Take a look at our
ThinkPads.com HOME PAGE
For those who might want to contribute to the blog, start here: Editors Alley Topic
Then contact Bill with a Private Message

Cleaning under keys/keyboard?

T20-T23 Series and T30. NOT for T25-Retro.
Post Reply
Message
Author
westsailor
Freshman Member
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 12:36 pm
Location: Rio Dulce Guatemala

Cleaning under keys/keyboard?

#1 Post by westsailor » Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:21 am

I did a search and wasn't able to find any advice for how to clean under the keys on a T30 (etc.).

Can the keytops be removed or would I have to essentially disassemble the T30 to get to the keyboard & under the keys?

If I have to disassemble it, can someone point me to an online disassembly guide?

Thanks for the help.

NS
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1053
Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 11:35 pm
Location: Singapore.. a tropical country..

#2 Post by NS » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:28 am

Take a pic of your thinkpad keyboard layout. Then use a flat head screwdriver and pop out the keycaps one by one.

Or

Use a laptop vacuum cleaner or compress air to blow the dust out from the keyboard.

****Take note of the "little legs" beneath the keycaps & the black and grey springs. Don't break them.****

;-)

RealBlackStuff
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 23930
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Loch Garman, Éire

#3 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:33 am

You can download the Hardware Maintenance Manual here:
http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site. ... MIGR-42308
Loads of descriptions, instructions to take thangs apart, part numbers, etc.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)
But I actually prefer Murphy's from Cork!

fleamourian
Sophomore Member
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 6:37 pm

#4 Post by fleamourian » Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:09 pm

I would advise extreme care! The little plastic lugs break with ease so unless ur confident opt for keyboard hoover or compressed air, a can of, if u aint got a compressor hanging about your garage!

I believe the manual has no info on keyboard cleaning, at least I saw no reference to it. However it is extremely useful for basic maintenance.
X250 i7 Max Spec - Mint Cinnamon 20
Corebooted X200 IPS - Xubuntu 20.04
ThinkPad T21 - 1GHz PIII, T22 heatsink ~ Silicon Heaven [RIP]

berlin
Freshman Member
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 1:38 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA USA

#5 Post by berlin » Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:41 pm

pulling the keys will break those lugs. instead turn 'em clockwise.

see mine http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?t=42962

(but do it at your own risk.)
X60s 1.83GHZ 3GB 80GB 7200RPM V
X41 1.5GHZ 1GB 40GB XP
T21 800MHZ 256MB 30GB XP
600E PII 400MHZ 256MB 12GB XP

fleamourian
Sophomore Member
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 6:37 pm

#6 Post by fleamourian » Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:04 pm

berlin wrote:...turn 'em clockwise.
That is baaad (meaning good!) advice. Broke my Control key by prising it off like, but applying pressure clockwise does the trick! Now giving my keyboard a much needed clean. :thumbs-UP:
X250 i7 Max Spec - Mint Cinnamon 20
Corebooted X200 IPS - Xubuntu 20.04
ThinkPad T21 - 1GHz PIII, T22 heatsink ~ Silicon Heaven [RIP]

rkawakami
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 10327
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 1:26 am
Location: San Jose, CA 95120 USA
Contact:

#7 Post by rkawakami » Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:13 pm

My approach is to use a vacuum cleaner to get at the "stuff" underneath the keys. With two cats and one bird (who loves walking around my keyboard near my hands, looking to get his head scratched) in the house, there's fur and feather dust that accumulates. I use a brush attachment, the lowest power setting on the vacuum, and simply sweep across the keyboard.

I've only used compressed air (from work's 100psi system) on detached keyboards as the debris will end up somewhere in the surrounding area. Using compressed air on a keyboard that is still mounted on the laptop could force whatever you are trying to remove deeper into the system.
Ray Kawakami
X22 X24 X31 X41 X41T X60 X60s X61 X61s X200 X200s X300 X301 Z60m Z61t Z61p 560 560Z 600 600E 600X T21 T22 T23 T41 T60p T410 T420 T520 W500 W520 R50 A21p A22p A31 A31p
NOTE: All links to PC-Doctor software hosted by me are dead. Files removed 8/28/12 by manufacturer's demand.

BruisedQuasar
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2005 8:12 am
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

#8 Post by BruisedQuasar » Wed Jun 20, 2007 3:58 pm

I would not advise removing the IBM design key caps from a Thinkpad keyboard, unless you absolutely need to. There are the legs members have warned you about and then there are the tiny, thin, eraser-like "spings". Should you damage or break loose one of them, you'll want to replace the keyboard.

I was the first member here to try to fix one of those polymer "springs'. One came loose under my space bar. My experiment at gluing one back down lasted for a few months. I ended up buying and installing a used keyboard (as members advised me to do in the first place). Break a leg off a cap and you may end up doing the same. Dirt Devil sells a small, powerful A/C vacuum cleaner that is great for cleaning computers, from keyboard to PC internals. I use that.

The problem with canned air is that they drive dirt further into and under the keys. There have been PC World articles about this. Popular Science and Discover magazine teams have discovered that PC keyboards are more germ filled than the average home toilet. They say the worst ones were those regularly "cleaned" with canned air. The filth in keyboards is dead human skin cells which attract microscopic germs that feast on human skin cells. And there is a macroscopic tiny bug, a mite, that lives on human skin cells.

I recommend two things for cleaning any keyboard, a serious mini computer vacuum cleaner (better yet the small Dirt Devil plug in vac) and a 3M Keyboard Cleaner Kit, which I get for $7 at Office Depot. A kit lasts me (I have three PCs) about a year or more.

--Bruised
The More I Learn, the Less I Think I Know
The Less I Think I Know, the More I Learn
I'M... Still Learning
--Bruised

fleamourian
Sophomore Member
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 6:37 pm

#9 Post by fleamourian » Wed Jun 20, 2007 10:25 pm

Yeah, don't remove keys unless absolutely necessary! Luckily there is this Canadian guy on eBay that sells the white plastic lugs. I did a search for IBM T21 keyboard. Apparently certain Dell keyboards use the same parts. He has relieved me of some of my cash, still cheaper than buying a new keyboard.
X250 i7 Max Spec - Mint Cinnamon 20
Corebooted X200 IPS - Xubuntu 20.04
ThinkPad T21 - 1GHz PIII, T22 heatsink ~ Silicon Heaven [RIP]

elite-elitist
User with bad email address, PLEASE fix!
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2007 3:59 pm

#10 Post by elite-elitist » Thu Jun 21, 2007 7:58 am

You can take the whole keyboard out and try to clean it.

BruisedQuasar
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2005 8:12 am
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

#11 Post by BruisedQuasar » Sun Jun 24, 2007 12:22 am

elite-elitist wrote:You can take the whole keyboard out and try to clean it.
Once a year or less maybe. I would be cautious myself about removing and replacing a T23 keyboard more often than absolutely necessary since it is a sort of friction fit. You could end up with an edge or two that sticks up or something like that.

I have removed caps from all my keyboards once or so and I found my keyboards were reasonably clean under there just from using a strong small vacuum cleaner, the 3M cleaning kit or cheap, thin cotton Q-Tips dipped in Alcohol.

By the way, home sanitation scientists report that the average home toilet is cleaner than the average home kitchen sink. Off Topic, I know but before I worry too much about my keyboard, which I never put into my mouth, I'd appraise my kitchen sink which does get stuff on dishes and flatware that does get into our mouths (the stuff, not the dishes, unless your meal ritual is much different from mine).

Bruised
The More I Learn, the Less I Think I Know
The Less I Think I Know, the More I Learn
I'M... Still Learning
--Bruised

fleamourian
Sophomore Member
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 6:37 pm

#12 Post by fleamourian » Sun Jun 24, 2007 7:00 am

Lol!!!
X250 i7 Max Spec - Mint Cinnamon 20
Corebooted X200 IPS - Xubuntu 20.04
ThinkPad T21 - 1GHz PIII, T22 heatsink ~ Silicon Heaven [RIP]

richp
Freshman Member
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:53 am
Location: Effort, Pa

#13 Post by richp » Sat Jul 21, 2007 7:13 am

As far as germs in the keyboard thats a big issue, we had a bad case of 'eye grunge' at lucent a few years ago, pink eye, creeping crud, eye jam, whatever you want to call it, all of us system engineers worked on all kinds of equipment with anywhere from 5-20 people using the same keyboards in the noc and on the systems from the sysadmins to the DBA's to the sun, HP or IBM techs. If you can you really need to break the habit of touching your eyes or your face and unconscious habits are very hard to break.
I also started using a paper towel to open corporate bathroom doors that have door handle and a door that opens in, it's amazing the amount of nasty people who don't even practice basic sanitary methods they should have learned in kindergarten. They take a dump and then walk out, ewwwww.
I alway try to go that extra mile at work, problem is the boss always finds me and brings me back

BruisedQuasar
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2005 8:12 am
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

#14 Post by BruisedQuasar » Fri Jul 27, 2007 1:06 pm

richp wrote:As far as germs in the keyboard thats a big issue, we had a bad case of 'eye grunge' at lucent a few years ago, pink eye, creeping crud, eye jam, whatever you want to call it, all of us system engineers worked on all kinds of equipment with anywhere from 5-20 people using the same keyboards in the noc and on the systems from the sysadmins to the DBA's to the sun, HP or IBM techs. If you can you really need to break the habit of touching your eyes or your face and unconscious habits are very hard to break.
I also started using a paper towel to open corporate bathroom doors that have door handle and a door that opens in, it's amazing the amount of nasty people who don't even practice basic sanitary methods they should have learned in kindergarten. They take a dump and then walk out, ewwwww.
How do you KNOW the disease problems were caused by keyboards? Door knobs are the more likely source, since many studies have been done about spread of flu, common cold and other minor illnesses from public door knobs. Rather than become
Like Monk on TV, all one need do about that is avoid touching the eyes and mouth until you can wash your hands. Oh, exposure to young children who attend daycare or K to fourth grade is more dangerous than keyboard or door knob exposure.

I did describe the practical way to clean a keyboard. I guess you could dissassemble it and sterilize it or in a corporate setting, you could replace them every week. But then what about the factory workers who handled the parts and the boards? Think about it. What are the chances one of them smoked tainted weed or scratched their privates and didn't wash their hands before returning to the assembly line?

I mean why don't we throw out the eating ware after company dines with us? Do you really think mere dish soap is magic and kills all the bacteria and what not that is on a dirty dish? What about new dinning ware? Does mere washing remove the probable germs they have from factory worker handling? What about dinning out? Ever wonder what the dishwasher, who handles every plate and flatware AFTER they are hot washed and sterilized, did with his hands?

All of us are covered in hundreds of species of bacteria, most harmless and the potentially harmful ones are too few to harm us. All bacteria cells produce a communication molecule that requires critical mass for the bacteria to group and cause problems.

Lose sleep over this one. Doctors almost never eliminate a harmful germ, which is why labs years later can find evidence of Polio, mumps, flu, etc.. Our immune system, unless we have AIDS or autoimmune dysfunction holds many germs at bay.

All medicine does is reduce critical mass such that the immune system can easily keep them down in harmless numbers. The news media decided people do not need to know this but contagious diseases people assume are gone actually recur in some people later in life. For instance, many survivers of Polio are coming down with recurring symptions in their old age. Some die from them. Malaria symptoms are never eliminated. They return in many once stricken people.

I would be much more concerned about our general environment. For instance, Australian & Brit researchers discovered several years ago that Vietnam Veterans exposed to Agent Orange (the active ingrediant is dioxin) is the reason Vietnam Veterans come down with Type II diabetes younger and in numbers much higher than the rest of Western Populations. Dioxin, not overweight or too many carbos is the identified culprit. Unlike any other group of war veterans, the average age of death for Vietnam War Veterans is 55!! Dioxin exposure is the primary cause.

Get this. There is no safe level of dioxin and dioxin was used in many pesticides and herbicides across the USA in the 1960s. Florida and California cities sprayed DDT from aircraft nightly to kill pests. The Down River Area of Michigan. where many auto plants were located, has the highest rate of boys & girls Diagnosed with ADD and ADHD. The waterways are also contaminated with such high levels of mercury, dioxin and other industrial pollution that the DNR advises fishermen to consume only a few ounces of fish a week from these rivers.

Bruised
The More I Learn, the Less I Think I Know
The Less I Think I Know, the More I Learn
I'M... Still Learning
--Bruised

JaneL
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 5019
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2004 4:40 am
Location: Greenville SC

#15 Post by JaneL » Fri Jul 27, 2007 1:53 pm

OK, move the sanitation discussion elsewhere.
Jane
2015 X1 Carbon, ThinkPad Slate, T410s, X301, X300, X200 Tablet, T60p, HP TouchPad, iPad Air 2, iPhone 5S, IdeaTab A2107A, Yoga 3 Pro
Bill Morrow's thinkpads.com Facebook group
I'm on Twitter

I do NOT respond to PM or e-mail requests for personal tech support.

richp
Freshman Member
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:53 am
Location: Effort, Pa

#16 Post by richp » Sat Aug 04, 2007 5:20 pm

Wow, did I touch a raw nerve or what.....
And actually on the 8 desktop systems I have here at my house/shop I clean them every 3 months once the saw dust, cookie crumbs, spilled coffee, dog and cat hair gets a bit too much. I usually vacum them out then spray them with fantastic or 409, scrub them with a soft bristle brush then rinse them under hot water in the sink. Then let them dry out for the next 3 month cycle. Been doing that for years, just don't use them wet :shock:
I alway try to go that extra mile at work, problem is the boss always finds me and brings me back

ArtShapiro
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 663
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:48 am
Location: Lake Forest, CA

Re: Cleaning under keys/keyboard?

#17 Post by ArtShapiro » Sat Aug 04, 2007 5:31 pm

westsailor wrote: Can the keytops be removed or would I have to essentially disassemble the T30 to get to the keyboard & under the keys?
I'd never dare to remove keys from a laptop keyboard. But why be wimpy? Take your household vaccum cleaner and go to it! Those little battery-powered jobbies won't do anything. My Rainbow has more sucking power than twenty malpractice attorneys, and does a nice job on the amazing amount of debris that seems to get under my laptop and desktop keyboards.

But then again, I'm the guy who uses a leaf blower to clean out the insides of computers.

Art

richp
Freshman Member
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:53 am
Location: Effort, Pa

#18 Post by richp » Sat Aug 04, 2007 8:31 pm

Electric blower or gas :D Electrics are for whimps.... with my stihl backpack I can do 10 full towers lined up on the retaining wall from 12 feet... any closer and they fall over...

On a serious side, one of my customers has a server and 10 workstations, the server and two workstations are at his front desk/office area. The other 8 are in his auto service bays, Antec cases and Fram 12" filters on the side fans, all sealed up nice and neat but every two weeks it's a 4 hour service call to pull them out, open em up and blow them out with 150lb shop air, from about 8 feet away and it still looks like a bomb going off on the first puff of air.
Even after 4 years he still won't spring for sealed enclosures with air coolers. It's an easy $400 on a saturday morning.
I alway try to go that extra mile at work, problem is the boss always finds me and brings me back

crashnburn
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1728
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 4:26 pm
Location: TX, USA & Bombay, India

Re:

#19 Post by crashnburn » Mon Jul 08, 2024 5:45 am

berlin wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:41 pm
pulling the keys will break those lugs. instead turn 'em clockwise.

see mine http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?t=42962

(but do it at your own risk.)
If only I had found and done this earlier :D
T61 8892-02U: 14.1"SXGA+/2.2C2D/4G/XP|Adv Mini Dock|30" Gateway XHD3000 WQXGA via Dual-link DVI
X61T 7767-96U: 12.1"SXGA+/1.6C2D/3G/Vista|Ultrabase
W510 4319-2PU: 15.6"FHD/i7-720QM/4G/Win7Pro64 (for dad)
T43 1875-DLU: 14.1"XGA/1.7PM-740/1G/XP (Old)

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “ThinkPad T20-T23 & T30 Series. NOT for T25-Retro”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests