Is my Apple iMac keyboard dead? (spilled coffee on it)
Jun 1, 2006 at 2:40 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10


1000+ Head-Fier
Mar 12, 2004
My dad's Intel Apple iMac has a wired keyboard.

I spilled coffee on it yesterday morning and now many of the keys don't work.

(I cleaned up the coffee with paper towels and turned the power off overnight. I did, however, turn the keyboard while it was still powered up to drain and such up coffee with paper towels and may have pressed some of the keys then).

If the keyboard is indeed dead, will Apple replace it under warranty without cost to me?
Jun 3, 2006 at 7:47 AM Post #2 of 10
Nah, the keyboard should be OK. What's most likely going on is that there's still liquid in the keyboard that's shorting out some of the keys.

I remember reading once that Apple tests its keyboards by mixing Pepsi with Doritos and pouring that on prototypes. I don't know if they still do that, but they do consider spills when designing keyboards.

Anyhow, you can use a blowdryer/heatgun (be careful!) to dry out the rest of the keyboard. You might also want to try popping off the keys to get down in there. More drastically, you may want to disconnect the keyboard and wash it out with water. Really. Most electronics aren't harmed by it, contrary to popular belief. The trick is making sure it's dry.
Jun 3, 2006 at 1:33 PM Post #4 of 10

Originally Posted by mshan
Any danger in hooking up a keyboard that still has some moisture in it?

Yes very much so. But as Uncle Erik said, i would wash it with water preferably distiled. When it is dry try it again.
Jun 3, 2006 at 1:45 PM Post #5 of 10
You should wait until it completely dries first before you attempt to use. FYI, I had to clean an older Microsoft keyboard from a nasty soda spills several years ago, thanks to my clumsy friend. Initially I waited few hours until the keyboard dried out, then plugged in to test it. Keyboard was functioning, but few keys were slow to pop up (sugar will do that to the mechanical keys
). It wasn't too hard to dissasemble and clean the keyboards and it functioned fine.

The chances are that your keyboard may be fine, just wait until it dries out.

PS: If by a chance, your keyboard is damaged, Apple probably won't replace the keyboard. The damage was done by a negligence, not by a normal use.
Jun 3, 2006 at 1:46 PM Post #6 of 10
Duplicated post. Deleted!
Jun 3, 2006 at 2:39 PM Post #7 of 10
For another take, I spilled water on my Apple keyboard earlier this year and it was rendered (almost) completely unusable. It started typing like this:


t5o9day6 i8 spi8lle3d w2at5e3r4 o9n my6 ke3y6bo9ar4d, and no9w2 i8t5 ty6p0e3s li8ke3 t5hi8s

Every letter in the top row also typed a number. Cute for about a minute, then extremely annoying.

I hope yours doesn't turn out like mine did, mshan.
Good luck!
Jun 3, 2006 at 2:42 PM Post #8 of 10
My keyboard just started having a lot of keys that no longer respond.

These were clustered in different spots around the keyboard, I think because I tilted the keyboard around to try and drain the coffee (stupidly, I didn't disconnect the keyboard first). I also pressed some keys while still connected, so I am hoping I didnt' do permanent damage in the process.
Jun 3, 2006 at 2:57 PM Post #9 of 10
OK, since your keyboard is at best questionable go to Radio Shack and buy a can of tuner cleaner/lubricant.


Also get compressed air if you want to speed up the drying process.

Just tilt the keyboard and spray the heck out of it using the cleaner lubricant. Try to get under the nooks and crannies, the use the compressed air to remove as much of the stuff as you can, wipe the keyboard with a towel and let sit overnight to dry.

If you are adventurous take the keyboard apart before spraying with the cleaner/lubricant. Good luck.
Jun 3, 2006 at 5:04 PM Post #10 of 10
It'll be necessary to disassemble the keyboard. Looks like some liquid has got between some of the layers (I'll assume that keyboard is of the usual rubber dome variety) - these will have to be cleaned, dried and put together again in the correct order. Not too much of a problem if you're reasonably handy. Some folks even throw nicely dirty keyboards into the dishwasher, though I'm not sure whether I'd do that with a translucent/transparent plastic job I imagine the iMac 'board to be. (It's usually kind of a last resort if you've got a bunch of highly dirty but not too expensive keyboards e.g. from a PC pool - still worth a try before you throw 'em away, and most actually survive just fine. Just let them dry for a loong time. Not sure whether this would help with spilled coffee.)

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