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Help! I spilt soda on my laptop's keyboard!

by schax / December 20, 2004 5:42 AM PST

I have a really serious problem, I accidentally spilt soda on my Dell Inspiron 8600 laptop yesterday. My girlfriend was sitting by the computer and drinking and I didn't see her glass and **** the soda went all over my keyboard. I have tried to remove the keys one by one and cleaning the surface below and most of my keys sound and feel as normal, though a few are very hard to press down and are staying pressed for some time before popping up again. The other big thing here is also that if I press the A key i get response from other keys that are not even close to the A. For instance if I press the A key the result I get on the screen is "FHA"!

Please.. if someone can help me how to solve/improve on this I will GREATLY appreciate it!


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by MarkFlax Forum moderator / December 20, 2004 6:00 AM PST

You get to buy a new keyboard for Christmas.

Sorry. If you are very lucky, the keyboard will dry out and work properly again, but I suspect that, to be this lucky you will need to disconnect the keyboard, and hang it up in some warm air somewhere to allow it to gently dry out.

Or perhaps blow a warm, (not hot), hair dryer over the keyboard, when it is disconnected of course.

I wouldn't use the keyboard again until the sticky keys have been cured as you will only make it worse.

But all this is only if there is no permanent damage to the circuit board already.

Good luck


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Help! I spilt soda on my laptop's keyboard!
by Echo2 / December 20, 2004 7:41 AM PST

Hey SchaX,

I know this problem well.
I hate to say it but you are most likely looking at buying a new keyboard. No matter what you do, your keyboard will most likely never be right again. Keyboards are fragile.
The good news is you get a new keyboard for Christmas!


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spilled soda on laptop keyboard and now keyboard doesn't wor
by Alexianna01 / May 20, 2010 10:33 PM PDT

My son spilled soda on my laptop and now the keyboard doesn't work. So I plugged in a usb keyboard and it worked for awhile. Now it is giving multiple keystrokes when I type with it and I can not afford to purchase a new laptop. I have a few questions,
1. Is there a way for me to clean the keyboard, and what ever component that is causing the multiple keystrokes?
2. What is a reasonable price to pay to have a laptop keyboard replace/fixed?
3. Should I go to a place like the Geek Squad at Best Buy or to the small computer store that we have here in town?
Any assistance would be greatly appreciate. I have online classes beginning on the 31st and I need this laptop. Thanks so much for your time.


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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 20, 2010 10:51 PM PDT

Is not a good idea. It buries your new request and makes it difficult to find your new post.


And yes, we could replace the laptop keyboard but without make, model, age I strongly advise against this given no details. It also appears that do it yourself repairs are out of the question as you appear to not be able to stand the loss of the machine and if you did have the means to have it fixed, you would not be posting here.

Which brings me back to "try another usb keyboard."

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sorry didn't notice the date
by Alexianna01 / May 20, 2010 11:10 PM PDT

Im sorry I didn't notice the date. So if I get another keyboard and plug it in, it may work. I am not tech savy, so sorry for the ignorant questions. Is there drivers or something that runs the keyboard? If I plug in another keyboard and it still doesn't work, then I guess its a take it to a pc place and let em' clean it up for me? I wonder how much that would cost. I purchased this HP Pavillion Laptop Jan. 2009 and the warranty just expired this past Jan. Of course my son spilled the soda on it in April, so that blows that out the window. I am just looking for a bit of good advice, so if you think trying a new keyboard may work I will give it a shot. Thanks and I am open to any ideas on how much it may cost to fix.

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My advice is still
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 20, 2010 11:14 PM PDT

Try another keyboard. You may not be tech savvy but know how to do this. Any trip to the shop runs over 120 bucks here and I've seen keyboard replacements run close to 500 with labor.

As to the driver, I know of no driver that will fix soda spills. Let's write "don't do that."

Also the keyboard driver that Windows comes with is fine. It's more than fine. DO NOT DO THAT!

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Not an easy fix
by Willy / December 20, 2004 8:34 AM PST

Overall, just clean as best as possible. Once the sugar, liquid gets into the kybd. matrix(mask) it will become conductive and multiple responses is possible or worst, just lock-up. Try electronics spray cleaner(CRC brand, doesn't attack plastics) and try. But, the real cure is a laptop repair center to replace kybd. mechanism, plus check everything else.

good luck Happy -----Willy

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Interesting, I just did this myself, this past week
by ChuckT / December 20, 2004 12:22 PM PST
In reply to: Not an easy fix

But I wasn't drinking soda, it was beer (had nothing to do with the spilling, ossifer Happy )

I just shut of the computer immediately. I waited a day and turned it back on and found, like you did, some of the keys were either hard to press, or sloooow to pop back up, etc.

So, again, I shut off the computer, and unplugged the keyboard. I took it up to the kitchen and flushed out the board several times with very clean, filtered, water. I then took it outside and shook the heck out it in lots of different directions. Then I left it outside for the next few hours, out in the sun.

Works fine now. In fact, I'm using it to type this.

Bottom line, if the keyboard is a cheapo - consider replacing it with another cheapo keyboard. If it is an expensive one, as mine is, at least try to clean it. Just use clean water (water will dissolve the sugars fro soda and beer) and don't use it until you know it is thoroughly dry!

I've done similar recoveries with electronic watches and calculators. They will come back, as long as you don't leave residue.

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Laptops, I'm afraid, ...
by Kees Bakker / December 20, 2004 5:38 PM PST

don't have cheapo keyboards and don't like a treatment with water either. For desktops, however, this is a very instructive story.


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Always a risk involved
by Willy / December 20, 2004 6:18 PM PST

You take your chances on any direct cleaning using water. While there are plastics and resistant componets, water is a corrosive agent, don't always expect good results, only time will tell. Also, the action of cleaning *may* migrate the pentration of foreign liquid/objects even further into the works, so there's a 50/50 chance of success but complete failure too. Oh yeah, better be dry before attempting re-use, one reason to use "electroincs cleaners" they pretty much are "clean, then use" option.

good luck -----Willy

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by robert56h / December 21, 2004 6:13 AM PST

All I can suggest is clean all contacts with Alcohol.
May want to send it back to the factory if it is still under warranty and let an expert do it. Sometimes they will just send you a new one...

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re; clean all contacts with Alcohol
by ChuckT / December 22, 2004 10:31 AM PST

I don't believe alcohol dissolves sugar deposits. That is why I used water.

But, as has been suggested, there are other cleaners that would work too, without the problems with water doused circuits. However, for the several times I have used water, and the immediate drying using heat from the sun, I haven't experienced any sort of long time failures.

HOWEVER, this most recent episode with the beer on my MS Wireless Elite Keyboard has only been less than two weeks now. So, perhaps, in a year or two, if I am still using this keyboard (I upgrade keyboards about once a year) maybe I will get some problem.

And if you are wondering why I change keyboards so often, I like to get new toys, and when MS comes out with a new keyboard I generally get it. I've had three MS keyboards so far, and I still have then all. I just relegate those older keyboards to my other older computers. (sigh - life is tough Wink )

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water works
by wasonha / January 26, 2010 8:40 AM PST

i've spilled soda and drinks on my keyboards at LEAST a dozen times, and every time i simply unplugged it (if from a laptop-i removed it) and washed it with warm water (usually let it soak in plain ol' water for a minute or two depending on how much/how long the soda has been on there) and then made absolutely sure it was dry before reconnecting it and EVERY time it works (i've even done this when there was no real grounds for doing it- like when i buy a used comp from a friend i always take them apart and clean them thoroughly, sometimes as just plain regular maintenance)...i used to be worried "oh what if" but i've done it so many times i KNOW cleaning it with water will work EVERY time

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