Flush the typewriter

From Typewriter Wiki

The general fix for sticky keys and parts is flushing with various organic solvents. The solvent of choice is mineral spirits or paint thinner, although isopropyl alcohol is also used often. Isopropyl alcohol tends to be safer for health and paint, but much weaker and thus less effective. Always flush in a well-ventilated area far from sparks -- organic solvents are flammable! -- and be wary of getting solvents on the paint of your typewriter.

The two most common areas one may have to flush are the segment and carriage rails of typewriters.

To flush safely and effectively, here are a couple of tips:

  • Try to work with minimal amounts of solvent. Alcohol and mineral spirits can both wreak havoc on paint and one's health.
  • Work the key or part back and forth, and wipe any gunk that comes out off with a cloth as required. This ensures gunk is lifted away from the joint and/or removed from the typewriter permanently.
  • If neither alcohol nor mineral spirits completely solve the issue, add some WD-40, work the keys, and flush with mineral spirits only afterwards. Old WD-40 can harden with dust into a coagulant that is best dissolved with new WD-40. Flushing with mineral spirits afterwards removes both old and new WD-40, cleaning the system.
  • After flushing, do not leave the typewriter in extreme conditions, especially if alcohol was used. The water content in the alcohol may lead to flash rusting.

Videos: [Phoenix Typewriter]