PC Accessories

How To Fix a Keyboard That Got Wet

Wet Keyboard

Liquids are the riskiest things to have near your computer. We all know that, and you would think that would discourage us from having a hot cup of coffee on our work desk. We’ve all had to deal with wet keyboards at some point. If you’re reading this article, you’re probably dealing with a spill.

Quick Answer

When you notice the issue, isolate the keyboard by disconnecting or unplugging it from the computer, drain the liquid, and let the keyboard dry for at least 24 hours before testing it. If it doesn’t work, take it to a technician for further repairs.

The first few minutes after a spill usually determine the damage to the keyboard. This article details the steps you’ll follow to fix your wet keyboard. We also provided a different method for those who spilled liquid on their laptop keyboards rather than external keyboards.

What To Consider Before Choosing a Repair Method

When you’re dealing with a spill, time is of the essence. The earlier you notice dripping and start fixing it, the better. However, there are some factors you have to consider before you can repair a wet keyboard.     

  • Type of liquid: Although any liquid can cause severe damage to the keyboard, water is the easiest to deal with because it has no salt, sugar, or alcoholic content that can cause permanent damage to the keyboard. 
  • Time elapsed since the spill: If you took too long to notice the spill, the chances are that the liquid has made its way to the internal components of the keyboard or laptop. You might have to consider professional help, especially if you’re dealing with a laptop keyboard. 
  • Type of keyboard: Fixing an external keyboard differs from a laptop keyboard. Also, spilling liquid on a laptop keyboard is more dangerous because the liquid can spread to other sensitive components
  • Amount of spill: The amount of liquid that spilled on your keyboard would also determine the type of repair it requires.

Method #1: How To Fix a Wet External Keyboard

An external keyboard poses fewer problems than an internal keyboard because there is usually no risk that the liquid in the keyboard can get to the components of the CPU and cause severe damage. It is also easier and cheaper to replace in case of permanent damage.

To fix a wet external keyboard, follow the steps below.

  1. Unplug or disconnect the keyboard from the computer. Leaving a wet keyboard connected to the computer can cause damage to the computer components. If it is a wireless keyboard, switch it off and remove the battery
  2. Turn the keyboard upside down. This step stops the liquid’s movement into the keyboard’s inner part and forces the fluid to flow back out. 
  3. Clean the keyboard with a lint-free cloth or towel. Paper towels, napkins, or toilet papers might be more accessible, but don’t let the situation tempt you into using them to mop up the liquid. Always utilize lint-free since paper towels leave behind particles that might damage your keyboard. 
  4. Disassemble the keycaps. If you’re using a mechanical keyboard, remove the keycaps and clean them with a lint-free cloth. Before removing the keycaps, take a picture of the keyboard so that you will not have problems putting them back. 
  5. Place the keyboard upside down for at least 24 hours to allow the liquid to drain completely.
  6. Reassemble the keycaps in their original position and connect the keyboard to the computer to test if it works perfectly. 
  7. If the problem persists, visit a technician.

Method #2: How To Fix a Wet Laptop Keyboard

So many things can go wrong when you spill liquid on your laptop keyboard. At that point, the keyboard is the least of your problems, and your focus should be on limiting the damage to the barest minimum.

Since you can’t isolate the keyboard from the laptop, follow these steps to fix the problem.

  1. Unplug the power source and shut down your laptop. If you delay this process and the liquid reaches the laptop’s internal components while it is still working, it could cause permanent damage to the computer. 
  2. Remove external cables, hard drive, USB drive, disk drive, mouse, and battery. Make sure you remove all the easily detachable components. 
  3. Tilt the laptop sideways and upside down to drain out the liquid. 
  4. Use a lint-free cloth or towel to sop up liquid from the keyboard’s surface. Do not use paper towels or napkins. 
  5. Flip the laptop upside down and leave it there for a minimum of 24 hours.
  6. Insert the battery and switch on the laptop to test the keyboard
  7. If the keyboard does not work, visit a technician.
Warning

Modern-day laptops are not easy to disassemble; therefore, it is best not to dismantle them. Any damage will void the warranty and cause a bigger problem than you’re trying to fix.

If your warranty is still valid, we recommend taking the laptop to the manufacturer for repairs. Otherwise, take it to a technician who deals with your laptop brand.

Conclusion

While there is a need to apply the fix as quickly as you can after a spill, do not panic or rush things. By following the steps in this article, you stand a higher chance of fixing your wet keyboard. But remember, prevention of a problem is always better than the cure.

Rather than finding an effective cure, preventing the problem remains the best way to prolong your computer’s lifespan. Therefore, why don’t you consider moving liquids away from your work desk? This is easier said than done because nothing beats having a hot cup of coffee on your desk while working on your computer. Alternatively, it would help if you considered getting a keyboard cover or a water-resistant keyboard.

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