Sticky keyboard keys or sticky mouse buttons

Sticky keyboard keys are a common problem. You only need to spill some sugared coffee or lemonade to have your keyboard keys stuck. The same counts for mouse buttons.

‘I am having problem with my Wacom mouse 3. The left mouse button is sticking and doesn’t respond fast. Is there an easy fix or do I need a new mouse?’ someone asked me.

This sounds like a beverage like lemonade has been spilled on it. Although this can destroy your keyboard by shorting it, often the keyboard or mouse still works fine. The water usually vaporizes after some time. The rest, usually mostly sugar, remains, leaving you with sticky keyboard keys or sticky mouse buttons .

The solution to sticky keyboard keys and mouse buttons

As always: You are doing this at your own risk, I just provide info. If you are not comfortable about doing this under your own responsibility, just don’t do it. You might not be able to get out all the water and then you cannot use it.

There are two approaches:

  1. Carefully take the keyboard or mouse apart and only continue with the part that is affected. If it’s a mouse, I’d at least try to open it to get more ‘flow’.
  2. Just soak it as a whole. You might get away with this with ‘open’ keyboards.

How to free sticky keyboard keys again

There is only one way to get that sugar out: The way it came in. Get yourself some distilled water. It’s important that it’s not regular water. Tab water is not 100% pure water. Distilled water is used to refill car batteries and steam irons. Therefore, you can probably find it in a car parts store or grocery store.

Rinse the sticky mouse or sticky keyboard in a bowl or something similar, filled with distilled water. Rinse it now and then by lifting it and letting the water leak out for a few seconds, then put it back in.

After 24 hours, take it out. Let the water drip out as much as possible by slowly turning it around, allowing it to find it’s way out. Dry it. A drafty, not too cold place works best. Remember that draft dries water faster when it can get to the wet parts. Warmth works better for the inside moist. Let it dry until you are sure there is no water left. If you are unsure, make it a week, depending on the object, but a few days at least.

Tip: Carefully weigh the sticky keyboard or sticky mouse on a digital precision scale before you soak it. Afterwards, you can check if the water is out by weighing it again and comparing the weight.

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