Cleaning a Macbook Pro - Semi special conditions apply

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Syndacate, Aug 3, 2008.

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  1. macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2008

    This is a 100% serious question, so mods, plz don't lock this thinking I'm just being an *******. I really do need help with this.

    I put my laptop on the floor with the lid open (because I was coding) so my girlfriend and myself could have some private time.

    I'll skip the details, there's female juices all over my macbook pro keyboard. The reason why I state the substance is b/c it's important you know that it's sticky & is started to not smell normal 'n the like..

    I need to wash the keyboard, but I don't know what I can use that's both wet, and will also take off any sticky stuff on there. I don't know what I can use chemical wise on it besides a damp towel.

    As soon as I found out (I'm not sure how long that was after it happened) I turned off the computer and flipped it upside down to drain, and some did.

    I wiped the keys and got as thoroughly in there with a damp towel (water) as I could.

    The macbook pro's structure is different than most laptops, I'm sure I can google instructions on how to take it apart, but A) I'm afraid to, B) I'm not about to try 'n explain this to apple care, and C) I don't know much about the keyboard, because it's back-lit. Is it just like any other laptop keyboard, where there's a flat surface underneath, or is there places due to the back-lighting where liquids can go?

    I looked down in it with a flash light and it seems to be just a flat surface, so I'm pretty sure I might be able to do this without taking it apart. So what chemicals can I use on the keys that will help remove sticky stuff but not damage the case and still clean it up?

    I'm assuming if I just use any kind of "gunk" remover, like windex in very small moderations on a damp towel of heavily diluted windex it would work fine, though I've never dealt with cleaning this case with anything other than water and I don't know what will happen. Normally I'd spring for the acetone, or gasoline, but I'm afraid it'll eat away at this, even if used in heavy moderation.

    Tips, are all welcome, and if it's possible, plz don't bash me, as Jess said, accidents happen. I don't intend on using my MBP until I get this problem resolved, but I do have a program to turn in Monday. I removed the battery and purged it (not that it makes any difference b/c I didn't take out the backup battery for clock 'n such).

    Uhh, thanks for your potential help, and just a lil FYI, there's not much information about this on Google.
  2. macrumors 65816


    Apr 1, 2008
    Dartford, UK
    Take all the keys out, put them in a bath of warm water and soap, then wipe down the thing under the keyboard with a damp cloth. :D
  3. macrumors 68000


    Jul 30, 2008
    Vancouver, BC & Sydney, NSW
  4. macrumors 6502

    Jul 21, 2008
    It's too late now but it's worth to think about this in the future.
  5. macrumors 68020


    Sep 4, 2005

    I'm not one for the vajayjay so I'm not sure how it all works - but mother of God! - that is vile. Vile, vile, vile.

    Unless you were humping atop the damn thing, I honestly see no way this could happen.

    *Flees MR for fear of a descriptive response*
  6. macrumors 6502


    May 31, 2006
    Greenville, SC
    From what I remember, removing keys is not easy, and seating them again is equally tough. Are we talking heavy seepage under the keys? (I'm trying to just forget what the actual substance is and think that you spilled a beer. Yeah, beer.) If its only minor, you ought to be able to get paper towel under. For example, to clean under your "R" key, push down your "F" then "T", et cetera, going around in a circle until you get all underneath the key. Goodness, I hope you get this sorted out, and learned your lesson.
  7. macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2006
    Best topic ever! F*ckbook Pro! Take the keyboard off, and wash it thoroughly and let it dry somewhere ( preferably not where you're having private time )
  8. macrumors 65816


    Aug 7, 2006
    why are people so repressed?

    I would of tried my tongue. Since by now it was to late I would try a light detergent.
  9. macrumors 68020


    Sep 4, 2005

    I think I've just sicked a little into my own mouth.
  10. macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
  11. macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2007
    Use something like a paperclip to pop the keys off and clean them up. Clean the area underneath them with a moist (not dripping!) cloth, ideally while the computer is upside down. Do not use any cleaning products, just use water. Let it dry upside down.

    Risk is just as great for any liquids to get in through the speaker holes, but hopefully there's no damage. Good luck.

  12. csc
    macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2008
  13. Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    This comment combined with your name had me in stitches. :D

    We have a winner! :)
  14. macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2008
    What is so hard about taking off the keys and cleaning underneath?

    just do it, since you dont seem to want to do anything else.
  15. macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2005
    Never Ender
    I seriously cannot stop laughing....this is great and is the winner of the "I spilled _____ on my MBP" threads.
  16. macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2008
    If I were you I would take it to your local Apple store and ask the genius what to do :D
  17. macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2008
    Hmm...I guess you should do as others say, carefully take the keys off and wipe the insides. But honestly I don't think water will do the trick. Maybe to kill the smell, put a few sheets of Bounce (you know those lint removing / smell enhancer / softener sheets you put in your dryer with clothes?) on top of the keyboard, and shut the lid and leave it for like a day or 2. My friend did that when someone puked in her living room, and it completely killed the smell for some reason.

    But anyway, I say you face it like a man and don't do anything about it. If someone asks what that funny smell is, tell them to sniff up because this is probably the only time in their life they'll ever get to smell it.
  18. macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2007
    Charlotte, NC
    "The best part of you ran down your dad's keyboard.":D
  19. mpw

    Jun 18, 2004
    Please, please video your trip to the Genius Bar over this; I want to see the guy's (or gal's) face :D
  20. macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    Your letter to Penthouse plea for help just doesn't ring true. You said you put your laptop on the floor. How did said juices get from the bed onto your laptop on the floor?A little help here. I really want to believe you.
  21. thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2008
    Eh, I don't even know where the closest apple store is to me, I've never even seen one before in real life besides the ones in NYC (that's how 'none' there is by me), and I'm not going to bother shipping, this seems like a trivial but pain-in-the-ass problem.

    Let somebody else find the closest Apple Store to Yulan, NY O.O.

    That one made me LoL.

    Yeah, bounce sounds like a good, solid plan, but I still need something to really "clean" it, now that it's all prolly sticky underneath and the like.

    I don't have a local apple store o_O. Never even seen one 'cept when I travel to NYC. Yulan, NY is where I live, up in the stix of NY.

    I seriously weighed posting this here for about 40 minutes while trying to get it all out of the keyboard, until the good tangy smell started dying and the not-so-good dry smell started to come in - then I posted it here. Trust me, this was not the first place I wanted to post - but google didn't have much info.

    I didn't even know they came out on a laptop keyboard, and I especially wasn't sure how it was b/c of the back lighting system. There's simply no apple stores by me and I don't feel like going through the whole hastle of shipping it back for them to replace the keyboard.

    Holy ****, that looks like a pain in the ass, but luckily I got a lot of old lock-pick-type tools which I think I can push those things in. Thanks for the link, I think I'ma end up taking out the keys. There's simply no way I can get it all out from outside the keyboard like this, even if I use a toothbrush (not used anymore) on the sides of the keys or whatever.

    Thx a lot for the link.

    Yeah, I'll put tape over the speaker holes anyways, even still the I will use a towel with very little moisture in it. If it shorts out - then I'll have to ship it back O.O. Guess I'll jut use water then. Should work, assuming I get it all out. I have some old tooth brushes I don't use anymore (never threw them out), I'm sure I can get in all the nooks 'n crannies under there with that.

    No...hrm...I wonder if those will work...

    It's actually very good, as long as it's not dried (like it is now).

    Yeah, that's what I was thinking, but I'm afraid of chemicals eating away at it - I'll probably use plain water.

    Does the whole keyboard come off as a whole? Or do I just pop all the keys out? (or both)?

    Yeah, from looking at the picture it looks like it's a pain in the ass, but just takes some patience. Nah, we're not talking heavy seepage, it was a splatter type deal, at about a 60* angle off the bottom edge from accross the trackpad's right side, space bar, v key, to F3/F4. Stopped just short of the screen, in that rubber joint thing that holds the screen still.

    Yeah, fortunately I learned the lesson the hard way - SAVE AND FINISH BEFORE MOVING ONTO OTHER PROJECTS.

    At some point in your life you'll run into what's called "a squirter" - the name speaks for itself. We were near the edge too so it's not like it was that far. If I took pictures of where it was and where we were it'd make perfect sense - but I'm not going to...and it's not vile, it's awesome...except when it spills on your MBP's keyboard because you were in too much of a rush to finish and close it.

    That won't rub the lettering off the keys, will it?

    @ ALL:
    Thanks for your help and keeping the jokes to a minimum, I greatly appreciate it.

    I copied my project onto this computer and stayed up since the incident and finished it (haven't gone to sleep yet), so now that the work is out of the way I can work on it at my leisure.

    It doesn't seem like it's that big a deal, but I mean the smell is kinda not-so-good when it's dried and I don't want the keys to stick.

    Thank you, csc, for posting that link, I guess I'll take a nap so I'm well rested, then get to work popping the keys out of this thing. I figure i only need to pop out like, 1-7, W-U, S-J, X-N, & the space bar..but then again there's a chance that it's not 100% level and it slid to one side or another underneath, so maybe it would be better if I popped them all out and cleaned the whole panel underneath.

    I'll use a damp towel and see where that gets me. I'll let u guys know how it works out.

    TIP: If you're working and your girlfriend's hot and bothered, use your head, finish what you're doing, then change projects. This is a stupid problem to have, but it's a problem none-the-less. I'll let you guys know how the key-popping & cleaning turns out.
  22. thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2008
    I'm tired, I'm cranky, and I can't really give a ****-less if you believe me or not, it still happened whether you believe it or not, and I still have to deal with it, whether you believe it or not. Laptop was on the floor, yes. We were on the bed, yes. Your accusations of me lying isn't important enough for me to take pictures so you can understand how it happened, sorry.

  23. macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2006
    No, you can't just take the keyboard off, you have to pop the upper case off as well! there's a guide here, that's very helpful with pictures of each step! ;)
  24. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2008
  25. macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    The best non-disassembly way is probably to work around a piece of fairly fine cloth lightly soaked with detergent around the crevices of the keyboard. As others suggest, taking off the worst-afflicted keys carefully may also facilitate more thorough cleaning.

    I would also say print out your porn next time and face the other way, well out of range of your computer.
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