MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2010

Released April 2010 / 2.4, 2.53 GHz Core i5 or 2.66, 2.8 GHz Core i7 Processors

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How do I clean sticky keys on MacBook Pro?

I spilt pepsi on my MacBook Pro, have had it cleaned and diagnosed and everything is fine except for sticky keys. I've been told that I will need to replace the entire top shell at a huge cost. Is there anyway that i can clean it without replacing the entire top shell?

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You can pop the individual keys off by carefully levering them from the left side. Give everything a thorough clean and reattach them.

Heres a video illustrating the process.

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Thanks for your help, have cleaned the keys with isopropyl and the stickiness has almost completely gone, didn't need to remove the keys.

by Jed

nice video

by mayer

nice video, however when tried on 2011 macbook pro retina the keys broke off and have to be replaced.

by Riyaadh Seedat

I too got this annoying t opening a new table anyway I popped up the Ctrl tab could not see much as it was in a kind of tube with the plastic/rubber thingy at the bottom of it but put the key back in and typed all this without opening a new table so whatever I did ended quite good even if I don't understand why!

Well here it is almost for time ten "t" and not one table more turned up! so ttttt thanx fo that :)

by mmmunier

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Yeah. I seemed to have found a way.. mistakingly!

A couple weeks ago I spilled some juice on my keyboard, thankfully nothing was damaged but i ended up with like 10 keys on my keyboard extremely sticky, and everyday it would just get worse... and it was just that more frustrating.

I had used baby oil to moisten my skin randomly after a friend told me it was good.. My hands were still oiley and I was just responding to facebook chat, didn't even know I had mistakenly greased up my keypad..

A couple hours later I notice that half the keys arent sticky anymore... like the backspace/enter keys etc. Obviously the other ones not so much because I barely used them! So best way is to grab a paper tower, apply baby oil and just clean your keyboard as you would if you used a cleaning agent.

works like a charm

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I'd check/clean the inside of you computer. There's nothing under the keys but air... Orange Juice could be acidic or sugary... which will cause corrosion on logic board over time. - Good luck.

by originalmachead

BABY OIL worked like a charm!!! Typing this up on my new, completely NON STICKY keyboard!

Friends have spilled a few drops of whiskey coke on my keyboard, everything fine, except the stickiness. Found this thread, applied a little baby oil onto a paper towel, carefully wiped the keys that were affected, and the stickiness has disappeared IMMEDIATELY. Thanks so much!!!

by Victoria Vee

When you say you've used baby oil to get the stickiness out, are you talking about the surface only? Or does that somehow clean underneath the keys that are hard to press due to juice spilling?

by Katy Welch

I used vinegar and toothpicks, but it did not quite get everything. I did not have baby oil so I used the performance oil I use for my paper shredder, I placed a small drop on the key and let the oil move into the key spaces, it worked great.

by Donna Straub

Yeah!! Large Chai Tea Latte on my mac! I dried it, cleaned it etc. no major problems but a few sticky keys. I followed your advice, baby oil works just great!! They wanted to charge me more than 400€ to replace the whole top. Thanks a lot!!!

by gems

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. baby oil worked for me as well. I ever so slightly lifted up on a side of the pesky key, (no need to remove the key). I depressed it several times and it no longer sticks.

I then gave all of the keys a gentle wiping and the keyboard looks as new as ever.


Oill & Air -

My same key began sticking once again so I gave it a better treatment this time

gently lift one SIDE of the pesky key with the rounded curved part of a paper clip. Let some baby oil drip along the paper clip and get under the key.

While the key is still gently pried up, use forced air from a dust remover canister with a long nozzle to clean the space and to move the oil around.

Then repeat on the other side of the key......

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Confirmed, spilt apple juice on keyboard, seemed ok until the next day when the spacebar had become seriously sticky. Popped the spacebar off using a plectrum (scary!!) and used a cotton bud with a tiny drop of baby oil on it!! popped the bar back on until it clicked. voila!! perfect just like it never happened!! (Macbook Pro Retina Late 2013)

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I had a similar issue. I spilled Pomegranate Blueberry juice (fancy, I know) on on side of my Mac's keyboard. I took some of you all's advice and applied baby oil. I found that it worked a little bit, but it was still a little bit sticky. I then took Isopropyl alcohol and applied it by lifting up the edges a little bit. I find that my keyboard is working a lot better. I think I may apply the alcohol a couple more times throughout the day and then maybe some more baby oil after I am sure I got it all out.

Another note, when you lift up the top edge, more of the key pops off. When I did this, I was able to see under the key and could see the juice on the key, and was able to clean it off with the alcohol. So I may do this the next time for more of the keys. It was a little frightening at first, but just be careful and it'll be fine.

I hope you all find this helpful. If not, I certainly found the previous comments helpful.

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I've just cleaned mine too!

I accidentally spilt syrup on one of my keys! ( I know, end of the world! )

Quickly wiped it up and it seemed fine, but the key started sticking more and more..

So I just clicked up the key with a little force from the bottom,

soaked a cotton bud in warm soapy water, squeezed it a bit so it was only damp,

and then wiped around under the key.

Lifted the flicky bit up and wiped around it, put the key back in place,

clicked it down, and it's absolutely perfect! Like nothing happened!

Now just need to be more careful..

Thanks for the tips!

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Does the fact that Apple's instructions appear to contradict the use of things like compressed air and such — much less baby oil — to clean bother any one reading all these suggestions?

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dantelanzetta ''- For future reference you posted a Question in the place where only Answers belong. Please use the add comment link to the appropriate Answer, Question, or, create your original Question.

by originalmachead

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I tried this, it seemed to work with the keys except the space bar. It seems like the space bar it seems stuck or something

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ok the mac community seems soft.... nobody spilled BEER on their macbooks? chai, latte, pomegranate juice.....

I have a 2008 macbook pro keys were sticky, I sprayed wd40 (dispaces moisture!) into a cup, then using a small q-tip I applied a mostly dry q-tip swipe across the plastic scissor type connector to lube up the moving part, snapped the key back on, voila! also worked for the sticky noisy touchpad too.

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Don't spray WD40 into your system! You don't want a bigger mess. You have the right idea of concentrating some in a cup and using a cotton swab. But you should really clean out the junk first with distilled water in the same manor.

by Dan

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Jed will be eternally grateful.