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I assume it is not a laptop and you are using a standalone keyboard?
It is possible to wash keyboards with water. If you dont take them apart for washing, it will take quite some time for them to dry. If you have a replacement you can actually take your keyboard and rinse it down in the shower. No joke! If you dont take them apart i would leave it somewhere unplugged and let it try, maybe a whole week to be safe.
Otherwise you can flip it around and take the screws out at the bottom, it will seperate into a bottom part and a top part, usually with all the keys in the top part. Some keyboards keep the keys in placein the top part, some dont…it really depends on your keyboard, maybe take a picture or check for the brand and name at the bottom.
Are you using a mechanical keyboard or one that is more like a laptop with low profile keys?
It can be really easy to clean, or more complicated, it depends a lot on what keyboard you are using, a picture would help.
I just want to add this crucial information: UNPLUG it before you wash it with anything.
If its just a few keys, you can try to clean the spaces around them with a wet toothbrush, maybe that will fix the sticky keys already.
Unfortunately it was a laptop keyboard not standalone. To make matters worse
Attach a separate keyboard to your laptop.
Laptop keyboards can be removed from the case and cleaned or even replaced as well, but taking a laptop apart is a bit more complicated… the keys are usually clipped in from the top of these keyboards and can be removed individually… it takes a bit of force and it will feel like they are going to break because its all plastic underneath…here is a screenshot of the typical “scissor-switch”:
The moist toothbrush suggestion is probably still the best for you, or take it to a computer repair shop.
But will it loosen over time? If I just ignore it?
You will have to try that for yourself… nobody can answer that
Yeah it got worse. I am going to try to take it out and wash it with water.
Do you see this white strip on top of the connecter? You can either pull/push them away/towards the cable, or you can flip them up. I cannot really tell from the picture which one they are… You might be able to see which kind they are… they cable will easily slip out if you unlock them. It might be possible that the cable is just pushed in, but usually you have to release a kind of clip before you can take the cable out.
Scroll down a bit to the section “Disconnecting cables” and you can see examples of the different kind of connectors and how to open them.
Oh yeah so I have disconnected the cables and removed the keyboard cover. But I wasn’t sure about washing it because unlike older laptops, the mouse pad is attached to the keyboard cover and is inseparable from the keyboard. What’s your take on this?
Do not use water to clean anything (especially when opened as you have it). Instead use distilled 95% (or higher %) Isopropyl Alcohol.
Will it get to the sugar that is in the keys? That’s what’s making them sticky. I didn’t wash it with water but I did wipe it with a wet cloth. It did the trick but as the water dried up the stickiness returned which signaled that the problem is within the keys not on the outer areas.
Pure water can mess with electronic devices such as a keyboard. The alcohol will probably do a better job than water ever could on sugar. A Q-Tip works well in these situations. Just dip the Q-Tip in the alcohol and wipe with it. You will need to use several Q-Tips.
Will it get under the keys tho?
You would need to pop off the keys to really get under them (as was suggested already by @myrmidonut).
I don’t know if I can do that tho. It’s an island style keyboard. There’s literally no space to lift the keys up.
You may need to buy a replacement keyboard then.