Are Mechanical Keyboards Waterproof?
Most mechanical keyboards can resist spillage, but not all are waterproof.
A regular mechanical keyboard is made up of switches and switch caps, all on a circuit board where the electrical connections take place.
So when water spills on a keyboard, it trickles downward till the nearest place it can settle. However, the type of keyboard you use determines what happens next.
Mechanical keyboards have a significant advantage in terms of durability. As a result, IP32, IP54, and even IP67/68 keyboards are widely available, all of which are water and dust-resistant. The disadvantage is that they may not have the features you need.
This article will take you through waterproof mechanical keyboards, the different types in terms of their ability, and what to expect when you purchase one.
Read Also: High Profile vs. Low Profile Keyboards.
Water Resistant vs Waterproof Mechanical Keyboards
For serious gaming, it is recommended that you stay hydrated most of the time. So, there’s a good chance you’ll spill something on your keyboard, whether it’s coffee, water, or any other liquid substance that gets you through your gaming session.
It helps to know the resistance level of your mechanical keyboard and if it can withstand any level of spillage.
Remember that most mechanical keyboards are not necessarily waterproof but water resistant, and it is common to mix the two terms.
A device’s IP rating helps us determine how much it can withstand the infiltration of water, dust, or other objects. Mechanical keyboards labeled as water resistant often ranges between the levels of IP32 and IP54.
This means they can only be protected from splashing of water at best. So it would be best if you never expose your keyboard to pressurized water intentionally.
Waterproof mechanical keyboards, on the hand, have no issues with getting wet. In fact, their major selling point is their dust and water-resisting abilities. Their IP rating often ranges from IP64 to 1P68.
The keyboard would work without issues even when you fully submerge it in the bathtub with no problems whatsoever.
The waterproof nature of a mechanical keyboard is such a big selling point, and it is implausible that you won’t know if your keyboard is waterproof.
However, if you’re unsure whether your mechanical keyboard is waterproof or not, you can always check out the manufacturer’s website for detailed information about its specs.
How Can Water Damage a Mechanical Keyboard?
Most people wonder how water could damage a keyboard made entirely out of plastic. For those that have never opened a mechanical keyboard, the electrical circuitry of the keyboard occupies the space directly under the switches.
The circuitry is designed in such a way that the switches are soldered or fixed directly onto it. So when you press a key, a signal is sent to your computer screen with the information of that particular key. Once the switch activates, the circuit gets completed.
While it is true that all of these parts, from the keycaps to the switches in most cases, are plastics, not much separates the circuit board, where all the electrical activity takes place to the outer layer of the keyboard.
So if water or any liquid makes its way into the circuit, there’s a good chance it will damage your keyboard. A short circuit will occur, and water coming in contact with electricity will never yield positive results.
You most likely need a waterproof keyboard if:
- Your environment isn’t watertight: Working in a setting where you come in regular contact with water and other contaminants will eventually take its toll on your keyboard. Your best bet is to get a keyboard that’ll put your mind at rest.
- You move around a lot: A waterproof keyboard is an ideal investment for people that work in mobile environments. If your computer and keyboard regularly move from one location to another, you expose your keyboard to external elements like water which can be dangerous.
- You work in medical environments: In the medical field, chances are your keyboard will come into contact with multiple types of fluids daily. Getting a disinfectable waterproof keyboard will help prevent the spread of diseases.
- You work in a shared space: In workstations where multiple people use one keyboard, it is ideal for getting a keyboard that you can wash and disinfect from germs.
- Work remotely: It’s very convenient to eat and drink while working from home than in a formal office setting. You might want to get a waterproof keyboard to protect you against spills.
Top Affordable Waterproof Mechanical Keyboard
There’s no shame in being clumsy and knocking things over all the time, to the extent of spilling liquid over your keyboard. Getting your hands on one of the following waterproof keyboards will help you out of your dilemma.
1. BAKTH Waterproof Gaming Mechanical Keyboard
This affordable 7 Colors LED Backlit Gaming Keyboard is the ideal waterproof mechanical keyboard for gamers. It fulfils your primary purpose of a gaming keyboard and adds the necessary quirks to make your gameplay more exciting.
Life even gets easier with its Removable keycaps. You can easily clean the keycaps and rid them of dust or dirt. This BAKTH mechanical keyboard has good tactile feedback and leaves much room for customization.
2. GK61 Mechanical Keyboard
The GK61 mechanical keyboard adds a combination of build, design, and elegance to your setup. There are lots of colours for you to play around with without the need for drivers. One of its coolest perks is its hot-swappable keys. Users can change switches however they want.
The keyboard uses Gatron Optical switches which makes swapping the switches at any time in the future straightforward. The switches don’t require you to solder the keycaps, so people that customize their keyboards often have something to look forward to.
ABS Doubleshot keycaps, macro recording, and an anti-ghosting feature are a few of the things that makes the customization and personalization of this keyboard fun.
GK61 is the perfect spillproof budget mechanical keyboard. It will do what you want and keep you immersed in your typing.
3. Epomaker SK61 Waterproof Mechanical Keyboard
Another waterproof mechanical keyboard on the list with hot-swappable keys. The Epomaker SK61 comes with Gateron optical switches, which are great for gaming and more affordable than Cherry switches.
Gamers looking for a waterproof mechanical keyboard will find this particular keyboard more fun to customize and play around with.
Its dust- and water-resistant capability mean you don’t have to look for a way to fix the keyboard when you spill water on it. As long as you wipe the water with a microfiber cloth, you’re ready to get back to work in no time.
The Epomaker SK61’s keycaps are fade resistant, so oil and other liquids will be prevented from damaging the keyboard.
4. DIERYA DK61E Compact Keyboard
DIERYA DK61E is a 60% Mechanical Keyboard with a compact design and durable frame. Although not completely waterproof, the keyboard features an IPX4 rating so that it can resist water splashes from any direction.
The beauty of this keyboard is that it packs lots of exciting functionality in its compact shape. Its keys are hot-swappable and wear-resistant with a high degree of hardness.
The Gateron optical switches and PBT Double-shot Keycaps go a long way to prove its.
With the DK61E, you’re sure to get the best typing and gaming experience, all in an oil-proof, water-resistant keyboard thats easy to clean. The icing on the cake is the key puller it ships with. You can easily change the keys at your discretion.
How To Clean Your Mechanical Keyboard
If you’ve spilled water on your keyboard and looking for a fix, do not worry, you’re in the right place.
Together, we’ll go through the steps you can take to get your keyboard working again. These methods have been proven overtime to work and if your keyboard doesn’t work after, water has most likely affected the circuit board.
Step 1: Disconnect Your Keyboard
If you spill water on your keyboard, you must disconnect it from the power source if you have it plugged in. Shutting down everything keeps you on the safer side as water and electricity don’t mix well.
And using a wet keyboard with current flowing through is a great recipe for disaster. For your keyboard to be completely rid of the harm the water might have done, you’ll have to go for days without it. A good alternative is to have a backup till your keyboard is ready to work again.
Step 2: Pull out the Keycaps
Now, there should be water on top of the keycaps, so go ahead and wipe it up quickly. Using a microfiber cloth to wipe the spill on the keycap will ensure no fluff or scratch is left behind on the keycaps.
To remove the keys, a keycap puller is an ideal tool you can use. Alternatively, you can use your hands if you’re careful enough.
Step 3: Wipe Off Excess Water
Taking off the keycaps means all the water accumulated underneath it can now be wiped off. It’ll make the keyboard dry up faster and ensure the water doesn’t seep into dangerous areas.
Again, it would help if you used a microfiber cloth to wipe the excess water under the keycaps. And that’s because microfiber cloths do a better job than paper towels and don’t particularly leave any particles that can cause the switches to jam.
Cover all angles and hit areas the towel can’t reach appropriately with cotton swabs. The more thorough you are, the more your keyboard gets free of water.
Step 4: Sun-dry
After wiping the keyboard clean, the next thing is to flip it over and place it in a sunny area. Anything that has dripped in should come out this time.
At this point, understand that patience is key, so resist any urge to plug it into a power source. The ideal time to wait is 48 hours after sun-drying.
Step 5: Plug In And Test
After waiting two days, you can now plug in the keyboard and see if it still works. Any chance there’s water left in the keyboard after two days has been squashed, but to be completely certain, shake it gently and inspect it for any visible water that remains.
In any case, there’s water still visible on the keyboard; wait another twenty-four hours before you plug it in.
If not, plug in your keyboard to see if everything works fine. Run a quick test to see if all of the keys work. Key-test is a super-fast keyboard testing program to know the capabilities of your keys.
Put the keycaps back on once you’re certain all the keys work correctly.
Will a water-resistant mechanical keyboard survive submersion?
Waterproof keyboards aren’t the same as water-resistant ones. When you submerge a water-resistant keyboard in water, you run the risk of condemning the keyboard. Spilling water on any water-resistant keyboard is the most you can do. Anything more will ruin the board.
What do I do if water gets in my mechanical keyboard?
Find out if it’s a waterproof or water-resistant keyboard. For water-resistant or regular keyboards, the volume of water that gets into the keyboard will determine your next course of action. Follow our five cleaning steps above to continue using your keyboard regularly again.
Is a keyboard ruined if it gets wet?
No. You can still salvage a wet keyboard. If you follow the steps we’ve put out, your keyboard will start working again in no time.
Some might say they’ve spilled water on their keyboard before and didn’t experience any damage. The water most certainly dried up before getting into the circuit, so count yourself lucky.
Many waterproof keyboards are available on the market and function like normal ones. You won’t be sacrificing any performance or usability for the waterproof feature.
The most important thing you should be concerned about is how solid can the keyboard hardware stand against water damage.
To avoid stories that touch, get a waterproof keyboard and never worry about spilling a drink while gaming or working on your keyboard.