Geek Life

This is for all my geeky techy friends out there.  You know how it is, being the most tech savvy one in your circle of friends and family.  You know.  You know the frustration and agony of wanting to send a copy of xkcd’s Tech Support Cheat Sheet to everyone who’s ever called you to help them fix their laptop/printer/desktop/modem/router/vibrator.  But some days, you are invited for a peek into the most amazingly fabulously outrageous events in your friends’ and family’s life.  I submit to you the following interchange between myself and a very dear but perpetually tech unsavvy friend of mine which happened earlier today:

non-techy friend: Do you have an extra keyboard? I put mine in the dishwasher and i think it is dead 🙁

me: You’re not kidding, are you.

ntf: You must learn to be more loving and patient with your short bus friends.

m: Excuse me while I laugh at you for a few minutes.

ntf: No problem.  I can wait.

m: Ok now put it in the fridge for a day or so and then try it again.

ntf: I said short bus, not mini cooper.  Now you are just messing with me.  ‘Here, <friend’s name redacted to protect the innocently untechy>, try this!’ then some more laughing with your big smarty pants computer smarties.


I honestly can’t say what would possess anyone to look at a keyboard and think it is a worthy prospect for a trip through caustic detergents and super heated waves of water.  I would no sooner put my phone, or my television, or …well, my laptop in the dishwasher than the keyboard.  But this story does have a happy ending:  I did in fact have an extra keyboard – a wireless one, in fact – and the super clean yet unfunctional one is hopefully drying out in the fridge.

So a word of warning, everyone!  DO NOT PUT KEYBOARDS IN THE DISHWASHER.


  1. Steven says:

    Boy, reading this makes me feel better.

    Tonight I had to walk my little brother through converting the video format from flv to mp4 so he could embed it in a PowerPoint. Yesterday my mother’s piece of shit Dell was totally hosed, and I had to try everything on god’s green earth before telling her the motherboard would have to be replaced.

    But at least they didn’t put a keyboard in the dishwasher. 🙂

  2. Lisa says:

    LOL! Wow, that’s better than the cd cup holder story.

  3. dieselboi says:

    I’ve actually successfully put my keyboard through the dishwasher and let it dry for a couple of hot days and it worked fine.

  4. mediaChick says:

    You’re waaaaaaay nicer than I am when approached for help with techy stuff.

    I try to be patient, at first, but eventually the non-tech-savvy friend hears something along the lines of “You’re fucking kidding me, right?!” joined with a look of incredulous superiority.

    I’m a bad person.

  5. Morgan says:

    @Steven: I have to say that this is probably the silliest thing my friends have ever asked of me.

    But then, I have some crazy friends, so it’s just a matter of time, really.

  6. Morgan says:

    Wow. Wow, Brett. What kind of keyboard was it? Was it wireless or wired?

    I’ve had some pretty amazing stories of electronics surviving a winter in the snow on my neighbor’s front yard, and still working perfectly. But then, I didn’t *intend* to put it out on the front yard over the winter.

  7. Morgan says:

    @mediachick: You are so not a bad person. Bad people don’t share hot accordion babes.

  8. Brian Enigma says:

    It’s actually not that uncommon to put a keyboard in the dishwasher. BoingBoing covered it in 2005:

    I haven’t done it myself, but have worked places where people would put them in the washer on Friday night and be using them again on Monday morning. I don’t think they used much (if any) soap. Obviously, you only want to do this to basic keyboards. Anything fancy (especially anything that takes a battery, like wireless keyboards) may not turn out well. Most keyboards are fairly simple and quite rugged — a matrix of momentary pushbutton switches with a basic serial chip to translate from the switches to codes. It’s not too different from accidentally running your USB thumbdrive in the clothes washer. Because it’s unpowered, there’s nothing to short out. Just make sure it’s completely dry before using.

  9. Morgan says:

    Wow Brian! Color me surprised. I’ll update my mental computer advice database 🙂