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Reader Responses to the May '02 email about dirty keyboards! Maybe it just needs a nice long bath
Poor thing!

From: Betsey

Hi Dianne, The only thing I don't eat at my computer is tripe and calamari. I don't
eat them anywhere actually. My favorite though is sucking on Hershey's kisses. Thanks for the issue.

To: Diannek,

Your latest Clever is a lot of fun. "Tending the Garden" just about ran my tear glands dry. I had so much empathy with the narrator.

Here is a little something for Spring cleaning.

How to Clean your Keyboard:

Give your keyboard a bath. This technique will free sticky keys and get out the food and dirt particles. The important thing is that you allow enough time for it to dry.

Power off the computer on a day when you will not be using it for several days. Run enough warm water in the bathtub to cover the keys and add enough dish detergent to get the suds up. (Have to use detergent as soap leaves a sticky film that doesn't finish the job. It is also the reason that most drain problems occur, the sticky residue not the hair.) After an hour, every 15 minutes give it a couple of bounces in the suds, turn over and bounce from the bottom. After two hours give a thorough rinse. Shake out as much water from every angle as you can and stand on its short end in a warm dry place. One or two days depending on the Temperature and humidity. Turn on the opposite end every several hours to get the water that remains to move around and make it dry faster.

(This has worked for me and freed most of the sticky keys on my keyboards. I was amazed at the amount of debris that I found in the water. But the soap really has never done a good job.)

Thanks for your Clever Magazine. Happy Spring cleaning.


After receiving Malcolm's interesting suggestion for keyboard cleaning, I fired off another email to him asking him if it was really true. This is his answer: 

Subject: Spring cleaning your Keyboard.

Dianne, Correct, this is no joke!  You can do it and I have done it several times!  The directions I have worked out do the best job. As I said, soap doesn't do a great job but detergent does. And complete drying is essential. I do NOT know about wireless keyboards. Best not to wash them. There are cases where all of the sticky keys aren't completely freed.

Good luck, Malcolm

FYI: If you're too chicken to dump your keyboard into a dishpanful of detergent, there are other more traditional methods. We found a full set of instructions on the internet that the faint-of-heart might find more useful. Here it is: Cleaning Laptop Keyboard!

Find it here!     

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