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How to Fix a Sticky Laptop Key

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Many of us use our computers daily, sometimes all day long. So, it’s natural for dust, dirt, and grime to get into the small spaces of our devices, including the keyboard.

Lodged debris can often lead to a sticky laptop key, making typing much more challenging. So, how can you fix a sticky laptop key safely?

A Few Preliminary Warnings

It can be tricky to remove a key from your keyboard, but it’s crucial that you do not use sharp objects in such a process. While a sharp tool may seem like the best option for getting under a key, it can cause significant damage to the keyboard itself. So, ensure you’re using a somewhat blunt object for this procedure (which we’ll discuss later).

On top of this, you should only use water to clean detached keys. Keep water far away from the laptop itself, as it certainly does not mix well with electricity.

It’s also best to turn your laptop off before attempting to clean the keys. This way, you won’t accidentally perform functions on your laptop when you press down on the keys, and it will make the whole process easier overall.

Now, let’s get into how you can fix sticky keys on a laptop.

1. Use Compressed Air

If your laptop key is only a little stiff, you might be able to get away with using non-invasive cleaning techniques, such as compressed air. Compressed air canisters are great for cleaning technology, as they can get into your devices’ small nooks and crannies without causing damage.

Many use compressed air to clean desktop PCs, game consoles, and other delicate tech.

To do this, slowly move the canister around the key and continuously apply the compressed air until you feel the key loosen.

You can also use other products to lightly clean your keyboard, such as a fine brush or keyboard vacuum. But note that these solutions, along with compressed air, are good at removing dust, crumbs, and similar debris from your laptop. They likely won’t be effective in moving more resilient dirt.

To thoroughly clean a sticky laptop key, you’ll likely need to remove it from the laptop.

2. Remove the Key

To remove a laptop key, you’ll need to use either a pair of tweezers or a screwdriver. You can also use a specialized key remover, but you don’t need to go out of your way to buy one.

These objects are perfect for lodging under keys without causing damage. You could also use a blunt knife, such as one for spreading butter, if you don’t have tweezers or a screwdriver to hand. But you should exercise caution and use such tools gently when dealing with fragile devices.

Removing your laptop key just by using your fingers may also be possible, but this may be a little tricky and time-consuming.

To remove your key, gently slide your tool underneath to get a good hold of it.

Then, angle the tool upwards to pull the key gently away. Do not push your tool too deeply under the keyboard, as this may cause damage. Simply tilt your tool until the key clicks off the base.

Cleaning Your Keys

If you want to clean your keys thoroughly, you can place them in warm water with dish soap. Let them soak for a while so that all the dirt is removed. You could also use a cotton bud to remove any stubborn dirt from the back of your keys.

Rubbing alcohol on a cloth or Q-tip can also be very useful in dirt removal. Alternatively, you can use isopropyl alcohol to achieve the same effect. You can even use gift-wrapping tape to easily pull dirt away from your keys, though this may not be effective for all kinds of grime.

After cleaning your keys, they must be thoroughly dried before being reattached to the keyboard. You can leave them out to dry for a few hours or pat them dry with a cloth or paper towel.

Sticky Laptop Keys Are Frustrating But Can Be Remedied

Trying to type with one or more sticky laptop keys can be beyond irritating. But it’s not a permanent condition. By using the tips above, you can safely fix sticky keys on your laptop to remove dirt and get back to typing away.

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