How to clean the keyboard keys?

I have looked around and could not find a clear answer on how to get the keys clean. Im talking about deep cleaning because i spilt soda in the keys and they are sticking, the computer is fine and boots up but i was wondering which method is better:

1. Taking individual keys out and cleaning the backs

2. Is it possible to take the top case off and clean the bottom or something?

It is possible to submerge the top case in water if not connected to power or even the macbook?

I really need clarification on how to clean the keys and what methods are the best.

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Dipping your computer into water is not least any part that has electronics in/on it. Dipping even just the top half of the computer will end poorly because you will trap water in the case. The water will cause corrosion and premature failure if it doesn't short your electronics and blow things up completely. If you want to do a true deep clean, you can remove each individual key as you have suggested, or check out our guides. Click here, select the correct MBP, and find the upper case guide. Use this to get the upper case alone. Then you can clean with high content rubbing alcohol (80% minimum typically). Avoid the use of water as much as possible.

Good luck and hope this helps.

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what should i do with the alcohol? Dip the whole thing in? Or should i take individual keys and dip them? Also if i have the upper case alone should i take the trackpad out? (only if it needs submerged?) I can take the top case out but what all needs taken out of the upper case by itself, the end result of ifixits guides is just with the keyboard (with electric stuff) and without trackpad. Thanks for the help and please follow up!


Sorry I've been away. If you wish to do a full alcohol bath, yes remove any electronic components possible (including the track pad). Keys are nothing more than buttons/switches, so they can be dunked. I personally think that cleaning the individual keys and seats would be the best method, as dunking will only do so much to remove gunk. A good scrubbing would be best! Mayer has also supplied a perfect supplemental link. Sorry I was out, hope you got it sorted!


It sounds like you know your stuff! I have a 2008 Macbook pro 15", with the number keys 1 to 0 not working. Would you suggest that I do a similar thing? Lift the keys out and clean the connection? I don't recall spilling anything on them. They've just stopped working. Thanks


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For soda spills on keyboards i think the better method to clean the mess is to remove the affected keys and their plastic scissors, separate them, immerse them in warm water and clean them individually with a tooth brush. Alcohol doesn't dissolve well sugar residues. Warm water does the job adequately.

When the keys and scissors are clean, let them dry before reinstalling.

Now to clean the keyboard sockets I use qtips dipped in warm water. Just dip the qtip end in the water then pressure it with your fingers to remove excess water and clean the socket. Use the unused qtip end to dry the socket.

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