Putting the keyboard in the dishwasher – it works

After reading about it in several places, I wanted to try it too.

I have some keyboards at my parents’ house, and these were really nasty. So nasty in fact, that they were not used. So, there was no real danger of losing them. So I picked them apart, and put the plastics in the dishwasher.

The keyboards came out clean, and a day later, were completely dry. After a little bit of work – and one keyboard was assembled. A note though, a little bit of work == I kept forgetting parts outside of the keyboard. So after repeatedly opening and closing the keyboard, it finally worked. The second keyboard was a bit more complicated. It had a little rubber thingy behind each key, and when I opened the keyboard those thingies fell out, as they weren’t attached to anything. It was a little annoying to put them back, but I managed. The problem was, there were about 6 thingies missing. The first three were easy – I gave up the ‘power’ ‘sleep’ and ‘wake up’ buttons. I never used those with that keyboard anyway. The next 3 keys were a little more problematic? Which keys should I give up?

I thought about it a little:

  1. The num-lock. I hate that key. No-one should use num-lock! Ever! Unless of-course, you are stuck in the ‘on’ state, and you want to turn it off… So num-lock was a no-no.
  2. Same goes for CAPS-LOCK. Mostly useless, but still…
  3. Although shift, ctrl, and alt have doubles, both sides are still in use.
  4. So I decided to give up the num-pad ‘/’, ‘*’, and ‘-‘. These have doubles, and are rarely used when over there. The only time I did use them was with Pythonwin, when I used the numpad + and – to open and close source folding

So that solved it, and the keyboard worked, sans 6 keys. I could have given up some of the Fxx keys, but by the time I thought of that, the keyboard was already closed, and I didn’t want to lose anymore thingies by opening it up again.

This made me think that the policy of giving up keys isn’t really dependent only on the use-level of the key: num-lock is rarely used but is critical, or only on having doubles: shift has a double, and yet I’d keep them both.

Which keys would you have given up?

3 replies on “Putting the keyboard in the dishwasher – it works”

Obviously the first to go would be the scroll-lock. I can’t believe you prefered giving up caps-lock before it. Also, pause is only rarely useful, and you can always do without it.
The Fxx keys are not so easy to give up. F1 is useful in many places, F2 I use to rename, F3 to search, F4 to close programs, F5 is refresh. The rest are not as useful, but some games I play use F8. F10 in windows switches the focus to the menu (much like alt), but it’s not useful. So, F10-F12 I’d probably give up. Maybe F6, F7 and F9, not sure.
Then I’d skip one of the “windows” keys. Honestly, I’m not even sure one of them is useful, but the second surely isn’t. The “menu” is actually a bit useful somtimes. Then I’d give up the keypad’s “Enter”. No one uses it. No one. Then it gets tough, but if I still have to give up more keys, the whole keypad and the pause button go next.

Here are all the stupid reasons:
1. Scroll lock is important for various rouge-like games.
2. You are right about F11 and F12. However F10 is still important for playing star-control.
3. You are right about the second window-key. Should have thought of that. There is also the ‘properties’ key, but I still use that from time to time. I still use the left window key however (even in Ubuntu)
4. The pause button is important – sometimes you need to kill something, and ctrl-break is the way to go. Print-screen is also sometimes useful.
5. I think I used to use the keypad for various games, but I don’t remember which anymore… I still like it when all I do is go through something. And when you do use the keypad, the keypad-enter key is really useful.
6. The keypad-enter key is also very useful for right-handed-mouse using people. You can click it with your thumb when you are using the mouse.

Thanks for solving an unanswered question (“would the symbols be erased off the keys in the dishwasher?” ;-)
I would probably have chosen different keys than you have since I use some of them. The rubber thingies are probably conducting rubber that can be cut off the back sides of rubber keypads in things like phones. So if you get one you can try to use them. Haven’t tried it yet but I have a phone fixing mission of this sort planned for the near future. If it’s not conducting then any kind of rubber would do’ of course.

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