How to Clean an IBM / Lenovo ThinkPad Laptop Keyboard

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Keys stuck? Crumbs and dust in the keyboard? Tired of shooting compressed air into it and getting junk all over the place?


Follow these steps to the cleanest keyboard EVER!!

Things You'll Need

  • IBM/Lenovo Laptop (duh)
  • Kitchen Sink (you read it right)
  • Small Philips-head screwdriver.
  • Dish Soap
  • Turn your laptop over and find all the screws with the small keyboard symbol next to them. (see small, but accurate picture of keyboard symbol)

    Set the screws aside as they are small and easy to lose!

  • Turn your laptop face up and pull the bottom of the keyboard up like a car hood, as seen in the picture below.

  • Slide the keyboard forward, and lift it up and out of the laptop. There will be a ribbon cable attached to the motherboard. Detach that and take the entire keyboard out.

  • Knock out the excess crumbs and dirt, and prepare yourself for the next steps!

  • Plug up your sink and fill it with warm water, enough to allow the keyboard to submerge. Add some dishwashing soap and if you have a sprayer on your sink, use that to spray our the keyboard before letting it soak in the warm soapy water for 30 minutes or so.

  • When you remove the keyboard, rinse it off with the sprayer or the faucet to get off any excess grime, dust and residual soap.

  • Dry off by blotting with a paper towel and then put on a dish rack to dry. You can even shake off any excess moisture.

    NOTE You ABSOLUTELY MUST let the keyboard dry ENTIRELY. I would say to leave it there overnight to ensure it is completely dry.

  • when the keyboard is dry, reinstall it by plugging the ribbon cable back into the motherboard and sliding it into place. Close the hood and turn the laptop over to reinstall the screws.

  • Fire up the laptop. You may get a setup screen since the keyboard was removed and reinstalled. Hit F1 for diagnostics and save and continue with the defaults.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a mild dishsoap, and not too much.
  • Do not keep your laptop near the sink while you are doing this!
  • Make sure your keyboard is fully dry before reinstalling.
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