Water and Keyboards

Today’s special tip is to not get water onto your aluminum Apple Keyboard.

You might think that a bit of water on your keyboard isn’t that bad and it should dry out rather quickly and when it has it will start to work again. That’s what I believed until yesterday when I accidentally spilled a bit of water on my Apple Keyboard. Not a lot of water, just a bit. Enough to make parts of it wet enough that I had to get some paper to dry it up.

I wiped it as dry as possible and figured I could continue using it. However, shortly thereafter I realized that the arrow down button didn’t work, which can be quite annoying if you are writing code!

So I removed the arrow down key and used some more paper to dry the water that was under it. Now all of a sudden when I pressed the arrow down button it started to report arrow up button presses, in a constant stream. That is even worse!

I pulled the plug to the keyboard from the computer, fiddled some more with the stuff underneath the arrow down button and got it to stop doing whatever it was doing. Next I noticed the command-m is working but command-n is not working. The ‘n’ key on its own is working though. I can’t understand that! The ‘n’ key is working and the command key is working, but when used together nothing happens.

I let the keyboard dry out upside down over night but this morning it was still acting up. Then I put it under a warm lamp and now command-n is working again! Arrow down worked once before it stopped working again. So things are improving! With a bit of luck the keyboard might be start to work again after lunch.

These new aluminum keyboards from Apple are glued together, so there is no possibility to take them apart. So whatever you do, don’t get any liquid on your keyboard!

Update: Leaving the keyboard for another few hours under the hot lamp fixed the problem!