I (heart) my filthy Happy Hacking Keyboard
Holy crap, is my favorite keyboard filthy. I don't know if it's that I've finally gotten it into some good direct lighting or what, but this thing is a blatant mess. It's almost embarassing.
I've been using the same Happy Hacking Keyboard Lite 2, PS/2 style, for about 8 years now. I've taken it with me to every desk at every job since 1998 or so, along with some variety or another of trackballs. (I'm using a Logitech Marble Mouse these days, pining for my classic Centipede-style 4-button Kensington Expert Mouse - and not this monstrosity with its botched scroll ring.)
The keyboard has sprouted a USB adapter along the way, which barely seems to work on OS X machines after a few attempts at plugging and replugging. I've gotten to like this keyboard so much that I just can't work for long on anything else.
In fact, when I spend too long with a fat keyboard and standard mouse, my wrists start complaining within the hour. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that, with the HHKB, my hands remain mostly out in front of me with occasional flicks over to the trackball - as opposed to hovering always slightly over to the left, with wandering twists way over to the right.
So anyway... Just how the hell do you clean a keyboard? Do I really have to meticulously pry off every keycap, spend an evening stripping it and cleaning it on the dining room table like a pistol? Can I run it through the dishwasher? Should I just give up and order a new USB version? Or, is the filth good for me - is it actually fortifying my immune system with 8-year-old bugs?
Update (8/1): For the benefit of someone who may someday land on this entry after searching, like me, for "happy hacking keyboard dishwasher" - know that my keyboard did indeed survive a trip through a wash and rinse cycle.
However! I didn't put the whole thing into the machine. I first had the presence of mind to try taking it apart. Turns out that the top half of the keyboard - to which all the grunge was confined - was entirely plastic. All the electronics - pristine and new-smelling after all these years - resided in the bottom half of the shell. They stayed dry.
I did end up popping out all the keys after all, though. This was because not all the grunge got removed in the dishwasher, and because the keys were incredibly quick and easy to pop out from the underside with a fingernail press - as opposed to prying out from above with a screwdriver as I'd previously tried.
I scrubbed clean the keyless top half, soaked the keys themselves for a little while, then dried everything overnight - and this morning, everything's good as new after reassembly!
Now, having seen this thing disassembled, I should note that this favorite keyboard of mine seems to be really well built. The top half of the keyboard shell is a solid piece, and each key is slotted into a well that has an up-turned lip. No crumbs, hair, grunge, or spillage of any kind had ever made its way down into the interior of the keyboard in all these years of being a desk-lunch eating slob of a human. I'm not sure how many keyboards are built this way, but this one's great!
If only I could clean my PowerBook keyboard so easily. Now, that's a nasty piece of work, right there.