Part of the routine cleaning around here involves running the vacuum cleaner nozzle over the keyboard to suck up random debris, but that doesn’t extract crud from under the keycaps. Almost exactly three years after the previous cleaning, I finally decided the keys had lost enough of their normal feel to justify the hassle of taking the thing apart.
Bolstered by that experience, however, I just yanked the keycaps off with a removal tool from my old bag of tricks, revealing the horror that lies beneath the surface:
Obviously, I got nasty habits…
The keycaps took a swim in a dishpan full of hot soapy water, endured some scrubbing, and emerged looking like new. Thwacking them on a towel ejected the remaining water from the posts.
With the electronics still in place, I vacuumed the larger chunks out of the tray, scrubbed the aforementioned hot soapy water around the bushings with an acid brush, then cleaned up the residue with cotton swabs. There’s a paper towel under the drain gutters to catch the runoff, which worked surprisingly well.
The keycap legends have been eroding, as they’re basically a decal stuck on the surface. Eventually I’ll have a crappy non-clicky Das Keyboard Model S Ultimate.
[Update: a spammer’s script has been attempting to create hundreds of junk comments per day, so I’ve temporarily disabled comments for this post. Drop me a direct note using the About / Copyright / Contact link on the right if it’s critical. I expect this to pass in a few days, but I may be underestimating the stupidity out there. ]
A note from regular commenter Frans:
Don’t get a Das Keyboard if you want a keyboard without a keypad. Look into e.g. a Leopold Tenkeyless Otaku. The one to which I include a link comes with the same Cherry MX Brown switches as the Das Keyboard Silent.
I want one too.
They look good to me, too, although I hope the weird Esc key is optional…