As much time as you spend in front of your computer, it's inevitable, really - you're sitting by your computer, typing away merrily and you accidently knock your beer into the keyboard. Mayhaps you've simply noticed the nast that collects under the keys from being exposed to your hands day after day. Keys will eventually start to stick and the keyboard's response to your typing goes to shit. Instead of buying a new keyboard, why not just clean your keyboard?

With all those delicate electronics in there, it would seem difficult to clean. Vacuums and compressed air are two of the common ways and will work fine to remove solids, but liquids (and their residue) can wreak havoc with those delicate electronics. So how to clean all that crap and gunk out of there?

Put in in the dishwasher.

Disclaimer: before i get a million /msgs about how your keyboard is ruined, smoking, melted or all minty fresh, read the rest of this node! If you're not comfortable with doing this, don't!
Don't try to clean your laptop keyboard like this, you'll just end up with a waterlogged laptop. Don't do this to wireless keyboards, antique keyboards, typewriters, teletype machines, pets, monitors, inflatable dolls, spare tires or AC induction motors. If you're not willing to take the (very small) chance your keyboard may not type again, don't fucking do it! OK, on with the directions.

The directions:
First and foremost, if you ever spill any liquids in your keyboard, unplug it immediately*! Conductive liquids are bad things if there is electricity coursing through the keyboard.
You're going to have to unplug the keyboard to clean it so go ahead and do it anyway.

Now that you've got your keyboard unplugged, put it in the upper rack of the dishwasher (where all the glasses go), upside-down (as in keys down). If it has a cable attached, put it in a plastic bag and secure it with a few rubber bands to keep the cable all in one place.

Here's the easy part: turn on the dishwasher. i don't reccomend putting any soap or dishes in there with it. Be damned sure the heating element is off! Look for a button/switch labeled "energy saver" or "heated drying" or whatever, just make sure the dishwasher is set to air dry. Run the dishwasher through one cycle.

Once the dishwasher has done it's thang, take the (now clean but soaked) keyboard out and get all the water out of it by shaking or slinging it around. i prefer to sling. When you're confident you've gotten all the water out of it that you can, set it upside-down to dry overnight.

The next day, inspect the keyboard for water. If you're not 100% sure it's completely dry, sling, shake, let dry. Repeat as necessary.

When you're absolutely certain that all the water has evaporated, plug the keyboard back in. It should not only have whiter teeth and minty fresh breath, it should work just fine.

i have had a 100% success rate with this, as have every other person i've talked that has tried this method. If you try it, please let me know how it worked out for you or create your own WU below.

* hotplugging PS2 and ADB devices *may* cause your computer to freeze and possibly even damage the device. i've hotplugged ADB devices for many many years and have yet to have one die because of it. YMMV.