How can I fix my laptop keyboard after spilling coffee over it?

Nicholas Amadu August 15, 2011

Some weeks ago, I accidentally spilled some coffe on my Dell Latitude 550 laptop. Later in the day, my A, S, D, F, J, K, l stopped functioning. I gave it to a computer technician and he advised that I would have to replace the entire key pad to get it working again. Would this solve the problem or would there be some other faults?

  1. Mulder
    August 17, 2011 at 1:47 am

    If you remove the keyboard from the laptop, you could then remove the keys and put them and the keyboard in the dishwasher (without any soap or rinse agents) and run it through the rinse cycle only, or the "light wash" cycle.

    Once that's done, remove immediately (don't let it go through the dry cycle) and put it somewhere so it can dry thoroughly, over the course of several days. Then you can put the keys back on in their original order, replace the keyboard back in the laptop, and see if it will start up and work again.

    There is a video of this being done for a regular keyboard, and although they don't recommend it, it certainly can be done. Before you do it, be sure your laptop is out of warranty, and know the cost of having the laptop keyboard replaced if it doesn't work.

    RinseCam footage:

    August 15, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Hello, the only way you might have of fixing your keyboard is by cleaning it.  You would have to take the keyboard off of your laptop.  The following links will show you how to take the keyboard off your laptop: 

    Once the keyboard is off, check the bottom of the keyboard to see if it leaked underneath it.  For cleaning up the keyboard you would have to get 90% alcohol and some q-tips.  If it did leaked underneath keyboard, soak the the q-tips with alcohol and clean it.  The advantage of using alcohol is that it will clean your stains and also it will dry quickly.  Now, in order to clean the keys that are giving you trouble, you would have to take the key off the keyboard.  Just pull them of the hinges but use extreme caution... you do not want to bend/break the hinges specially if they are plastic.  Make sure to soak the q-tips and clean thoroughly under the keys.  Make sure to clean the  the nipples really good and also try to take the keys surrounding the keys giving you trouble.  Clean all the area with alcohol and q-tips and let them dry.  For the keys themselves, you can wash them on the sink.

    Once all the coffee and sticky stains are clean, put the keys back on the keyboard and hopefully they will work ok.  Most times this process works...if it does not you will probably have to spend some money and get a replacement keyboard.  Good Luck

  3. Anonymous
    August 15, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Well a friend of mine spilled alcohol on the keyboard and the solution was an external keyboard.

    Here is an article from Makeuseof

    Unplugg everything especially from the wall let e battery to dry then press on ON for few moments replugg to the wall and let the battery to charge then reboot windows and see if this will help, also you can reset the CMOS battery?