It is not as rare as you might think to spill a big glass of something all over your MacBook keyboard, shorting out the device and rendering it useless. However, even those who are careful and have not spilled something directly on an electronic device have likely run into a sticky key or two in their time. Keyboards get sticky for a variety of reasons – for example, many people simply eat something that leaves a residue on their fingers, which is then transferred to keys over regular use, building up over time.
For those with a desktop Mac, a Geek Girl report recently published by KFYO could prove useful, as contributor Ariel Walden outlined a DIY fix for sticky keyboards.
"First and foremost, unplug the keyboard," Walden wrote. "Then, you can either take compressed air to blow the dirt and crumbs out of the keyboard, or you can take a damp, lint-free cloth and wipe the keyboard clean, using a cotton swab for the hard-to-access areas. If you really want to go in-depth on your cleaning, you can actually remove the keys using a dull knife or flattened screwdriver and soak the keys in some warm water and dish detergent for 20 to 30 minutes. Just be careful when removing the keys, if you're too forceful with it, you can easily break the keys."
Other tips to consider
If you have a MacBook with a non-detachable keyboard, make sure that the laptop is unplugged from any power source and that you have properly shut it down before attempting to clean the keyboard. In an Apple Support Communities discussion board, one MacBook owner asked for suggestions for cleaning a sticky keyboard as well, and one user suggested using a handful of paperclips reshaped into little hooks in order to help remove any particularly problematic keys. Other useful tools for attempting an at-home keyboard cleaning include a used toothbrush as well as Q-tips for in between the keys.
Walden also shared an excellent word of caution for all those attempting any DIY repairs. She noted that many DIY fixes can actually void the warranty for certain devices, so it is wise to always check the warranty specifications first to determine if attempting a self-repair is truly worth it. If there is ever any question, however, it could be a wise choice to consult a third party repair provider like iResQ. With iResQ's MacBook repair services, Apple device owners can rest assured their electronics are put back into top working order and no additional damage is acquired.