If you spill coffee into your MacBook or MacBook Pro, the trick is to get it to MacMedics fast. Don’t try to fix it yourself, and just because it seems to be working OK, does NOT mean you’re out of the woods. Best thing to do is try to mop up excess liquid, remove the battery, then get it to us a quickly as possible.
Here are some Do-It-Yourself procedures to avoid:
1. Don’t try to turn the unit on NO MATTER WHAT. If there is liquid in the unit, and it’s making a connection between anything, then that could very well be the end of your laptop.
2. Don’t try to take the unit apart yourself. It’s not that hard to take off most MacBook’s top case, but to ensure the liquid is gone, the logic board needs to be removed in almost every case.
3. Don’t try to clean your logic board or any other part of your computer with “distilled” water. In fact, we don’t recommend you even try to clean it at all.
4. If moisture gets in, it’s usually not going to go away on it’s own. If your computer seems to be working after a spill, then that means you most likely got lucky and we might be able to fix/save your MacBook or MacBook Pro. But, in order to do so, turn the unit off and remove the battery. The liquid problem almost never goes away on it’s own.
5. If you have something like coffee, orange juice, soda, and many other type of acidic liquids, two things, 1. the acid will cause more corrosion than just water, and 2. Anything that has sugars in it won’t totally evaporate, it will just turn in a syrup which can cause it’s own set of problems. If you are growing a corrosion “science fair” project inside your laptop, you’ll end up with something that looks like mold that we call “creeping crud“. This stuff is nasty, because as long as it’s inside your unit, it can sort of “grow” and “creep” to reach other parts of your computer and cause more damage along the way. Anything it touches and then grows on will get get fried if power is applied (even well after the liquid is long gone). It’s also very brittle and it can crack off and then “float” around inside of your unit causing more issues as it “pinballs” its way around the inside of your computer.
6. Do us a big favor, don’t put your Apple laptop into an oven to dry it out. This can cause a whole new set of problems. We just wrapped up writing an estimate on a Unibody MacBook Pro that the owner tried to take it apart, then tried to clean the keyboard with water, and then baked the whole thing in the oven. Total repair $1700. New computer $1200.
One other thing to think about: Your hard drive. If your data is NOT backed up, your liquid soaked laptop could be putting your data at risk. This is the first thing we look a when working on a liquid spill case. We remove the hard drive and check to ensure that your data is safe. Most DIY repairs don’t take this into account, and most won’t take the controller off the hard drive to ensure there’s no liquid under it. When making a back up plan, you should take into account laptop damage as a possible way for your data to get in harm’s way. Please ensure you have a back up (tested and working) at all times.
Here’s a testimonial for one that we fixed a while back. This client was smart and he got the unit to us quickly, so we could get the coffee out while it was still wet.
“Well I’ve received my MacBook delivered back to me via your courier; and, I have to tell you that it was like getting a member of the family home from the hospital. Five days after buying my MacBook, I spilled coffee across the open laptop: I was certain that I had just spent $1,200 for coffee I wouldn’t get to enjoy. I never dreamed you could have saved my files– much less the entire computer. I am in awe of the dedication and skill it must have taken to disassemble my laptop, clean it piece by piece, and then return it to me as good as new. Thank you for the attention, the care, and the professionalism you demonstrated in far exceeding my expectations in quality of service and affordability. I highly recommend MacMedics, and would encourage any Mac user who drinks coffee to put your number on speed dial.”