How to Fix a Water Damaged Keyboard: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Water damage on keyboards is a common mishap that can significantly impact their functionality. Whether it’s a spilled coffee or an accidental splash, acting promptly is crucial to prevent permanent damage. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to fix a water damaged keyboard. By following these steps, you can salvage your keyboard and restore it to its former glory.

Understanding Water Damage on Keyboards

Water can wreak havoc on the internal components of a keyboard. When liquid seeps into the delicate circuitry, it can cause short circuits, corrosion, and irreversible damage. Recognizing the signs of water damage is essential to initiate the repair process promptly. Look out for unresponsive keys, sticky or erratic behavior, or a completely non-functional keyboard. Acting swiftly can prevent further issues down the line.

Steps to Fix Water Damaged Keyboard

Step 1: Disconnect the Keyboard and Turn Off the Computer

The first step is to disconnect the keyboard from your computer and turn off the power. This ensures your safety and prevents any potential damage to your computer.

Step 2: Remove Excess Water and Dry the Keyboard

Gently turn the keyboard upside down to allow any excess liquid to drain. Use a lint-free cloth or paper towels to carefully blot the affected areas. Avoid shaking the keyboard vigorously, as it may spread the liquid further into the internals.

Step 3: Disassemble the Keyboard for Thorough Cleaning

If you feel comfortable doing so, disassemble the keyboard to access the internal components. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or search for keyboard-specific disassembly guides online. Take note of the layout and arrangement of the keys to aid in reassembly later.

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Step 4: Clean the Keyboard Using Appropriate Methods

Clean the keyboard components using isopropyl alcohol and a soft brush or cotton swabs. Gently scrub the affected areas to remove any residue or corrosion caused by the water damage. Be careful not to apply excessive force or use excessive amounts of cleaning solution, as it may further damage the keyboard.

Step 5: Allow the Keyboard to Dry Completely

After cleaning, allow the keyboard to air dry for at least 24-48 hours. Placing it near a fan or using a low heat source like a hairdryer on the cool setting can speed up the drying process. Ensure the keyboard is completely dry before reassembling and testing it.

Step 6: Reassemble the Keyboard and Test Its Functionality

Once the keyboard is completely dry, reassemble it following the disassembly steps in reverse order. Connect the keyboard back to your computer and power it on. Test each key to ensure it is functioning properly. If any keys are still unresponsive, you may need to repeat the cleaning process or seek professional assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I use a hairdryer to dry the keyboard?
Yes, you can use a hairdryer on the cool setting to speed up the drying process. However, avoid using high heat, as it can damage the keyboard.

What cleaning solutions are safe to use?
Isopropyl alcohol is a safe and effective cleaning solution for removing residue and corrosion caused by water damage. Avoid using water or other liquids, as they can further damage the keyboard.

How long does it take for the keyboard to dry?
The drying time may vary depending on the extent of the water damage and the environmental conditions. It is recommended to allow the keyboard to air dry for at least 24-48 hours before reassembly.

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Can I fix a water-damaged laptop keyboard?
The process of fixing a water-damaged laptop keyboard is similar to a regular keyboard. However, due to the complex nature of laptops, it is advisable to consult a professional technician for assistance.

What should I do if my keyboard doesn’t work after drying?
If your keyboard still doesn’t work after following the cleaning and drying process, it may indicate severe damage. In such cases, it is recommended to reach out to a professional for repair or consider replacing the keyboard.

Tips to Prevent Water Damage on Keyboards

To avoid water damage on your keyboard, consider the following preventive measures:

  • Keep liquids away from the keyboard area.
  • Use keyboard covers or protective skins to shield the keys.
  • Regularly clean your keyboard to prevent the buildup of dirt and debris.


Water damage to a keyboard can be a frustrating experience, but with prompt action, it is possible to fix and restore its functionality. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can successfully repair a water damaged keyboard. Remember to disconnect and power off the keyboard, remove excess water, clean the components, allow for thorough drying, reassemble, and test the functionality. By taking preventive measures and acting swiftly in case of water damage, you can prolong the lifespan of your keyboard and ensure smooth typing experiences for years to come.

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