Member Since: Dec 20, 2006
Location: Middletown, Pennsylvania
Mac Specs: 15" MBP, Core i7/2GHz, 8GB RAM, 480GB Crucial M500 SSD
04-09-2012, 02:53 PM
Here at Mac-Forums, we see quite a few questions about what to do after spilling liquid inside of Mac Notebooks. Obviously, liquids and electronics don't mix, so while the answer may seem obvious, there are a few tricks you can try to bring your equipment back to life.
- First and foremost, immediately remove ALL power, this includes the battery (if possible). The chances of a short occurring as the liquid continues to travel within your machine are greatly reduced by removing power quickly.
- Allow the machine to dry out for a significant period of time, preferably in an area of low humidity and with good air circulation. Generally this means a minimum of 72 hours. Longer time periods may be necessary depending on the ambient humidity level. Drying time may be decreased by sealing the notebook in a box with uncooked, dry rice or silica gel packets, which reduce humidity.
- DO NOT test the machine until after you've allowed a significant drying period. Obviously, you're probably anxious to see if you're facing a hefty repair bill, but your patience will be rewarded. Generally, the longer you wait to plug it back in, the better.
- Disassembling the machine to clean it will void your warranty - but then, if you spilled liquid in the machine, your warranty is void anyway. So, if you're comfortable with it, it might not be a bad idea to get in there and clean as best you can. Disassembly instructions are available at iFixIt.com Use lightly moistened cotton swabs to gently blot the liquid effected areas. Do not use any kind of solvents on the internals.
- Spill damage is always very evident. Most electronics manufacturers, Apple included, affix liquid-sensitive stickers on the insides of machines to detect spills. Don't take the machine to an Apple Store, expecting a warranty repair.
- If you power the machine on and find that it's not fully functional, or that functionality is limited, the damage is likely already done. You should not expect it to improve without replacing the systemboard and/or cabling and other components. In most cases, these repairs can easily exceed the value of the machine.
And finally, it makes no difference what the liquid was. The steps to take are the same for each type of liquid. Water, beer, wine, orange juice, apple juice, coffee with lots of sugar and cream, milk, soda... anything... if it's wet, then it's bad.
Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!