You spilled WHAT on your keyboard?!!!

bucket of wired keybarods trashSo the inevitable has happened, the dreaded spill onto your keyboard. You scold yourself for breaking the no drink rule and the anxiety starts kicking in.  But before sending yourself to your room, remember that you have a greater than 50 percent chance of saving the keyboard with some quick action.

First, and most importantly, unplug the keyboard.  If it’s wireless take out the batteries.  You don’t want any current running through circuitry that’s just started taking a warm bath.

Next turn the keyboard over or lean it against something so that all the excess liquid can drain out.

Now it’s time to be honest about the spill and take full responsibility for it young man (lady).  Was it a teaspoon of water that hit the keyboard or was it a firehose of soda?  Water is the easiest and if it wasn’t a significant amount then letting the keyboard dry for 24-48 hours will most likely be enough to save the keyboard.

But if the spill was floodlike then you are best off taking the keyboard apart.  Keyboards die when goo gets between the membrane layers and block the circuitry inside they keyboard.  If you think there are some puddles in there then go for it, it’s not as intimidating as it sounds.

If you’re lucky you’ve got a precision screwdriver set around, otherwise check your Leatherman for the right size tip.  Get all of the screws out and put them on a table in the keyboard layout formation if there are different size screws.

Inside you’ll probably see a few layers of mylar or plastic membrane.  If you’ve got some lint free cleaning cloths definitely use those to mop up any liquid drops, otherwise try to use some quality paper towels that don’t leave any residue behind.

basic fanOnce everything is wiped down to your satisfaction, you must let it dry out before use. The biggest mistake people make after a spill is expecting the keyboard to be functional right away.  Not gonna happen.  There’s probably some micro-droplets still hanging around, so it’s best to borrow someone’s keyboard for a day or two while Mother Nature dries this one out.

After you are satisfied any stubborn droplets have evaporated, doublecheck that all the inner mylar layers are snug, and then reassemble your keyboard.

Final, most important step:  come to peace with this dreaded spill and believe it happened for a reason (most likely to make you more prepared for the next dreaded spill).  Now say a quick prayer to Keyba (ancient keyboard deity) and power your keyboard back up.  Back in action?