of water on my apple wired keyboard and half of the keyboard stopped working. Then I read this article so i thought their is not solution to. Then i thought why don’t i try to make it dry and they get the water out of the keyboard.

    ***Then i put the keyboard on a table lamp for 6 hrs *** dried it out. (as simple as the law of cause and effect )
    Now all the keys working smooth. I am typing from that keyboard now.

    Its only for the wired keyboard. Try it on ur laptop on ur own risk.

    Regards

    Akib


  5. I spilled my drink over a small part of my keyboard, only the ‘Fn’ key was affected, after this, the key took more time to return to its ‘normal’ position after a keystroke. After some use, this key returned back to normal, but it seems to have lost its clicklyness.


  6. What about water? I spilled a small amount of plain ‘ol water on my Das today and it immediately stopped working. I would’ve thought that a $170 keyboard would have some basic liquid protection. I’ve spilled water plenty of times on my standard Apple keyboards over the years with no issues.

    I hope it’s just that something needs to dry out.


  7. Hi Paulester, I am sorry to hear that. I would recommend you to try out a few of the tricks that some of the other users have tried – hairdryer after unplugging and half- disassembling the keyboard. If the problem continue to persist, feel free to send us a ticket: https://daskeyboard.mojohelpdesk.com/

    Thank you,

    -Das Keyboard Team


  8. Plugged it back in this morning and it was working again. Phew. Thanks.


  9. My Professional Model S felt the wrath of a cold drink today (I am so totally bummed). It’s happened to me once before, long ago, but never with a keyboard as nice as my Das Keyboard…

    Anyway, I removed all of my screws and out of laziness, elected NOT to remove all of the keys. I soaked the keyboard in 91% ISO Alcohol, drained and dried with a hairdryer….

    The alcohol completely destroyed the integrity of the key back “+”s and my countertop was soon filled with small pieces of black plastic.

    I highly suggest removing the keys prior to trying the alcohol method.

    Sadly, I’m using a cheapo while I wait to hear if I can get a replacement unit.

    I hope your luck is better than mine! 🙂


  10. Following an unfortunate coffee spill this really helped. I wasn’t able to get the keys back up to absolute perfection, but it certainly got them back to working order. Mind that I did not fully disassemble the board, just used isopropyl alchohol and repeatedly tapped the affected switches.


  11. “Ur” was a city in ancient Mesopotamia, not a lazy replacement for the words “your” or “you’re”. By the way, Das keyboards come with ‘Shift’ keys.


  12. hi
    i spilled some water to my keyboard, trying to dry it then the F7 key keep kicking without pressing it that happened after short period of time when turning my PC on, how to fix this problem pls ?


  13. I spilled tea over my keyboard. I placed it on it’s end and drained the tea out for about 5 hours. I was going out anyway so there was no loss of time. After that it seemed to be working perfectly except the “b” and “v” keys were both registering “bv” and similarly the “m” and “n” keys were both registering “mn”. I decided to take it apart but having removed the three screws, it now works perfectly – I didn’t need to go any further. I guess that was enough to break the contact formed by any remaining tea, so once it’s completely dried out it should be O.K. I’ll give it couple of days to do so and put the screws back in again. The keyboard seems very robust!!


  14. Does anyone know how to remove specialty buttons that aren’t conventional keys? (i.e. volume control, play/pause)


  15. I spilt bottled Apple juice on my Lenovo g50 30 at night only to realise in the morning. Luckily no internal parts were affected but the keys have become mixed up eg tapping key 4 on the numeric side activates num lock instead. The spill was majorly on the numeric side right above the DVD writer as only the keys and the right key are affected. I wanna know wherlther the mix up is something serious or will go away and how to deal with it


  16. My experience has been; 1) since sugar does not dissolve in alcohol, I first flush the affected areas with distilled water. 2) follow this up by flushing with 91% isopropyl, and since alcohol has an affinity for water, this scavenges the water. 3) blowing it out with compressed air or a hair dryer completes the cycle. 4) several cycles may be required depending on how long the sugary spill was allowed to dry.

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