After having searched the web for advise about fixing a sticky keyboard on my laptop, and finding nothing very helpful, I put together this HOWTO based on my own successful method. This will restore the keyboard to new, or better, performance.
Laptop keyboards don’t wear out, they foul out.
Proper cleaning and lubrication as described here will restore your laptop keyboard to the snappy and smooth performance it had when new.
There are several reasons why the keys will start to stick, spilled drinks, normal wearing off of the factory lubrication, weakening of the rubber pieces which give each key its snap action, and contamination by dust and hair. The following will completely solve these problems and return the keyboard to perfect operation.
This will require about 2 hours time once you have collected the proper cleaning materials.
* Cleaning materials:
* Cotton swabs
* Cosmetic foam rubber cleaning pads ( use only with naptha (lighter fluid), NOT alcohol)
* Paper towels
* Rubbing alcohol
* Lighter fluid (naptha)
* Fine tipped tweezers
* Kitchen strainer
* Household cleaner, Windex or equivalent
* Super Lube Dry Film spray (critical – DO NOT SUBSTUTUTE !) K-Mart automotive.
* This is a PTFE (teflon) based lubricant which dries perfectly DRY and is ideally suited for this application.
Proceed as follows:
IMPORTANT: Make a keyboard map so you know where each key goes.
Carefully pry each key loose with a small screwdriver and place in a container. They pop off. DO NOT use excessive force. There may be a small rubber piece for each key. Remove all of these and place in a separate container. CAREFUL, these are small and like to jump away.
CLEAN KEYBOARD ( do this well…… you will be wonderfully rewarded )
Clean the keyboard with cotton swabs SLIGHTLY DAMPENED with water. Replace these often and BE SURE they are only slightly damp. If they are too wet the excess water will contaminate the keyboard through capillary action. This will clean all water soluble contaminants like Coca-Cola, coffee, and sugar residue. For the very small places, cut the foam rubber into small pieces and use the tweezers, again SLIGHTLY DAMPENED, for cleaning. You must clean each and every key space, inside and out, this is critical since this is where the key touches and moves.
Repeat this procedure again using rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs but NOT the foam rubber as it disintegrates when used with alcohol.
Finally repeat this procedure using naptha (lighter fluid) and foam rubber. You can clean even the smallest key guides with small pieces of foam rubber and tweezers. This action will remove any petroleum based contaminants as well as the grease that is sometimes used on the wider keys which may have guide wires, for example, the SCACE BAR.
Some keys may have wires attached and some grease on them, clean these first with cotton swabs and naptha (lighter fluid). Remove all traces of the grease.
Place all keys in a kitchen strainer. Spray with household cleaner and let stand for 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with hot water and place keys on paper towels to dry. Let dry completely.
CLEAN RUBBER COMPONENTS
Place all rubber components in a kitchen strainer. Spray with household cleaner and let stand for 5 minutes. Use stopper in the sink so that you don’t lose these if they jump out of the strainer. Rinse these thoroughly with hot water and place on paper towels. Fold the towels over and press to squeeze most of the water out of the pieces. Let dry completely.
Place all keys bottom-up on a paper bag. Lightly coat the keys, at a 45 degree angle with Super Lube Dry Film lubricant. Do this from all 4 sides to assure penetration and coverage into the small and critical guide spaces inside each key. Let dry ( this happens nearly instantly). DO NOT overdue this step as the carrier solvent may affect the plastic.
Mask off the laptop with paper and scotch tape. Apply lubricant (as above in LUBRICATE KEYS) to the keyboard and let dry.
All right, you now have perfectly cleaned and lubricated keys, keyboard, and rubber components.
Place all rubber components into the keyboard.
Install keys with wires. Make sure wire is secured in the key, usually snapped into place. Place ends of wire in the guide slots adjacent to the key location as you align the key. Firmly press down to snap the key into place.
Install the rest of the keys by aligning and firmly pressing down.