How to Fix a Sticky HP Keyboard

By Lynndee Marooney

Removing keyboard keys will allow you to clean under the keys.
i keyboard #3 image by Adam Borkowski from

Having a sticky keyboard can be frustrating and cause you to think you need to throw it out and purchase a new one. But before doing that, try cleaning the keyboard to remove the substance causing the keys to stick. Keys on an HP keyboard are designed to be removed, allowing you to clean dirt and debris from under the keys. A thorough keyboard cleaning can often return a keyboard to full function without sticky keys.

Take a photo of the HP keyboard before you remove any keys. This will allow you to remember where each key goes when it is time to reassemble the keyboard. If you don't have a camera available, draw an image of the keyboard on paper to review.

Insert the edge of the flat-tip screwdriver or butter knife under one corner of the sticky key. Apply a gentle, upward pressure until the key pops loose. Keyboard keys snap on and, upon release, may pop off quickly and fly across the room. Remove all the keys in the area where the keys are sticking.

Fill a small bowl or cup with warm water and a small amount of dish soap to create a soapy water solution. As you remove the keys, drop the keys into the water. This will allow the soapy water to get into the crevices under the key and help to remove any sticky substance. If the keys are very sticky, use a toothbrush and gently rub it over the underside of the key. Once clean, remove the keys and lay them on a clean towel. Allow them to dry completely before putting the keys back on the keyboard.

Dip a q-tip into the rubbing alcohol and wipe the area on the HP keyboard where you removed the keys. You will see a stub remaining where you removed each key. Use the q-tip to clean around each stub. If you have spilled a soda or any other substance that is very sticky, repeat the process twice to remove all traces of the substance. Allow the keyboard to dry.

Look at your photo or diagram of the keyboard and begin to put the keys back on. Take each key and line up the key stub with the connector on the bottom of the key. Gently press down until the key snaps into place. Repeat the process until all keys are attached to the keyboard.

Test the keyboard to ensure the keys are no longer sticking. If you find any keys still stick, remove the keys and clean again.