Let's say I spill some coffee or soda on my laptop, and that makes is very sticky and impossible to work with,

So my friend asks me

What is wrong with your laptop, why is it so sticky?

So what should I say about the coffee or soda?

There is coffee sticking on my keyboard or screen.

Is the last phrase natural or idiomatic? If not, can anyone suggest me a corrected version?

  • You can always make something up, eg: YOU: "Oh, that's just F-L-A." FRIEND: "Whats F-L-A?" YOU: "Foreign liquid adhesion." The stickiness comes from sugar, milk, or whipped cream, not coffee.
    – user264
    Commented May 25, 2013 at 0:58
  • I think this is Too Localised. Why on earth would anyone need to know the "idiomatic" version of "There is coffee stickiness on my keyboard"? Are we supposed to have a special version of that for people who don't take sugar, and therefore have "not-stickiness" on their keyboard after a spillage? Commented May 25, 2013 at 1:50

2 Answers 2


I would respond by describing the action that resulted in the current state:

  • I spilled some soda on it earlier.
  • I got some coffee in my keyboard earlier.

Spoken, this would probably have some expression of exasperation or frustration which I wouldn't normally put in writing:

  • Ugh... I got some coffee on it earlier.
  • *sigh* I spilled something I was drinking on my computer earlier.
  • Agh, I spilled something on it.

I can't think of a natural response that uses your particular word. However, I can contrive the following sentences to illustrate stuck to and sticky:

  • There's some dried coffee stuck to my screen.
  • There's some dried soda making it sticky.
  • 1
    Oh, you ninja! xP
    – WendiKidd
    Commented May 24, 2013 at 22:55

You could just call it a residue:

Why is your keyboard so sticky?
That's just a residue from when I spilled coffee.

That's the word used at this website's column entitled How to Clean Soda From a Laptop Keyboard:

Dampen a cotton swab with water and dab the spilled liquid to dilute the sugar and loosen any caking that has occurred. Use a clean cotton swap to pick up the dried soda residue from the keyboard.

A Stack Exchange user also used that word in this question:

I spilled Dr Pepper in my Das Keyboard. They are emphatic about not trying to remove the keys lest you break the mechanism. Any ideas on a way to clean out the sticky residue?

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