Sticky right mouse key
February 2, 2007 11:38 PM   Subscribe

How do I get my right mouse key to stop being sticky?

Some time ago, I spilled apple juice on my desk and some of it got in my mouse. Since then, my right mouse key doesn't really click, it's like it's in slow motion cuz of the dried, sugary juice. I took it apart to see what the actual problem was and, as it turns out, the tiny apparatus inside that does the physical click is the stickiest.

Short of buying a new mouse, any suggestions?
posted by ThirstyEar2 to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Rub it with some alcohol-soaked cotton?
posted by rhapsodie at 11:49 PM on February 2, 2007

Yes. Isopropyl alcohol is the way to go.
posted by facetious at 12:07 AM on February 3, 2007

Personally I'd use water. Water dissolves sugar better than alcohol does, and is guaranteed not to attack plastics.

The "tiny apparatus that does the physical click" will be a microswitch, and if it's sticky enough to not click properly, the contacts will have sugar in them too.

Take the mouse apart, being careful not to lose any of the tiny mechanical bits (springs etc.) and remove the circuit board. Blast it with a strong stream of running warm tap water. If you have a water-pik for your teeth, give the sticky microswitch a good blasting with that too. That will shift the sugar.

Now we don't want the tap water to leave a residue of salts behind in your electronics as it dries, so we need to rinse it out. Jiggle the circuit board like a tea bag in a clean bowl filled with room-temperature de-ionized water (reverse-osmosis-filtered drinking water or distilled water).

Next, blow all the de-ionized water off the board, and out of all the little nooks and crannies, using canned compressed air (you can get this at most electronics stores).

If you just love the smell of isopropyl alcohol and you can't bear the thought of leaving something as low-tech as water in your delicate electronic device, a final soak in isopropyl will shift any remaining water and then dry out nice and quickly. But simply leaving the board somewhere warm and dry for a couple of hours will work equally well.

Put it all back together, use the tiniest amount of teflon-based lubricant on any rotating parts, and you should be good to go.

Or you could just spring for the eight bucks a new mouse will cost you.
posted by flabdablet at 2:38 AM on February 3, 2007

IIRC, RadioShack sells a spray called contact cleaner. This was a recommendation from someone when some sugary drink leaked and dripped into the buttons on my radio.
posted by timmins at 10:43 PM on February 3, 2007

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