How to fix water damaged keyboards with our step-by-step guide

  • Keycaps 101
  • Posted by: carson-rutz
  • Sep 27, 2022

Like any other electric device, water is a ‘death eater’ to mechanical keyboards. When your keyboard, unfortunately, gets soaked or spilled on by water or other liquid types, check our guide here to fix mechanical keyboard water damage.

Of course, the best thing to do when there is spilled water on a mechanical keyboard is to remove all that water. However, there are steps that you should take to do it right so your keyboard’s health can be ensured.

Is it possible to repair a water-damaged keyboard?

Yes, it is. A fortunate thing about a water-damaged keyboard is it can be repaired, so you don’t have to go buy a new keyboard. In this keyboard water damage fix guide, you will learn the steps to perform first aid to your keyboard asap.

How to Fix a Water Damaged Mechanical Keyboard?

Water damaged keyboard (source: reddit)
Water damaged keyboard (source: reddit)

Step 1: Unplug your Keyboard ASAP

Unplug keyboard (source: easy pc)
Unplug keyboard (source: easy pc)

When water invades your keyboard, it creates abnormal circuits that will destroy your keyboard later. Therefore, the very first step is to unplug your keyboard.

Keep your keyboard in this new unplugged state as long as the water is completely dried out. Never plug in a water-damaged mechanical keyboard despite how urgent you need to use it.

Step 2: Carefully disassemble the keys

Disassemble the keys
Disassemble the keys

When a mechanical keyboard got wet, the water was likely to move around and got stuck under the parts that we don’t see such as keycaps. Hence, in this next step, you should spend some time removing the keycap and cleaning up the water that is stuck there.

To take out keycaps from a water-damaged mechanical keyboard, it’s easier if you have a keycap puller.

But, if you don’t have one, this video will show you how to pull keycaps out without the tool.

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Step 3: Wipe Off Excess Water

Wipe off water on the keyboard
Wipe off water on the keyboard

In this stage of fixing water damaged keyboard, it’s best to have with you a microfiber towel or an old but clean soft cotton T-shirt. Those materials are soft enough and lint-free so they will be gentle to your already water-damaged keyboard.

Fix mechanical keyboard water damage by lightly wiping off the excess water. Make sure there is no water remaining. You may want to do the job fast enough that it won’t have time to move deeper inside your keyboard.

Step 4: Flip the wet Keyboard Over

Flip the keyboard over
Flip the keyboard over

When you fix a keyboard that got wet, don’t forget to the act of flipping it over. All you need to do is to flip your keyboard, place it in places with a good amount of sunlight or place it on a soft big towel, and let it be there for at least two days.

By doing this, the water that is deep inside your keyboard will run out and get evaporated by the sun or absorbed by the towel. Our ‘how to fix water-damaged keyboard’ steps cannot be completed without this act, so please don’t miss out.

Step 5: Wait 48 Hours

In step 6, you won’t have to do anything but wait. Some say that a day is fine but we believe 48 hours is a better number. Sometimes, with our ‘humble human eyes’, we cannot access the amount of invasive water rightly so we make light of the situation.

Therefore, the best answer for ‘how long does it take for a keyboard to dry’ is 2 days. Just let it be upside-down for 48 hours. It will pass as a wink anyway.

Step 6: Plug-In and Test!

Text your keyboard
Text your keyboard

The time you know all your efforts to fix water damaged keyboard is going to work or not.

First, take some moments to ensure there is no water left. Second, plug your keyboard into a USB charger or a mobile charger. In case your keyboard still has problems, you will discover it without creating damage to your PC.

If nothing happens at this point, it’s time to move to the last step of this keyboard water damage fix process. Plug your keyboard into your computer. Try all the keys to make sure they work as usual and then try some hotkeys.

You can download keyboard testing software to have a better assessment or you can simply turn on some games to check the key-response sensitivity.

What should you do if your Keyboard Still Not Working?

Water-spilled keyboard
Water-spilled keyboard

If your keyboard is still not working, maybe the water has hit the PCB. Thus, what you need to fix water damaged mechanical keyboard at this point is to open it apart to remove the water from the PCB.

We recommend you have your keyboard’s manual with you to know the exact steps to open your keyboard. Or, you can follow this video to know how to open your keyboard.

How to Deal with Other Liquids Spilled in a Mechanical Keyboard?

What if I spill something like soda or watermelon juice? Other liquid forms containing sugar or salt are very sticky and harmful so gently wiping them with a towel won’t do.

Don’t worry. Here is our ‘how to fix liquid damaged keyboard’ guide on these circumstances.

Aside from a lint-free towel, you should go prepare some cotton swabs and 99% isopropyl alcohol. Dampen your towel with isopropyl alcohol but not too much. Wipe your keyboard and keycaps with that towel. For small details, use isopropyl alcohol-soaked cotton swabs.

After removing all the unwanted liquid, wait for 48 hours, and then test when it completely dries.

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How to clean Spilled Water on a Laptop Keyboard?

Liquid spilled on laptop keyboard
Liquid spilled on laptop keyboard

Spilled water on laptop keyboard is trickier because the keyboard and other components are a whole big connected device. Here, we tailor our 6 steps to fix water-damaged laptop keyboard.

  • Step 1: Turn off your laptop immediately and remove any connected wires.
  • Step 2: Flip the laptop over to drain out the water.
  • Step 3: Use a towel to wipe off the water and use cotton swabs to clean the ports.
  • Step 4: If you know how to open your laptop backplate. Take it out and wipe the things inside.
  • Step 5: Hang it upside-down for 48 hours under direct sunlight to evaporate the remained water.
  • Step 6: Test to see whether things go back to normal.

Important Dos and Don'ts in fixing Water Damaged Mechanical Keyboard

DON’T: Put it in rice

A big myth. How to fix a water-damaged smartphone? Put it in rice. How to get water out of a keyboard? Put it in rice. But, we say, don’t put it in rice.

The problem is when rice meets water, yes it absorbs moisture but at the same time, it sticks starch onto your device. So, the result is you have another issue to care about.

DON’T: Use a paper towel

Use paper towel to wipe the keyboard
Use paper towel to wipe the keyboard

Paper Towel is easy to access when spilling water on mechanical keyboard. Nonetheless, you should not use them but spend some time finding a lint-free towel.

The reason is paper towel contains a lot of paper dust. When you wipe your keyboard with them, it will produce paper dust on your keyboard and that is a big no-no. 

DO: Use a lint-free cloth

As we have mentioned above, go and find a lint-free cloth. Microfiber towels, handkerchiefs, dish towels, or clean cotton T-shirts are good-to-go options to remove excess water.

DO: Disassemble further if keys are still not working

Water can get under your keycaps and force it to stop working. That is why you should dismantle the keys further to carefully take out all the water left. After that, use 99% isopropyl alcohol swabs to clean the keys.

DO: Consider a water-resistant keyboard

Water-resistant keyboard
Water-resistant keyboard

It is not a bad idea to get yourself a water-resistant keyboard. Those new-age keyboards can withstand the attacks from spilled liquid the best and therefore, a longer lifespan is a result.

If you cannot fix a keyboard that got wet, how about getting a water-resistant one so you don’t have to go over the same situation twice? We have here 10 Best Waterproof Mechanical Keyboards that you should definitely check out. Enjoy!

FAQs on liquid-damaged keyboards 

Is it possible to repair a water-damaged keyboard?

The good news is yes. You can fix mechanical keyboard water damage by carefully removing all the excess water. 

How can you repair a water-damaged keyboard?

You can fix a keyboard that got wet by following our 6-step process, starting with unplugging the cable and ending with testing the water-removed keyboard.

Should you soak your wet keyboard In rice?

No, you should not. The starch in rice can cause other problems for your keyboard.

How long does it take for a keyboard to dry?

It will take about a whole day to dry out the keyboard but to play safe, our recommendation is 48 hours of waiting.


When your mechanical keyboard got wet suddenly, it’s easy to get panic as we all know how damage water can be to electric devices. The good thing is, that you can save it with a keyboard water damage fix.

Even though you have done everything meticulously, your keyboard may turn in the worst direction which is the beyond-fix. Then, it’s time to consider buying a new keyboard.

But, of course, we hope that you are able to fix the mechanical keyboard water damage with our how-to guide. And, next time, be careful when handling liquid near your computer.


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