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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > ARGH! A blue Sharpie leaked and dripped on my white Apple keyboard!

ARGH! A blue Sharpie leaked and dripped on my white Apple keyboard!
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CharlesS
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Jul 21, 2007, 02:22 PM
 
Subject says it all - I've got a couple of keys on my white Apple Bluetooth keyboard that are now blue.

Am I just screwed, or is there anything I can use to get the blue Sharpie out that won't damage the keyboard itself?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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Biest
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Jul 21, 2007, 02:24 PM
 
Remove the keys. Get some nail polish remover and just put a little bit on them. The nail polish remover has aceton in it, which will dissolve the ink
     
Dork.
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Jul 21, 2007, 03:30 PM
 
Before getting acetone on the keys, try getting one of those white chunky pencil erasers



and try to erase it. The ink isn't as permanent as you think, especially if it hasn't been on for very long.

Alternatively, you could try using one of these:



I've used them on laptops before, although not necessaily for getting sharpie off. It's kind of abrasive, but shouldn't leave visible marks.
     
shifuimam
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Jul 21, 2007, 06:00 PM
 
I would not use acetone. I haven't recently examined Apple's keyboards, but if they're like every other brand of keyboard I've used in the last five years, the key labels are decals. Acetone will, I am 99% certain, dissolve those labels and leave you with blank keys.

Try rubbing alchohol or Goo-Gone. The other thing I have used is a dry-erase marker (test first to make sure it will erase). On many smooth surfaces that have been marred by permanent marker, writing over the markings with a dry-erase marker and then erasing with a dry cloth or tissue will allow you to remove the permanent marks.
     
Biest
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Jul 21, 2007, 06:17 PM
 
Rubbing alcohol works as well, but it is like aceton. It is isopropanol should technically also dissolve it
     
CharlesS  (op)
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Jul 21, 2007, 09:47 PM
 
Thanks shifuimam! Isopropyl alcohol worked like a charm, and didn't harm the lettering on the keys at all. Of course, once I popped off the keys, I saw how absolutely disgusting the dirt that had built up underneath was, and so I ended up popping off all the keys and cleaning the keyboard as per the instructions on this page. Right now, the plastic keys are drying out, but hopefully when this is all re-assembled, the keyboard will look almost like it did straight out of the factory!

Thanks again to all who replied.

Ticking sound coming from a .pkg package? Don't let the .bom go off! Inspect it first with Pacifist. Macworld - five mice!
     
Cadaver
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Jul 22, 2007, 07:58 PM
 
Wow. I would have thought you'd be either living with blue keys or shelling out for a new keyboard.
     
cgc
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Jul 22, 2007, 08:55 PM
 
Maybe try one of these:

     
ghporter
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Jul 22, 2007, 09:36 PM
 
I though it was common knowledge that the kryptonite for Sharpies' super marking was rubbing alcohol. I was ready to post all about it when I saw this thread, but alas, I was too late.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
rjt1000
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Jul 22, 2007, 11:17 PM
 
OMG, didnt realize there was so much to say about the Sharpie:
Sharpie (marker) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Though Sharpie ink will become permanent after setting, it can be easily erased for several hours after writing on many glossy surfaces, most readily smooth metal and glass. Since the ink is based on propanol, butanol and diacetone alcohols, rubbing alcohol will remove permanent ink writing. Sharpie ink can generally be erased from CDs, microscope slides and plastic bottles within several hours. Sharpie ink that has dried for more than several hours can be removed with acetone, but due to the power of the solvent, acetone may damage the surface material. On some surfaces, the ink can be removed by coloring over the ink with a dry erase marker and then removing the Sharpie ink and dry erase marker ink with a dry cloth. Steam cleaning has proved effective also. Magic Eraser has also proven somewhat effective on hard surfaces such as brick. Hairspray will also remove from smooth surfaces. Alcohol is particularly effective at removing the ink from skin.
     
   
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