Cleaning Apple Aluminum Keyboard....or Any Other Soft-touch Keyboard




About: I am an undergraduate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where I intend to study Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. I am a tinkerer by nature: above all, I love to learn by building, wi...

As clean as you or I might try to keep our aluminum apple keyboards, they become filthy after a year or so. This instructable is to help you clean it out. Be careful, because i am not responsible if your keyboard breaks while doing this....SUCKS FOR YOUUU lmfaoo...but seriously it's not that easy to break

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Step 1: Unplug

this may sound obvious...but it needs to be stated. If you do not unplug your keyboard, you may cause serious damage to it be safe, not sorry. Also, try to get away from your computer, so you don't scratch your monitor (etc.); im only saying that because i'm clumsy and that sounds like something i would do. =]

Step 2: Remove Keys

when snapping off the keys, it is crucial to be extremely careful. the attachments are in different directions, so pay attention. lift the key in the upper left corner until it snaps, then see which direction it is in. snap the other part off and make sure no pieces broke off. it cannot be start with the keys you use the least, so you can practice. after the second key, you'll be a pro. some bigger keys like the enter key or the spacebar have more than one connection and may have metal pins, so keep that in mind. just always remember to be careful

Step 3: Clean Keys

with a medicine dropper, pour a liberal serving of rubbing alcohol onto a folded paper towel. rub the keys vigorously against it and the filthy grime will just pour off. the paper towel will get dirty and start to crumble, so change places occasionally

Step 4: Replace Keys

replace most of the keys by firmly pushing them straight down. the keys with metal brackets have to have the metal brackets correctly inserted before you can push down. i had a little trouble with the f-keys, in which some of them were permanently depressed. for these keys, i just removed them and deliberately hooked the pins in first then pushed the snaps down.

Step 5: Sparkly Clean

Done!! overall, i'm ecstatic about the keyboard is crisp white once again. it took me about an hour and a half, but i did it while relaxed and could be done much faster

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    8 Discussions


    Reply 2 years ago

    I was going to thank the OP for the good info on those pesky keys, but then you pointed out THE TRUTH!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Two weeks ago I ordered that alumninum keybaord from the apple replace my previousone,.... Well,I saw this tuto, I decided to pull out one key, and learn how to clean the keyboard....I didn't know you could take this typeof keyboard apart to clean...But I'mhaving probvlem with the space bar....the space bar,has those metalbrackets,..and I don't know howto fix it..... ..My space bar now only works when i press exactly in the middle...if I type on any of the extremetities ofthe bar,it won't registerthe stroke... Ithink you know what Imean...Does anyone have a more in depth tutorialon howto put back keys likespacebar that have brackets? Or maybe,should I buy another keyboard? thanks

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    It's a bit tricky.

    Carefully remove the top and bottom metal bars (leave the center one in, it's just a stiffener.

    Put the metal bars through the tiny metal eyelets, one up and one down, and leave them just barely in each, flat on the bottom.

    Carefully seat the space bar, bottom side first (to catch the bottom clips, and then press the top and bottom of the keyboard until the metal bars and plastic tabs all seat themselves.

    Good luck!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    ever notice that most people's space buttons wear more on the right side than the left?


    I do love my black keyboard... Nice job, thorough and some very good macro photos... By the way to the best of my knowledge pure alcohol isn't a conductor of electricity so you should be kind of safe should you make a woopsy but unplugging is still best for obvious reasons. I'm not sure how the macs spacebar pins work but it they're anything like the ones on most keyboards place them in to the hooks on the board, carefully set the key on and pop the pins in on the right places and push down...


    11 years ago on Introduction

    nice job with the "SUCKS FOR YOUUU lfamoo". I would have gotten past the intro if not for that.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Oh wow I'd be wanting to clean that everyday... haha the one thing I don't miss about Macs...! Looks great -