I've always been a fan of the Microsoft ergonomic keyboards. They offer the best keyboards in the "ergonomic" category for their price. The Sculpt Ergonomic got a great review from Marco Arment and I totally agree with Mr. Arment on all points.
Recently however, I spilled some tea-with-milk on the keyboard. It was really just a sip, and it hit the right Alt key. But somehow gravity took that liquid and ran it down to the arrow keys and the backspace button. I opened the keyboard but unfortunately it's a scissor-switch keyboard where the rubber keypad cannot be reached. It's backed by an metal underside that is melted to the top case of the keyboard. See the picture below; the black dots are studs whose tops have been melted flat.
Larger version: MS Sculpt Ergonomic 1.JPG
However I did succeed in getting it working again!
Prerequisites: I bought a 1 liter (33 oz) bottle of demineralized water and a 125 ml (4 oz) bottle of alcohol.
Then take the following steps:
- Turn around the keyboard.
- Remove the batteries.
- Remove the rubber feet and unscrew the five phillips screws below. Note the position of the three longer screws.
- Turn the keyboard back up and remove the wrist pad. Besides three screws, it's also held in place with a couple of clips. Gently apply force.
- There's about a dozen screws now accessible below the wrist pad. Unscrew these too.
- The keyboard top and bottom case are now held together with a dozen or so clips. You can take it apart with a broad screwdriver and some gentle force in the correct direction. Be careful however: the bottom case contains the battery holder, and it's connected to the top case.
- Gently remove the battery connector from the 5 x 5 cm printed circuit board (PCB) below the top case.
- Now remove the flat cable from the PCB by pulling back the black lock thus loosening the flat cable.
- Unscrew the PCB and put it aside. Since these screws have a different length, it might be best to screw them back in after removing the PCB.
Larger version: MS Sculpt Ergonomic 3.JPG
- Now remove the key caps from the keys that you spilled on. Use a broad screwdriver, and put the head in the space between the keyboard and the top of each key cap. The reason is that the scissor switch is fragile, and the key caps are clicked to the switch at the top, but slide-in at the bottom side, see details. But note: in this particular picture, the key cap is rotated 90 degrees.
Larger version: MS Sculpt Ergonomic 4.JPG
- Put the top case with the metal side down in the kitchen sink.
- Heat the water to, say, 50 degrees Celsius or something, and then pour it into the key caps you removed. Make sure you avoid dousing the flat cable, simply because it's sensitive to heat.
- Now rinse with the alcohol.
- Let it dry for a couple of days, and put it back together again.