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How to Fix a Sticky Typewriter Key

Since a typewriter is made up of so many delicate pieces, exercise care when taking it apart to clean.
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It's common for keys on old typewriters to get stuck over time. Typewriter keys almost always get stuck because dirt and grime collect beneath them. To fix a stuck key, simply clean the dirt out. The exact details you must follow to clean your typewriter depend on the model you have and how old the machine is. Just a few materials and a couple of tools are all you need to get your typewriter key unstuck and have a working machine again.

Remove your typewriter's cover - if it is the type of model that has one. You need a standard screwdriver for older models and a Phillips-head screwdriver for newer ones.

Remove the ink bobbins carefully and set them aside. Place them on a paper towel to keep the ink from staining furniture.

Wrap a damp paper towel or small cloth to the tip of the screwdriver. Carefully place it between the stuck typewriter keys and start cleaning up the dirt and grime.

Use a cotton swab to dry the spots that you just cleaned with the damp cloth.

Blow out any dust that remains with a can of compressed air.

Depress the stuck typewriter keys and hold them while you spray silicone spray lubricant between them. Spray the tops of all the keys as well, but coat them lightly.

Clean any excess lubricant with a clean paper towel.

Replace the ink bobbins and the typewriter cover.

Things You'll Need:

  • Screwdriver (Standard or Phillips-head)
  • Dry paper towels
  • Damp paper towel or small cloth
  • Cotton swabs
  • Compressed air can
  • Silicone spray lubricant
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