The Nerd Side Of Life

How to Clean and Fix Sticky Laptop Keys

Over time, your laptop tends to accumulate dirt, dust, and grime on its surfaces. Along with the annoying presence of fingerprints on the screen, debris often gets caught in between the crevices of the keyboard. At times, the dirtiness can hamper your ability to use the laptop effectively. Worse yet, your keys may even stop working altogether.

Sticky laptop keys can pose many challenges. Depending on certain factors, your laptop may be more susceptible to sticky keys and even supplementary damage. Fortunately, there are solutions to clean and fix sticky laptop keys. To combat this problem, many laptops have included more robust keyboards and innovative cleaning technologies in their recent products.

With enough patience, the overall laptop cleaning process is relatively simple. After a thorough cleaning has been conducted, you’ll be back to your normal pace of typing in no time. Follow these steps on how to clean sticky laptop keys:

1. Shut down the laptop 

In most circumstances, you should shut down your laptop’s power before a thorough cleaning of your device is conducted. Shutting down the laptop helps to lessen the potential damage incurred on your laptop during the cleaning process. Make sure you save your important data in a cloud service or an external backup source as well.

This is especially true when your sticky laptop keys arise from an accidental spillage of a drink. Your first order of business is to turn off the laptop immediately after a spillage occurred. The quicker you act on this, the more likely your laptop will be preserved in a working condition.

2. Wipe the surface

Begin by gathering the necessary cleaning items. You won’t need an excessive amount of supplies, but there are several essential items that are crucial for the cleaning process. Rubbing alcohol, cotton swabs, and paper towels will give you a great start. In addition, it would be best to get a mild detergent or dish soap, as well as a flathead screwdriver.

After all these items have been collected, you are ready to get to work! First, get a paper towel and wipe down the device in its entirety. Then, get a second paper towel that is slightly damp, wiping it gently across the keyboard. Should there be any leftover wet spots, use a small piece of the dry paper towel to clean them up.

3. Assess if you need more cleaning

Wiping the keyboard is often enough to clean and fix the sticky keys, especially if you’ve a habit of cleaning your laptop regularly. Many modern laptops come with intuitive technologies designed to make cleaning less of a hassle. For example, some ASUS laptops use a self-cleaning system that ejects dust and other particles from the device. This anti-dust technology helps to keep and preserve your laptop in a better long-term condition.

However, you may decide that your laptop needs a more rigorous cleaning, which will be described in the steps below. Before proceeding, please be warned that users should feel comfortable about disassembling and reassembling their laptop keyboard. Do not proceed further unless you are wholly confident about the actions you take.

4. Soak the keys

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The next step of the cleaning process will involve cleaning the sticky keys individually, which will require their removal. Removing your laptop keys shouldn’t prove to be too difficult, but it can be tricky depending on your laptop model. Try to use your fingers to snap the corner of each key upwards. This should allow the key to pop out accordingly.

If the keys are being a bit more problematic, use the screwdriver to conduct the same motion. Larger keys may require more force, as they have been snapped into place more firmly than the smaller ones.

Once you have removed the keys, you can put them into a cup filled with dish soap or a mild detergent. Once you have done this, allow them to soak inside the cup for about an hour. After the allotted time has passed, dry off the keys and place them nearby. You will need them shortly.

5. Clean the keyboard

After the keys have been adequately soaked, grab some rubbing alcohol and a few cotton swabs. You’ll have to dip each swab into some of the liquid, and thoroughly clean around the post left behind by each key. 

For some models, you will inevitably find that parts of the laptop damage the swab quickly. In that case, grab another swab and gently finish off the cleaning. Then, allow the laptop to dry for an hour or two. Liquid spills may require a longer drying period, and an overnight drying should usually suffice.

6. Reattach the keys

After all areas of the laptop have been adequately dried out, reattaching the keys is next. Once you have snapped a key back into its original place, give it a push for a couple of times. If it still feels a bit sticky, simply remove it again and do a bit of extra cleaning on that key post.

Now that you have placed all the keys back into their original posts, you should make sure they are working. Open a word processor on your laptop and type some text into a blank document. This gives you the opportunity to test out how the keys feel. If your cleaning process was successful, none of your keys should be hampered down by stickiness anymore!

7. Get a new laptop

Despite your best efforts, your keyboard may still feel sticky after rounds of rigorous cleaning. In more extreme cases, some of the sticky keys could even stop responding altogether. Based on the severity of the damage, it may be a better idea to purchase a new laptop replacement. This could be a good time to explore the latest innovations in the laptop market, such as the ASUS VivoBook F15 F512JA.

In some versions of the VivoBook 15, there is an interesting feature called the ASUS BacGuard. This new treatment describes an antibacterial protection that reduces the spread of bacteria on laptop surfaces. The ASUS BacGuard is scientifically proven to inhibit bacteria growth in a 24-hour timeframe by over 99%. This gives the VivoBook 15 a fantastic defense against harmful bacteria, protecting your laptop from common germs and contaminants.

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