Post by cb meeks
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I will let everyone know my progress. Although it might be a while before I get to it...I have a PET 8032 I need to fix. :-D
I chose a random thread with posts from Michael below. Also, somebody else mentioned that the ROM 255 keyboard had springs that were problematic. They removed those and the rubber mat underneath.
If the sticky problem is external only, then cleaning the key caps and
the top of the keyboard may do the job.
If the sticky stuff got inside the key switches, then your idea is not
far off. Unless there is oil in the goo (check to see if the external part
cleans completely with water, for example), you should omit the
detergent. Just use distilled water, soaking the keyboard (only, not
the computer!) for about an hour, then draining it and rinsing lightly,
then repeat--for four or five iterations. Then let it dry for a couple of
weeks in a dry, warm place (don't heat it, or bad things may happen).
If the residue is sugar-based, this should clean it pretty well, and
the long drying time should ensure that it is completely dry before
trying it in the computer again.
Yes, tap water (in most locales) is a no-no. Distilled water is guaranteed
safe for all components, providing that the total length of exposure is
controlled (wouldn't want to rust steel springs, if any).
The problem with alcohol is that it may not effectively remove sugar
residue from soft drinks or coffee, although all common alcohols have
several percent water.
Compressed air is good for drying most things, but beware of using
it around bonded materials or elastomers--you may wind up separating
things that you didn't intend.
The real problem is that the innards of the keyswitches are not sealed
well enough to keep liquids out completely, but are sealed enough to
make removing the cleaning liquid difficult. Getting the switch "shaft"
clean will make the switch operate smoothly from a mechanical point
of view, but the contacts inside should also be clean to make it work
I should have mentioned that in each "bath", you should press each key
several times, to circulate the water internally. This will help to get any
residue out of the inside of the switches.