I’m terribly clumsy.
In the past few months as a direct result of my clumsiness, I’ve broken a pair of computer speakers (knocked ‘em right off my desk), a PS3 controller (spilled a glass of water directly into the drawer in which it resided), and a keyboard (tipped over a bottle of beer, emptying half its contents directly onto my BlackWidow).
After an initial panic over the spilled beer, I quickly unplugged the keyboard and flipped it over on top of a towel to let it drain as I pondered the ramifications. I then realized that I actually did not know what the effects of beer were when applied to the circuit board of a mechanical keyboard, so maybe everything would be ok. Sadly, it was not.
A flurry of Google searches led me to the idea that dismantling my keyboard and dumping distilled water directly onto the circuit board was my only hope of saving it. While this of course sounded like a terrible plan (water + electronics?), I was really left with no other option. And since my keyboard couldn’t possibly break even further, I went ahead and tried it.
There’s something innately terrifying about holding a naked circuit board over the sink and watching your boyfriend dump an entire gallon of distilled water over it. But once the deed was done, I let the circuit board dry overnight (with a bit of aid from my hair dryer), and then reassembled it.
Now, since my BlackWidow is safely put back together and functioning perfectly, I’m a little hesitant to dismantle it again simply for the purpose of taking pictures for this tutorial. Besides, every keyboard is different, so chances are that posting pictures the process of taking apart my keyboard wouldn’t help you at all. So if you’ve come here because you’re in the same situation I was, just make sure to follow these simple steps:
1. Unplug the keyboard IMMEDIATELY. This is the most time-sensitive step.
2. Purchase distilled water. This is usually sold in gallon jugs for very cheap, and can be found at any grocery or drug store. It is VERY important that you use distilled water, as it it de-ionized and therefore should not cause any electrical interference with the circuit board.
3. Dismantle the keyboard and carefully pour the distilled water over the circuit board, then set aside to dry.
4. Wash the keys and plastic casing with soap and water, and again set aside to dry.
5. After all components are sufficiently dry (you can carefully use a hair dryer to aid in the drying process if you wish), reassemble the keyboard and test it out.
6. Success! (Hopefully)
This strategy is not GUARANTEED to work. This is the method I used to clean the beer spill out of my BlackWidow, but that does not mean that you will necessarily have the same results. Also, as always when handling electronic equipment, please be sure to handle with care – I can’t be held responsible if something happens to you or your keyboard as a result of using this guide.
Anyway, hope that helps! Let me know if you have any questions about the process!
~Jessica “Ruckus” Brohard