I spilled beer on my keyboard a while back, and some of the keys are sticky.
It's driving me crazy, and I don't have any isopropyl. Can I use vodka to clean it?
The residue from beer is water soluble, so a damp cloth should do the trick if it's just the faces of the keys that are sticky. The alcohol in the vodka might dissolve the key labels.
If the keys are actually sticking, you've got a bigger problem though, since wiping the visible surfaces isn't going to get the residue out from where it's making the keys stick.
Basically, if you spill something on the keyboard, it's already wet, and when it dries it's going to leave residue behind.
So if you can't wipe it all off, you won't do any worse if you run the keyboard under the tap to get rid of the spillage, and then let the keyboard dry in a warm place like an airing cupboard for a few days. It's worked for me a few times over the years!
I have cleaned a keyboard by running it under tap water - seriously, out of the tap (spilled a latte on the keyboard). Let it dry (like overnight), and good-as-new. I believe this is reliable as long as you let the water completely evaporate.
I also believe vodka is too valuable to be used as a cleaning agent.
Do not use anything with alcohol to clean the keyboard. The keys will probably not stick anymore, but alcohol would also dissolve some of the lubricants used under the keys. Also, the word alcohol abuse comes to mind.
Your best bet is a damp piece of cloth, slightly warm, and then compressed air to get any gunk that the beer spill may have trapped.
I would suggest removing the keys*, and applying some warm water and a q-tip (or if you don't mind waiting for it to dry out, run it under water, but then don't plug it in for several days). Finally, you can just swish the keys around in a bowl of water.
If you don't know your keyboard layout by heart, it may be a good idea to take a picture first so you know how to put the keys back, as there's nothing more frustrating then trying to figure out why an "m" gives you "n" and vice versa.
*This depends on the type of keyboard. If it is a separate keyboard, you can usually pry them up easily with a flat-head screwdriver, but for flatter keyboards, like laptop keyboards or some of the slimline keyboard you see today, I wouldn't recommend trying to remove the keys.
If the keys feel sticky when you press them, it's usually a better idea to forget about this keyboard and buy a new one.
I've soaked my kb in kvass a few years ago and no attempts of restoring it to the original condition succeeded. Water, alcohol, removing each individual key for thorough cleaning… It either will still feel sticky, or it will start making terribly loud noises with each key stroke because you'll inadvertently remove the key lubricant.
Keyboards are not that expensive, it's easier to buy a new one. But if they are, make sure to remember this experience and never spill anything on yours again.
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