How to disassemble and clean a Logitech G15 (Generation 2)

Anyone who’s had a computer for an extended period of time will know how disgusting a keyboard can get. The keys tend to develop a layer of grime on top, while accumulating dust, food and hair underneath.

A rather grimy looking Logitech G15

Gross, isn't it?

I got sick of looking at all the grime on the Logitech G15 I use, and decided to pull it apart and clean it in the name of curiosity. And since disassembly guides for the keyboard aren’t easy to find, I decided to post my findings here.

So, shall we begin?

Getting Started

Firstly, a disclaimer. I’ll take no responsibility if your keyboard no longer works after reassembly. Any screw-ups are your problem to deal with.  So if you’re not confident with pulling things to bits and putting them back together again, then don’t do it on anything valuable. This guide is only here to tell you what to expect upon opening it up, how to clean the keys, and in what order to put everything back in again.

It’s also worth mentioning that this guide doesn’t show how to open up the part that houses the screen and media playback buttons. Sorry, this guide won’t really help you if that’s what you’re looking to clean.

If you’ve decided to proceed (at your own risk), then let’s get started.

What you’ll need:

  • A Logitech G15 Generation 2 Keyboard, preferably past its warranty.
  • A set of small screwdrivers (Flathead and Philips).
  • A small brush and a cloth for cleaning.
  • A few hours (unless you’re really quick).

Rule Number One

Unplug the keyboard. Don’t be like one of my high-school classmates who tried to pull the motherboard out of a computer while it was still plugged in and running.

Opening it up

Turn the keyboard over and unscrew all the screws on the back. There should be 18 of them. Don’t worry about the keys, they will not (and can not) fall out.

Screws are circled in red. The hidden clips are marked with blue rectangles.

Don’t lose the screws. Put them somewhere safe, and count them to make sure you’ve got the right amount.

the 18 screws from the keyboard

Got all 18 screws? Check.

You’ll notice that the keyboard is still holding itself together. There are four catches in the sides which will need to be unclipped. To do this, gently pry open the shell with a screwdriver at the top corner of the keyboard and work downwards. Be careful not to put the screwdriver too far inside the keyboard as you pry it open. It should require a bit of wiggling and gentle force to pop each clip open.

As you open the keyboard up, be careful that you don’t stress the ribbon still holding it together.

The insides of a Logitech G15

This is what it should look like inside.

Removing the ribbon is easy enough, but requires a bit of care. Firstly, find where the ribbon meets the the circuitboard of the bottom half of the keyboard, and locate the little black piece of plastic holding it in. Pull the little piece of plastic upwards, making sure you use the same amount of pressure on both sides. Once it comes up far enough, the ribbon should practically fall out.

Just make sure you don’t break that little black clip. I broke a clip like it in my Gen1 Nintendo DS, and it’s been causing me troubles ever since.

Where the ribbon meets the circuitboard.

Pull the little black clip upwards to release the ribbon.

Now the two parts of the keyboard should be free! Give the rubber a quick brush off, and set that whole half of the keyboard aside.

Removing the silver face panel

The next step is to remove the silver panel on the face of the keyboard. This part tends to collect a lot of grime, so it’ll be easier to clean once it’s been removed.

Use a Phillips head screwdriver to remove the 19 screws that hold the faceplate on. In the photo below, they’re marked with red circles. And again, don’t worry about the keys falling out. They won’t.

The screws are marked by red circles, and the clips have blue rectangles.

Once all the screws are out, start opening the clips that hold the faceplate on. They are marked by blue rectangles in the picture above.

Remember to put the screws in a safe place, and make sure you don’t mix them with the other screws. They’re different sizes.

The screws that hold the faceplate on.

The 19 screws that hold the faceplate on. The Logitech plate is held on by two of the screws. Make sure you don't lose them.

Now the faceplate should be free.

The faceplate of a Logitech G15 after removal

the freed faceplate.

Now is a good time to start cleaning it. Take a moist cleaning cloth and wipe the scum off the front and edges of the faceplate. I used water on the cloth, and it only took a little bit of rubbing to remove the buildup. Take note that cleaning chemicals may have unintended side effects, such as discolouration, or outright dissolving the plastic (unlikely, but possible). If you’re going to use chemicals, test them on the underside to make sure nothing bad happens before using them on the front.

Once the faceplate is clean, set it aside. It’s time to start popping the keys out.

Removing the Keys

As you’ve probably noticed by now, the keys will need to be popped out individually if you’re going to have a proper chance at cleaning them. To do it, you’ll need two small flathead screwdrivers (or similarly shaped objects). Take the screwdrivers and use them to push the clips on the keys inwards and downwards. Make sure you catch them as they come out.

Popping the keys out of a Logitech G15

A closeup of the process of key removal.

The only key I had difficulty with was the Space Key – It had four clips instead of two. I can’t give much advice on how to get it out, aside from being patient and persistent.

Also, you may notice that wider keys like the Shift and Enter keys have pieces of wire under them. They do not get in your way when taking the keys out, but when you put the keys back in, you’ll have to put the wire in place first.

If you keep at it, you’ll have all the keys out soon enough. Once they’re all free, it’s time to give them a much needed wash.

Cleaning the keys

The first thing I cleaned was not the keys, but the board itself. You’ve probably noticed by now that this is where all the junk in your keyboard hides. Take a brush and wipe all the junk out. Once it’s cleaned to your level of satisfaction, wipe all the exterior surfaces with the moist cloth. With a little bit of rubbing, all the caked on gunk should come right off.

The "board" part of a Logitech G15, minus the keys.

If a keyboard has no keys, is it just called a board?

Once the “board” is clean, set it aside with the other main parts. It’s time to work on the keys.

Cleaning the keys is pretty much the same process as cleaning every other part of the keyboard. Just wipe the top and sides of the keys with a moist cloth. It’s also worth checking under the keys to see if there’s any hair or bits of junk under them. If there is, just brush it out.

You may notice that certain parts of the keys remain rough even after rubbing at them with the cloth. I suspect that this is all that remains of the original matte finish of the keys. In other words, it’s where the keys haven’t been polished smooth over time by your fingers.

The Key layout of a Logitech G15

This is how the keys are laid out. I think I might have OCD.

After I’d finished cleaning each key, I laid them all out on position on the desk. I found this pretty helpful when it came to putting it back together again…which coincidentally is the next thing to do, if you’re happy with how you’ve cleaned it out.

Putting it back together again:

Putting the keyboard back together is relatively simple. It’s basically like pulling it apart – except backwards.

  • Push all the keys back into the keyboard. I’d recommend putting in any keys with wire backings first. Any keys that stick or jam are probably in the wrong place.
  • Clip the silver face panel onto the keyboard, then screw it back on. Don’t forget about the Logitech plate. Click here if you can’t remember where to put the screws. Make sure the faceplate doesn’t jam any of the keys.
  • Put the ribbon back into its socket, and push the small black clip down to fasten it in place.
  • Make sure that the Windows Key lock switch is in the right place. You’ll find out soon enough if it isn’t.
  • Fold the keyboard closed and squeeze the 4 clips at the sides of the keyboard to snap them shut.
  • Put in all 18 screws. Look here if you need a reminder where to put them.

Well, that was a bit of an ordeal, but the result is definitely worth it.

Conclusion

This is the first guide of any sort that I’ve put online, so let me know what you thought of it. Likewise, if I missed anything, or inaccurately said something, let me know in the comments so I can fix it. Anyways, thanks for reading, and enjoy your clean new keyboard!

This entry was posted in Guides and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

64 Responses to How to disassemble and clean a Logitech G15 (Generation 2)

  1. Jakob says:

    Thanks dude, too bad this guide isnt on the first page when googling, cause this is better than anything else. Again, thanks

    • Thanks mate, glad to hear you found it helpful.

      I’m looking at ways to get this higher up in the search ranks, but it may involve moving the site over into a DIY wordpress install. But either way, I’m glad you found it.

      • Jared says:

        I’d like to buy one of these, but I use Dvorak and rearrange my keyboards. Are the F and J key clips identical to the rest of the keys?

        • From what I can tell of the photos, it looks like most of the letter keys are interchangeable. And since F and J are on the same row on a QWERTY layout, they should be the same height and shape as each other.

  2. Victor says:

    Thanks, Great Guide :)

  3. Laust says:

    Thankgod for this guide. I was almost about to pop out the keys with a knife without opening the keyboard, like it’s possible on the old g15. :b
    I’m done cleaning mine now, and it looks fine and new :D
    A tip for cleaning the keys: Instead of cleaning every single key, i just threw them all in a bucket with water and soap. 5 minuts later i took them on and let them dry for 15 minuts or so. Then they were totally clean. (:
    Thanks for this great guide mate (:

    • Yeah, I considered doing the same initially, but I figured I should probably look into how it all works before going brute force. I’m glad my findings have been helpful to you :)

      And soapy water would work well. Depending on how grimy everything is, each key may still need a wipe, but at least it’ll wipe off easily.

  4. Eden says:

    Legend!!
    This guide is awesome :) So easy to follow, and now my G15 feels like new!! :D
    Thanks so much (:

  5. Alvar says:

    Just what i needed! Thanks!

  6. Rightback2 says:

    Great guide. Thanks again..

  7. Skr111lzz says:

    Thank you for this guide. My keys were sticking to the point that i could barely type any more. Now it is good as new.

  8. VinnyB says:

    Just an FYI (to those that still keep up on this) some later revisions of the G15 don’t use the little silver screws to keep the faceplate attached to the body. They have little plastic gray clips. (Come to think of it, I only have 8 silver screws: 6 for the LCD area, and 2 for the “Logitech” nameplate)

    Once you push them back & down (7-8 of them, I believe) the silver faceplate should come off no problems.

    Also, I found that using an old toothbrush with hot soapy water works wonders for cleaning around the key wells.

    • That’s interesting to know. The lack of screws would definitely make the disassembly and reassembly process much faster, but there’s not much left holding it on if the clips break.

      And I reckon a toothbrush is brilliant for the job. I didn’t have a spare one around at the time, but if I did I would have used it.

  9. Shawn says:

    Great guide, very detailed and easy to follow.
    For the longest time i just plucked the keys out with a flathead and used a q-tip to clean what i could get to, but this seems to be a much better method.
    Definitely going to be giving this a try.
    Thanks poster.

  10. Mike says:

    I’m just through reading and now I’ll start cleaning. Glad for your OCD! I’ll repost when done on how easy it really was…hopefully!

    Thanks for the time and trouble, regardless.

  11. Mike says:

    I guess I have a Generation 1 keyboard…it’s much more complicated and quite different from your instructions. Not being the owner of this, I wish the differences were more obvious just looking at the keyboard.
    Thanks for the details…if you ever do this for Generation 1, I’ll be back!

    Best Regards,

    Mike

  12. scaboo says:

    Thank you for this guide. Have saved me many dollar$.. ;)

  13. mledesign says:

    Awesome guide, cheers :)

  14. rob1060 says:

    Thorough and concise, great visual cues — made my job a snap, thanks!

  15. Kryo4 says:

    Excellent guide, Spilled soda on my Gen 2 the other day and the shift key is sticking like crazy now. This guide ought to be a big help for getting the gunk off. Thanks again!!

  16. tomas.pruzina says:

    Great guide!
    I used pliers to push off keys though, I found it very easy and quick

  17. Manny Ortiz says:

    This is the BEST guide ever! It was so helpful with all the photos and step-by-step…it was exactly what I was looking for and needed.
    Thank you again and maybe a paypal link or better yet a BitCoin address where I can throw a few quid your way.

    Thank you so much.

    FR

  18. Aywren says:

    Thank you SO much for this in-depth article. I know a lot of time went into it, but it was beyond helpful for me. My keyboard was in serious need of cleaning and it’s been a long time since it’s looked and felt this good!

    Tweezers also worked easily to get the keys off, btw. :)

  19. JG says:

    Awesome. I’ve done similar to other keyboards in the past, but was a little concerned about disassembling my gen2 G15. Took me about an hour to take it apart/clean it/put it back together again.
    :D

  20. Pat says:

    If your G15 keyboard works fine, DON’T take it apart. A lot of people have screwed perfectly functional keyboards up following pointless tutorials like this. Once the LCD ribbon is ripped (It’s almost like paper), the LCD is completely useless and you will have to get a new keyboard. Likewise with the plastic underlay. A little scratch or some moisture and it is useless since some keys will never respond again. So before trying this, ask yourself “Is it really worth the risk?”

    • Your warning is definitely true. When disassembling anything, you have to be prepared for it to never work again. It’s why I put a disclaimer right at the start of the tutorial. Can’t take the chance? then don’t do it.

      However, if you are willing to take the chance, then it’s good to go in knowing what to expect. A lot of people have screwed up things because no tutorials existed, and they got caught on something that they could have been pre-warned about. So as someone who likes to disassemble stuff, I feel I should do my part in helping other people who think the same.

      I can’t say I did much with the plastic underlay, because it was pretty clean already (the rubber key-plunger sheet protected it well), but I can agree that damaging it might be a problem. In my case, I just gave it a quick brush with a dry cloth and set it aside, because it didn’t need any more than that.

      As for the LCD Ribbon, it felt pretty solid, definitely not like paper. If it rips, it’s either because the ribbon is already dodgy, or you’re doin’ it very wrong. The probable point of failure around the ribbon is the little clip where it meets the circuitboards, not the ribbon itself. Either way, it’s good to be careful when working with these things.

  21. NL says:

    Thank you for the guide.

    I ran into a little problem putting the pieces back together. I have this one piece sitting around and not quite sure where it goes back to. I think it’s part of the LCD, but I just can’t remember which part of it. This is the a picture of the piece I’m talking about, I’d appreciated if someone could give me any hints. Thanks!

  22. webrosc says:

    Thanks for this guide, saved me a lot of time

  23. Doomfrost says:

    Hey thanks for the guide, wouldn’t have been able to clean my keyboard without it. Cheers!

  24. Patrick says:

    any chance of changing the led for the WASD keys? to a different color?

    • Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem very likely. The keys aren’t individually lit, so the best you could do is to black out the WASD keys by putting something opaque inside them.

  25. WebGremlin says:

    Thanks so much for this post, I found it extremely helpful. I disassembled everything, put it in a big bucket of all-purpose cleaner (with the exeption of the little display, obviously), and let it soak for a while. Then I used some old small brush that came with my old electric razor to clean the peeks and gaps. After it dried I assembled it as described in your post, and it looks ever so shiney again. :)

  26. nxc says:

    Thank you so much man, I’ve been holding back from cleaning my KB because all the damn guides are for Generation 1. Glad I found this, its perfect! Many thanks again and again. Hope your work gets recognition :)

  27. Voltaic says:

    Ah yeah. Worked perfectly.

    Thank you so much for the step by step disassembly!

  28. SquareWheel says:

    Great guide, thanks for writing it up.

  29. Red Machine D says:

    I’m cleaning my keys using hot water and dish soap in a large peanut butter jar. Soak, shake, clean!

  30. JacksonAY says:

    Great guide, thanks for the time you put into this. Many people will find this useful, the orange g15 is a very popular keyboard.

  31. Salmonski says:

    good guide matey, probably saved me money for parts/replacement ^_^

  32. Pierre says:

    Many thanks indeed for this great guide! These beasties sure do accumulate a lot of crud under the keys!! I have two suggestions that might assist other though. I used a pair of long nosed (5.5cm length) pliers to pop the keys and I worked out a reasonably simple method to get the space bar out. I left the space bar until last and then held the board upside down with number pad end towards me and pulling on the far end of the space bar with my right thumb and forefinger. Whilst keeping the tension on the space bar I then released the furthest clip with a flat-edges jewelers screwdriver in my left hand. I then popped the centre clip with my needle nosed pliers (left hand again) and then the closest clip with the jewelers screwdriver (and left hand again). I’m a leftie btw so right handers need to reverse the hands). Hope this helps.

  33. JacksonAy says:

    Great guide. It was the best I’ve found for the orange g15. My keyboard looks brand new again, I forgot how good it looks. It takes quite a bit of time, but if it prolongs the life of your keyboard (which I’m sure it would) it is well worth it. Thanks again for putting this up.

  34. Garp says:

    Thanks for the guide! All nice and clean again. :)

  35. Clownius says:

    I had just about given up on my G15 so many keys were sticking badly. Didn’t want to splash out on a new one. So im giving this a go. I got it apart fine other than the clips for the Silver plate being a PITA!! But nothing broken so far. Now for a scrub and the big test putting it back together.

    ima t the point where i said stuff it. Things near useless now may as well try. if i break it i was up for a new one anyway. So well worth the risk. Dont think i would do this on a regular basis though only when its acting up.

    • Clownius says:

      Well i had some problems with that damned ribbon cable. Took 3 or 4 goes to get it right. but its all together and works great again. Feels like a new keyboard :)

  36. Greg says:

    Thanks, my keyboard looks and feels like new.
    I have cleaned plenty of normal keyboards before but I was shocked by just how dirty mine was.
    My next task is to change the LED colour for the keyboard, I reckon blue or white will light up much brighter than the default orange. Maybe I will add a board and replace the single colour with an RGB one and be able to programmatically control the board to change colour on the fly.

  37. Your all retarded :). I just toss the plastic bits in my dishwasher and run a rinse cycle!

    (dont wash regular or your melt that shiz!)

  38. Biggie says:

    Thank you and great guide. Exactly what I was looking for.

  39. Ale says:

    Hi man, great guide but I need to clean between de membranes of the keyboard those that the rubber membrane press over. some of the soda get under those I clean with water damp napkinis but still some keys act bad. “m” result on “m5″, “n” is worst makes “n+ctrl+f” and windows key dont work at all. please help.

    Thanks.

    • r.. says:

      Some electronic component shops sell conducting silver paint, that you can apply with a small brush. Also, you may have luck (if you can work very precise) with simple aluminium foil and scotch tape to restore the lanes. Both methods are by no means a guarantueed success – moist (oxidizing) keyboard membranes have been a problem sinceever they were invented, but depending on your time, patience and budget it may be worth a shot.

  40. Ray says:

    NIce guide! thanks alot!

  41. kangarooster says:

    Helped a lot, thanks you SO MUCH :)

  42. LMY says:

    a note to who tries: BE CAREFUL with that mini display cable, it really is short! (and cut your nails)
    I did open my g15 to clean it:
    First time I did, I reassembled poorly and the bottom keys didn’t work. (leds were stuck in the keys)
    Second time, I broke the cable of the mini display. Ok not a great loss anyway…
    Third time, I cut a wire with one of my nails and the NJI9 keys stop working. :(
    Side note: the G110 is much easier to open and clean :)

  43. Sam says:

    My + key was left indented (pressed) after putting it back together. Its one of the longer keys with the longer clips. Pressing this key results in it staying depressed. Any ideas? Sam

  44. Don says:

    Just AWESOME. It was very useful!
    Great job!!

  45. Amanda Guess says:

    This was absolutely amazing! My keyboard looks great. I have all the grime gone!

  46. Peter says:

    my A rubber was torn..and i replace it with brightness rubber by this tut..works like charm..
    thanks man
    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  47. Millis says:

    This guide is really helpful!
    Just followed all the steps, easy as cake and my keyboard is as good as new! <3 Thank you so much!

  48. tj says:

    Thanks Brilliant Guide.. i have had one problem, my media and mute buttons stopped working, the five buttons under the display work fine, just (>>,<<,stop, play, vol +,vol- and mute) anybody have any ideas what the problem might be… Thanks

  49. Lapkritinis says:

    Very detailed pictures – loved this. And my keyboard is like new :)

  50. Trax says:

    Thanks man was a perfect step by step! The hardesr part in it all wss to get the arrow keys back in right place ;-)
    and big thanks for the details around that nasty little cable connecting the kyboard to the lcd display, huge help there

    keep up the good works and thanks for the gleaning advice! As im living with a cat i now have enough fur from my keyboard to construct a new kitten fur :p

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s