What to do when your morning Joe (having no relation to either Joe Scarborough or Mika Brzezinski on NBC) is splashed on your keyboard??
Imagine a great Saturday planned on editing the last three shoots and all of a sudden my white keys with half of the popular letters worn off is awash in just french-pressed Kona…not a pretty sight. As you see the spilled cup of 3am Nectar of The Gods flooding across your desk and performing as did the Red Sea did at the behest of Moses, only to come crashing down from all sides directly upon your keyboard, my mind, at least, was scrambling through all the how-to posts I’d read after screwing something up and looking for fast fixes online, only to realize the fix was learned in my Junior year in high-school Chemistry: Alcohol!
Because the cell-phone-in-a-bag-of-rice trick works against only, it will not do anything for your coffee, especially if it is French Vanilla laden as mine was. The sugar in the creamer mix sticks to any/everything, gumming key rebound springs, and coating any open circuitry instantly.
Any canned or compressed air you use to try and blow the offending liquid out of the keyboard may get some of the fluid out, but as the fluid becomes thinner, it dries in place much faster than it can be whisked away by the high speed air and be much harder to remove.
In order here are the steps I took:
1) Immediately remove the battery(ies)
2) Go to the medicine cabinet and grab the 16oz bottle of 91-99% isopropyl alcohol, no, not to drink because you are thinking your keyboard is toast! You will have already went to your closest drugstore (no, not your corner dealer, but the normal brick and mortar shop like Walgreens, or CWSm or Longs…you get the hint) soon after you read this BenAZphoto blogpost.
3) Tilt the keyboard so the end where you begin pouring is the highest, and place the lower end of the keyboard over a bowl and begin pouring semi-slowly making sure the entire keyboard has seen a good bit of the alcohol. You want to keep the keyboard tilted so all the sticky goop you were ready to ingest before the spill has more than ample opportunity to be washed by the alcohol to the lowest end and out of the keyboard entirely.
Why alcohol? First off, it is hygroscopic, which means it draws water toward itself. Think of it as a water magnet. Alcohol also carries water with it, so the water, and the acids in coffee are all washed to the lowest end, thanks to both gravity and the very low viscosity of the alcohol.
4) A 16 oz container of 91-99% isopropyl will cost anywhere from $4-$9. A keyboard costs from $25 wired to upwards of $100 for the super-duper wireless models, and some considerably more than that. Use the whole bottle, or two. It is a cheap repair.
5) After you have exhausted your supply of isopropyl, go outside, and while holding keyboard firmly, make a motion with your arm the OPPOSITE of as if you were tossing a ball underhanded as high as you could into the sky. This will physically drive the smaller volumes of alcohol downward and out of your keyboard.
6) Find a fan, blow drier, and set to cool, keep the keyboard on an angle and blow from upper to lower. this will speed the evaporation of the water and alcohol not removed by the swinging in step 5.
7) Let the keyboard air-dry naturally for an hour or two.
8) After drying, replace old batteries with new, and fire the keyboard up.
*Unfortunate legal disclaimer mumbo-jumbo:
Any person proceeding using these suggestions as a potential remedy for any event accepts any and all liability of results of these suggestive remedies. BenAZphoto assumes no liability whatsoever for anything which happens as a result of these suggest practices, and cannot be held liable in the event of an equipment failure.
I have used these steps and saved both a wired and Apple produced wireless keyboard (actually the model pictured above) with satisfactory results, and share it here as a way for other users to possibly save their equipment, and wallets, enabling them to keep on editing, blogging, or just being super-creative in whatever media they choose.