spillage advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by noday42, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2007
    hey guys, so I have a sort of unique problem...

    Yesterday, I had an unfortunate incident of spilled coffee on my few months old 13" MBA. However, by some freakin miracle, nothing became unresponsive (its running fine, and all the keys and trackpad still work). However, due to the sugary stuff they put in the coffee, some of the keys are a little sticky (mostly the space bar). The track pad is also a little less "clicky" than it was before. It still does click, but it's harder to feel it and I liked the tactile feedback.

    Now my question. I know Applecare doesn't cover spill damage. But, technically nothing was really damaged/needs fixing...it just needs a few keys cleaned underneath. Anyone know the likelihood that a Genius will help me out? Or am I screwed with sticky keys forever?
  2. macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2010
    why don't you call the store/visit the store? I'm pretty sure you will get a more definite answer there.
  3. Guest

    Oct 7, 2010
    Keyboards can't really be easily cleaned. They would most likely simply replace it at your cost.
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2007
    ugh, not the answer i wanted to hear, but it is what it is. The only reason I ask here is because the closest store to me is 1.5 hours away. I might wait til I travel home for Xmas and go to a store then, however, I'm afraid the Genius bar is going to swarmed by computer illiterate baby boomers and disgruntled Apple employees. We'll see I guess.
  5. macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2009
    If apple won't do anything about it (which is pretty likely then you can take it apart and flush it with water (not the battery). It is likely that your warranty will be invalidated anyway as they have liquid damage indicators so washing it with water will help get rid of the sugar. Leave it to dry in an airing cupboard for a couple of days to make sure there is no water left then it should work.

    Before people say it's a stupid idea..it works and water is better than sugar! A friend of mine did the same thing with tea (to his Dell) so he took it apart and soaked it in water and let it dry. It works perfectly but he's missing part of the media panel due to loosing some screws!

    Oh and I accept no liability if it doesn't improve it or damages it more!
  6. macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2010
    I had a water spillage case resulting in a dead battery. Apple wouldn't even open it up to look at it. If Apple turns you down, I suggest going to a authorized tech repair place.
  7. Guest

    Oct 7, 2010
    I do not recommend water at all! This is a really bad idea!

    For one, most regular water has minerals in it that can and do conduct electricity. Secondly many of these minerals can corrode components in the system and if everything is currently working it may only be that the keyboard is what is damaged. Flushing it with water will only add to it.

    What you can do if your warranty is voided is to have it taken apart and cleaned with the proper solutions depending on the surface (circuit card cleaner for the system board and water/soap for the case.

    Keyboards are a bit more tricky as they often contain layers of plastic in them that can trap water which is another reason I don't recommend it.

    Bottom line is to do the job right and leave the batch tub method for those with money to burn.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2007
    Baltimore, MD
    did you happen to use an amex and is it within 90 days? I spilled milk on my 11" just 2 months after I bought it, like a month ago. I went ahead and got the highest tier repair which was supposed to be around $800 but my amex covered it entirely and I got to recover my warranty.
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2007
    unfortunately no. Bought it on a citibank card back in July right after they came out.

    There's a local authorized repair shop down the street, so I'm going to bring it in to them tomorrow and see what they say. Thought it'd be an easy fix since nothing was actually physically damaged (and doesn't need replacement), but maybe not. I'm just hesitant to start pulling off keys myself to clean them.
  10. macrumors 604

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Other people have said that distilled water will not harm electronics. It's normal tap water that has the problem.I would probably take it apart and try distilled water.
  11. macrumors 601

    Dec 14, 2007
    Take note....if you go to apple you may invalidate your warranty. Pop the keys and use a swab to try and clean from the top.

    Dont leave or use liquids near your MBA. Its just not easily or affordable serviced.
  12. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2007
    can anyone direct me to a tutorial/video on how to remove the spacebar? The only posts and videos I can find are for the old airs and unibody macbook pros. I think the pro one might work,but I'm having trouble getting the key off, so I'm not sure if they're the same or not.
  13. macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2009
    isopropyl alcohol is what you need to clean it out correctly with minimal risk

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