Coffee spill on keyboard and hinge area. Cleaned it up. Have NOT turned it on yet.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by blitzftw, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. blitzftw macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2013
    Hello guys. Need some advice on dealing with a coffee spill.

    Occured 24 hrs ago. Macbook pro 2010, 13-inch. Got all over keyboard and hinge/vent area. Immediately shut it down. Pulled Battery. Cleaned up cofee that got onto to the underside of mobo.

    Inverted the macbook and let it sit on a few bounty napkins. The cofee came back out of the keyboard and onto the paper towel.

    Let it dry till this morning. I saw some residue on the back side. Searched around and used q-tip and isopropyl alocohol and cleaned off residue on the back side of mobo. Let it dry again.

    Have NOT turned it back on yet. What else can I do to save it? I know going to the apple store won't really help, cause it was a a good amount of coffee. I'm pretty comfortable doing at DIY job.

    Have to wait for some tools to arrive before I go through the iFixit teardown guide.

    Considering the coffee got to the underside of mobo, I'm assuming there is residue on the mobo side that is directly under the keyboard. Since coffee/acid is pretty corrosive, how do I go about cleaning the mobo once I take it apart?

    Any advice or suggestions?
  2. FuLL macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2013
    Take motherboard of and clean it all the way with alcohol. let it dry for half an hour.. Meanwhile you clean evertyhing else inside.. check that thereäs no coffee spills anymore.. You may have to change the keyboard but you can try it.. it may work or not..
  3. blitzftw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2013
    Do you think it's safe to turn it on and get some data that I need for a class?

    Or is it too much of a risk of shorting something?

    The kit from iFixit won't come for a few days and I don't have a SATA to USB cable on me.

    I have a crucial m4 ssd in there btw.
  4. maxosx macrumors 68020

    Dec 13, 2012
    Southern California
    Do NOT turn it on.

    I know you're in a bind (been there myself) but it was many years ago before I had the knowledge I do today. My spill didn't even hit the top of the keyboard or palmrest. The extremely small amount of coffee spilled on the table alongside my laptop. Somehow a little (a few drops) got into a USB port, turned it on & it shorted the entire motherboard.

    Good luck with yours.
  5. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Take the bottom plate off and check for liquid.
  6. FuLL macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2013
    If you haven't cleaned it don't try to turn it on.. it will blow components..

    If you have cleaned mobo fully and checked everything else it's safe to turn on but still it's not 100% that it is working.

    If you're afraid of hdd you can take it off first.

    You can try to connect only battery, keyboard and lvds(screen) cable.. that's all you need to power it on. if it starts normally to "?" screen you can connect your HDD and take what you need. then connect all the other cables one by one.
  7. blitzftw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2013
    Yea I've already cleaned the mobo area accessible from the bottom plate.

    I have NOT cleaned the part of the mobo under the keyboard.

    I guess I will wait for the tools to arrive and take the mobo out completely and clean it.

    I saw some residue on the dc board/MagSafe area. I've cleaned that with qtip/isopropylalco.

    Pic showing residue in upper right corner before cleaning.

    Attached Files:

  8. blitzftw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2013
    Pic after cleaning.

    It's been about 24 hrs since it has happened.

    Attached Files:

  9. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Coffee is good for your notebook. Makes it wakeup faster. ;)
    It is probably fine after it is dried and even cleaned. Stuff can happen but it isn't that fragile. Often takes quite a bit and usually the damage is done immediately as most notebooks run while they are being mistreated.
  10. blitzftw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2013
    I'm just concerned how much got in under tr keyboard and onto the motherboard.

    As soon as the coffee fell into to keyboard, the fans kicked up to max speed/noise. I turned it off within 5 secs of the spill but still heard the fans.

    The keyboard top row does feel a bit sticky when the keys are pressed.

    If I go to the apple store, will they take it apart to evaluate the damage or just say, "oh, liquid spill. We can't do much at point".
  11. Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    Don't give up. My son spilled a cup of water and totally drenched my MBP(C2D 2.53). It took literally 3 weeks for it to dry out enough before it started working again. Has been working like a champ for a year and a half since.

    I know that if you need one NOW, that's a heck of a long time to wait.
  12. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Have the right tools. Take everything apart and soak most things (don't soak your HDD, optical drive, LCD, battery) in deionized water. If you do not have deionized water, use distilled water (pick up a cart full from your local Walmart). Soak it in your tub for an hour; this may sound counter intuitive, but this is displace the coffee, and the sugar and whatever else is in there, with clean water. Next thing you want to do is to let it air dry as much as possible. Don't bother with a hair dryer or whatnot. When you think it's fully dry, get a large garbage bag (or a really big ziplock bag if you can), toss the parts in there, and get one of these in there. Tie it up really well and let it sit for a couple days. This is get rid of the remaining moisture.

    Reassemble. Be sure to reapply the thermal paste.

    Good luck.
  13. blitzftw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2013
    Soak as in dip it in the water?

    I saw this on anandtech(mobo water bath).i was a bit concerned but it sounds like a possible solution?

    Will apple be of any help in assessing damage while I wait to the parts/tools to arrive?

    I think most of the cofee went to the side of machine near the hinge where the power button is. I'm pretty sure the dc board is damaged/won't work.
  14. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Yes as in fully submerge in water.

    You ever do your dirty dishes with stains on them? Well I always soak those first. Then I clean them. Well for parts you don't want soap and scrubbing, but soaking is good.

    I have cleaned a lot of computer parts with just deionized water.
  15. blitzftw, Mar 5, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013

    blitzftw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2013

    So I was able to follow the iFixit teardown guide and removed the logic board. There was no residue on the mobo side under the keyboard. I also went ahead and removed the keys and there were no cofee stains.

    It seems the cofee only got in through the vents and went directly underneath the mobo and sat on the bottom plate and near the dc board.

    So after cleaning the dc board and some other residue in the edge areas with isopropyl aclohol, I let it dry since last night.

    It turned on sucessfully this evening. I was able to back up the files that I needed.

    There were some issues with the keybaord at first, but was fine after a while.

    However, after shutting the system down again(maybe after 20 mins of use) ,it no longer powers up.

    Any ideas? Could it be the dc board?

    Edit: Forgot to mention that indicator light comes on for battery status and battery is change when magsafe is plugged in. Does the DC board have a seperate mechanism for powering on? Or is the power button faulty?

    I hope I didn't turn it on too early....I did NOT use any water, just isopropyl alochol. The residue was on only on DC board and a few edge spots. Dried with absorbent paper towels, rice and air dry.

    Drying technique:
  16. Applefanboy8153 macrumors regular

    Sep 3, 2012
    Should have just used distilled water, in my opinion that is the nest thing to do when coffee spills on your laptop. I did that for my moms dell once.
  17. blitzftw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2013
    So I think the motherboard is dead. Have cleaned it again and let it dry. Still does not turn on.

    Battery charges however adn the magsafe is lit green.

    Is there anyway that I could get it fixed under the flat rate fee($310 I think)?
  18. FuLL macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2013
    I think that keyboard got too much coffee.. Power button is wired with keyboard so that's the problem.

    There should be pwrbtn mark on the logic board and if you short the two pads it should start.. First take off keyboard wire.

    If it starts just buy new keyb from ebay. It costs like 20$...

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