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Old 10-21-2008, 11:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Keyboard lubricant after cleaning

I have a black Dell keyboard I'm using with my desktop PC. It was getting grungy, so I opened it, removed everything, washed the plastic case in the dishwasher, and reassembled everything.

They keys now seem to get slightly "hung up" when pressing them, like the sliders beneath the keys are dry, maybe got them a bit too clean. Just used regular dishwasher cycle and no drying heat on the top rack. I rinsed it real well after cleaning, didn't see any residue. But I really have to press firmly to type, Dell KB's usually are quite light and smooth.

What would be a good lube to smooth this up? I would open the case and spray beneath the keys, then wipe off the excess, I guess. It's a decent KB, but this is a real PITA!

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Old 10-22-2008, 06:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Keyboard lubricant after cleaning

Spray lubricating contact cleaner will work. - Cables, Parts & Connectors: Chemicals, tape & adhesives: Cleaners & wipes: TV-Tuner/Control Cleaner & Lubricant

Crc Industries 03140 Lubrication Contact Cleaner

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Old 10-22-2008, 10:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Talking Re: Keyboard lubricant after cleaning

Sounds like a good idea, nice suggestion. I'll give it try, let you know how it turns out. I like the long-travel key feel of the Dell KB, good panel layout, they're usually fairly trouble-free. I'm a decent typist (4-finger pecker!). Got this one from the toss-out pile when we got newer PC's at work. So at least it was a freebie!
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Old 10-23-2008, 03:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Keyboard lubricant after cleaning

Keyboards + Lubrication.
My two favorite things...
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Old 10-23-2008, 06:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Keyboard lubricant after cleaning

Originally Posted by zedman3d View Post
Keyboards + Lubrication.
My two favorite things...
Not gonna ask...

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Old 10-24-2008, 10:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Angry Re: Keyboard lubricant after cleaning

Well, I managed to discover a product which definitely DOES NOT work as a lubricant for your freshly-cleaned keyboard assembly.

I went to the local hardware in search of the CRC contact cleaner and lubricant, which they did not carry. I got another product which looked as if it would serve the same purpose. Something along the lines of a silicone-based spray or dry lubricant ought to be OK. I purchased a 4 oz. spray can of Elmer's (this should have been a bad omen) Slide-All Dry Spray Lubricant, product re-order # E-450.

I carefully read the can......"Elmer's Slide-All is ideal for squeaks and sticking of: doors & windows - zippers - locks - skates - bikes - skis - reels - guns. Leaves no oily stain. Because it is a dry lubricant it will work on metal, wood, rubber, glass, leather, many plastics" (notice it does not state ALL PLASTICS.....2nd bad omen).

I figured this would be the best choice among what was available, paid the $4.27 and headed home. I opened the keyboard and took the keypanel over to the sink, flipped it upside down and began spraying the bottoms of the keys. After letting it soak in for a minute, I tried moving some of the keys by trying to jiggle them. NONE OF THEM WOULD MOVE AT ALL. I tried to move the keys by pushing them from the top side, but they were binding so badly they would almost not move at all. The spray had begun to evaporate, leaving behind a whitish, crazed appearance of the plastic. The spray had actually attacked the plastic like a solvent, and all the key sliders were frozen up. I could not believe what I was seeing. I had read and followed the directions, shaken the can well before spraying..... The once-functional keyboard was now a piece of ruined s---.

I found a pump spray bottle of Slick 50 1 Lube (not something I would have used originally). I wanted to see if it would help at all, what did I have to lose at this point. It didn't, the keys were now hopelessly ruined. It took enough pressure to make them move at all that the return force of the membrane pad cups would not be able to push them upward, making any keypresses an impossibility.

I broke the assembly in half and chucked it in the trash...what a **** waste! The dishwasher cleaning procedure I had used earlier appeared to work great, I thought it was just dry binding needing light lube to smooth the key action.

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