Unstickying Macbook keys?

So my wife’s new Macbook got some beer spilled on it.

Laptop was instantly flipped, powered off, and battery moved, so it survived, and is now working fine, a few days later, but some keys are sticky.

Any ideas to fix this? Remove battery, clean with denatured alcohol, let dry for days, try again?

That’s how I’ve cleaned my MS natural keyboard about a bajillion times, but don’t know how it would work for a laptop.

I heard that if you drill some holes on the macbook, they will dry faster!

Or use a hammer. That always works in sticky situations!

Can’t you open it up and remove the keyboard entirely? Then you can do whatever you want to it as long as you’re sure it’s dry when you reattach/reassemble it.

try GooGone

I do not own a macbook but most keyboards (including laptop keyboards) have keys that you can pop off individually using a butter knife or other similar flat object and then easily pop back on. If this happened to one of my keyboards, I’d pop off the keys that were sticking and just wipe the area between the key cap and the underlying keyboard surface with a slightly damp cloth (using just water).

17" Macbook pro. There’s apparently a little ribbon cable you should carefully remove. If you pop keys be careful of the space bar, that’s usually a pain. The little cylinders can break off.


If it’s a MacBook Pro we’re talking about, yeah, it’s relatively easy to get to the keyboard, though as I understand it, cracking open the case may invalidate your warranty.

The MacBook actually has a different kind of keyboard, as they keys basically poke through the holes in the case. I’m not sure how you disassemble one of those.

This page has six links for the non-pro macbooks. Goodluck. I hates the fruit, so I don’t have one.


It appears that disassembling the Macbook doesn’t get any better access to the keys than I have now (it’s a one-piece top).

If I use denatured alcohol, I suppose I’d just power the thing off and remove the battery, then dribble it under the keys, blow it through with compressed air, and then let it dry for day or so.

I think I’ll let my wife use it for a few days to see if the stickiness gets any better before trying the alcohol.

Whose beer was it?

It was hers. My wife feels horrible.

Bummer. But at least it wasn’t yours; then you both would :P