I’m still an alps noob, but I had really good results with a very basic ultrasonic cleaning this weekend and I wanted to encourage other people to give it a try.
I have had what I thought was a reasonably clean Apple Salmon Alps keyboard for a while, however I never used it much or thought of using the switches for a build.
I didn’t like the switches, they were bad if not pressed perfectly in the center, super scratchy…
Then I got a really clean Orange Alps keyboard and I understood what people were about when they talked about alps being so great, holy shit, these switches change from clean to dirty!
So I decided to try to clean the Salmon ones this last weekend.
I got a cheap ultrasonic cleaner in amazon in advance, however the posts I was reading were a bit intimidating: deionized water, strong alcohol, dentures cleaners, all the lubing discussion…
At the end I decided to do a very simple test with half of the keyboard to be able to compare to the dirty switches:
- I washed only the top housings and the sliders.
- Two rounds of 10 and 15 minutes in the ultrasonic cleaner. Warm tap water and some dishwasher soap.
- I didn’t do anything with springs and leaves.
- I used some compressed air with the bottom housings.
- Dried the housings and sliders with the pillow cover method, I was in a hurry to try them
The results really surprised me, the clean salmons are sooooo much better.
These switches are really common, cheap to get, and with this very simple procedure they feel amazing.
So much so that aside the heavier weight I think they feel very much like oranges to me.
Maybe I was lucky, but the switches were behaving really bad before cleaning, getting stuck when pressed off centre and stuff.
I’m sure you can get even better results if you use deionized water, and you clean everything and use alcohol to dry the metal parts, and lube them and other things I’m missing.
However if you don’t have the patience/time for that and you are a tactile switch enthusiast I suggest you buy a cheap keyboard with Salmon Alps and give this a try.
I will be building a 60% with them for sure.