Keyboard in the Dishwasher

The converted boiler room I call my office is extremely dust-prone. A stream of delivery and construction trucks parades by just outside, leaving a thin film of black soot on everything. After a recent office cleaning jag, realized that my white Apple USB keyboard had become positively embarrassing — the keys stained a mottled gray and black, every crevice stuffed with grime.

Had read before that it’s possible to put a keyboard right into the dishwasher, and decided to give it a shot. Worst case would be that I’d have to get a new one if it didn’t work. When I left Friday eve, strapped the keyboard to my bike rack and headed home. Saturday morning gave the keys a quick pre-scrub with a plastic pot scrubber, then placed the keyboard upside down on the top rack, facing down.

Thought it might not make sense to use the heat-dry function, so removed it afterwards to air-dry. Blessed with warm, dry Santa Ana winds all weekend, but after 24 hours my heart sank when I tested the keyboard for the first time. At first all seemed well, but quickly realized that some keys were stuck on infinite repeat. But after a second full day of outdoor drying, I’m pleased to report that keyboard is in perfect working order (typing on it now). And it literally looks like it just came out of the box. Shiny perfect sparkling white.

Have seen other reports that keyboards will dry faster if you remove all the keys. Doing so may have saved a day of dry time, but if you can live without the keyboard for two days, I’d say don’t trouble yourself.

Music: William Shatner :: Has Been

8 Replies to “Keyboard in the Dishwasher”

  1. The visual of the keyboard strapped to your bike rack on a trip to the dishwasher cracked me up! Glad it worked.

    If I could run my macbook through the rinse cycle, I’d do it every morning just to get rid of the fingerprints.

    Great tip. Thanks.

  2. A thin film of black soot on _everything_? How about your lungs? You might consider asking Env. Health to evaluate your indoor air quality…

  3. Steve – Ah, it’s no worse than a construction or road worker or any of dozens of professions. Yeah, I’d prefer it if the office weren’t so dusty, but there’s nowhere else I could be placed, and the space does have its advantages.

  4. Keyboard in the dishwasher, yes. Laptop in the dishwasher, no! I’ve actually seen this advice somehow get post-officed to include laptops, and hope nobody ever tries it.

  5. I to have heard of this method of cleaning the keyboard. You have convinced me to try it on a spare keyboard before I use the ‘work’ one.

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