Where is Your God Now?

Where is Your God Now?

Like a few readers, I too read April's how-to with a healthy bit of skepticism. Especially the part about "sticking your keyboard in the dishwasher" as a viable cleaning solution for all the gunk, shredded cheese, and cat hair that gets in between good ol' A, S, D, and F. I mean, it's why The Good Lord invented air, and why Man invented compression. And when these two entities combine all Captain Planet-style, they create the wonder-drug that is Air In A Can, which one can subsequently use to rid one's keyboard of all the little nasties.

But what, pray tell, does one do about this?

In case the picture doesn't spell out the nightmare well enough, what happened here was an unintended meet-and-greet between a full glass of sticky, Safeway Fruit Punch (only $0.80! hits the spot!) and an average 22-year-old male's desk. The mess covered just about everything -- including Xbox games and nin memorabilia -- and drenched the keyboard in a red rain shower of problems. In short, it got everywhere. Ev-ree-where.

After about 3 minutes of profanity, 2 minutes of trying to remember where the paper towels were, 3 minutes of coaxing the cat out of the punch-filled bedroom, and 45 minutes of dabbing and cleaning, I was left with a final, Herculean task: how to restore the keyboard, now reservoir, to operational status. Or at least make the keys not-stick.

First, I attempted to go about the clean-up like fresh-out-of-college-boy I am -- brute force. Using the edges of small, cut-up paper towels, I tried to coax the fruit punch out from in between the various keys.
Success Rate: 20%

For my second attempt, I tried the ol' "turn it upside-down and shake it" strategy. While it worked a little bit, i quickly learned that I was simply making more of a mess all over the now-clean desk. The liquid did drip out of the keyboard, but hardly enough to claim any sort of victory here.
Success Rate: 2%

Having found the fancy key extractor device for my Razer Tarantula keyboard, I figured it worth a shot to start ripping keys out and inspecting the damage first-hand. I got through most of the left-hand keys before realizing that the punch had spread quite far, and getting it all out of the keyboard would likely require the removal of all the keys. And based on the previous upside-down strategy, I also learned that the punch had gone through the keyboard and was now dripping out the bottom as well.
Success Rate: 5%

It was then that I remembered our lovely how-to guide, and specifically, one particular reader's query: can you stuff a Logitech G15 into a dishwasher? Wouldn't that totally screw up the electronics? Well, a Tarantula is hardly a G15, but seeing as it's the fanciest keyboard I have, I figured it would be worth investigating. That said, I picked up the dripping keyboard, walked over to the sink, and began to give the little guy a shower.

Since then, the Tarantula's spent about 2 full days drying off. While I figure you could probably get away with a one-day dry, I want to make absolutely sure that none of the fancy inner electronics are at all wet, damp, or lightly moistened. I mean, it's a fancy keyboard. And I've grown used to the guy; I'm on my backup right now, an old lit-up Saitek. But it just isn't the same. *sobs* It just isn't the same.

Stay tuned, and I'll let you know if my $100+ keyboard has survived an $0.80 2-liter...

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Comments

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Chumly

LOL...the G15 is a BEAST to take apart. Getting the "punch" out from in between the many clear plastic sheets has you digging further and further into the brickhouse built unit. And if the LED's all start blinking wildely; you're going back in for the missed drop.

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Pixels

Had the same thing happen to me about 2 years ago... only it was a full glass of beer. Thing is, that wasnt what killed the keyboard. After giving it a good wash, my friend and i decided to speed things up with a hair dryer. How did that go? We melted the damned thing so whatever you spill - go ahead and wash it. Wash it good but just dont rush drying it, let it dry on it's own.

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chaosdsm

There's only 1 real way to take care of such a mess. Disasembly...



Quite simply turn the keyboard upside, take out the screws that hold the keyboard together. Carefully remove the electronic components & lay them out on towels. Toss everything else in sink or dishwasher. Then check the electronics very carefuly for signs of trouble (liquids, food, etc..) & carefully clean if necessary. I preffer to use an aersol spray electronics cleaner which I cannot remember the name of right off hand. Once the shell has been thoroughly cleaned & dried, reassemble & you should be back in business.



I've done this with 100% success on more than a dozen keyboards from various brands & models including Microsoft, Logitech, Kensington, Lite-On, & Zippy, both wired & wireless varieties.



Sure it's not as fast as just tossing a keyboard in a dishwasher, but there's almost zero chance of messing up your keyboard unless you miss-handle the electronics, & absolutely zero chance of water seeping into the interior & causing corrosion of the electronic components.

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Deacon Frost

I've found that the best waterproof keyboards can be found at this site: www.man-machine.com. They've got keyboards for all different price ranges and they are completely WATERPROOF! Not to mention dust-proof, germ-proof and crumb-proof. I bought a Really Cool keyboard, (yes, the actual name of the keyboard is "Really Cool" shows that the company has a sense of humor.) They also have waterproof mice! What more could you ask for? I can't recommend their products enough.

Always searching...

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Darth Ninja

I wonder if the Tarantula's hub will work?

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Kerzon

Hmm if i spilled a drink all over my G15 keyboard and stuff the last thing i would be doing is taking a photo of it. I smell a setup. :p

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TheMurph

If you surf over to my flickr, you'll note that I take one picture a day of "something cool." Spilling punch all over one's keyboard is one such moment. I love my job, but there's no way I'm going to purposefully drench my gear in pop/soda/whatever just to get a neat blog post out of it. psh.

Sounds weird, yeah, but that's what photographers are: weird. ; )

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Darth Ninja

I am not weird! lol
(maybe just a little)

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dedgar

So when do we get the results?

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advent

LOL the kid in the article your were talking about was me. I fell so cool and can't wait for the results!

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Siggy

The joy of diet soda is you can let it dry and it never gets sticky !

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vistafreak

The waterproof keyboard is washable, but there were 2 major flaws:
1. Keys don't feel right when pressed
2. They weren't able to make a proper space bar so there are two bars instead of 1. So you can't press the bar with both thumbs at once.

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D Waterhouse

hey i still use the eclipse and i love it. you should be happy to be freed from the nightmare that is teh tarantula's drivers

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XSV DBLs

hell yeah, ain't nobody got nuthin on mah Saitek.

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Zelpo

Tippy cups for you from now on! lol

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blackzarg

That drink looks really oozey!

But anyways, I'm interested to see how this goes, I always questioned that article!

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Theowningone

Wow that sucks. Last thing I had in mine was pretzel crumbs and jello. Dont ask. Popped out all the keys and now my space bar is broken...

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susie

nice spill. i do applaud your use of lolcats. all in all i give this post five thumbs up. where's the digg button? uh, maclife has a digg button.

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Sparkle

I remember about 2 or 3 years ago there was a short-lived keyboard that was flexible and completely waterproof. Whatever happened to that thing? I've always thought it would be a great idea for the accident prone!

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TheMurph

http://www.crazyaboutgadgets.com/detail.asp?ID=505

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