Help, milk damage in my air!

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ashley534298, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. ashley534298 macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2012
    I just spilted my breakfast mocha milk on my air 13" which I just bought in Nov, last year this morning, and it shut down quickly...
    Then I immediately dryed it up and dryed it with a fan for the whole morning,
    but the power can't be turned on right now!
    I think the milk definitely ran into the motherboard...:(

    I bought my air in Taiwan(in Asia), and it's said that if I want to repair it in Taiwan, it'll probably cost 2 times of the original mac price...
    I still have an applecare for 2 yrs, but water damage is not in the protection, right?

    So what am I going to do now?
    I've read some forum and it's said that I can take it to some countries which have apple store there(we Taiwan doesn't have it), maybe it can help me to replace one, for free or not in that much money. Is that true?

    I'm still a college student and I can't afford toooooo much money for repairing my air. And I've only used it for just a yr! Buying a new one is absolutely not on my list...

    Can anyone give me the answer?
    I don't know what to do now, so sad about it...:(
  2. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    I'd try sealing it in a bag of rice for a couple of days. Sadly liquid damage is not covered by the warranty.
  3. David085 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 9, 2009
    I don't get what's with ppl spiting water, milk,etc. but I can see if it was coffee because that is so easy to do with coffee. ppl act like they're 12 or something for spiting liquid into there system I don't see why they don't take there time and be careful since it is a expensive system. or my other opinion don't drink beside the machine so you don't split anything inside the keyboard so it doesn't get into other parts and damage the system.. otherwise they should be more careful is like they're careless against there electronics.
  4. 0x000000 macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2011
    **** happens?

    Anyway, try the rice trick but if your mac turned itself off, it's probably ruined beyond repair. Fluids tend to go everywhere in MBAs and the repairs cost twice as much as the original. I'm sorry for you.
  5. Moshe1010 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2010
    It's a mistake to turn it on right after you think you dried it up. The liquid probably got already to the logic board if it doesn't turn on (and because you even tried), so I say it's toast. New logic board costs almost like a new Air, so take $400 and go buy Windows laptop that is on sale.
  6. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Actually the only solution is to keep liquids away. It's not always clumsiness or lack of attention. When you consider the millions of devices sold, there can be many unforeseen circumstances which lead to such things. One person mentioned a nosebleed (most likely unexpected). People have mentioned friends spilling drinks. There are a lot of possibilities beyond the simple unimaginative excuse that they were not paying attention. You don't even seem to consider that external factors could have caused the lapse in attention. With the number of computers out there, the best way to prevent such a thing is to keep liquids far away from your notebook.
  7. ROLLTIDE1 macrumors 68000

    Sep 12, 2012
  8. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    Well, I guess the only good news in this situation is that you did not drop it in the toilet! Too big for most toilets.:eek:

    It's becoming epidemic...:rolleyes::D
  9. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    and unfortunately applecare doesn't cover accidents.
  10. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    A blown logic board would be a $755* repair from the Apple Store. I know from personal experience (in that case Apple actually waived the charges as a one-time favor). I use a keyboard cover if I will have liquids anywhere near it now.

    One suggestion, if you haven't tried to power it back up, is to go to Radio Shack and see if they still sell electronics cleaning solution. It's alcohol based to dry quickly. The problem with milk is that it is acidic, and it also has sugar, so it can corrode the logic board even if it does power back up eventually. If they sell it, try to clean up the keyboard and spray it inside as best you can. Let it dry for at least 2 days before attempting to power it back up.

    If it doesn't work, then there may not be much choice but to get it repaired, or consider getting a refurbished unit. A note for the future is that if you do buy a replacement, consider purchasing a "personal articles policy." Your parents may be able to add it as a rider to their homeowner's insurance, or if you have renter's insurance for a dorm room. It is about $30-60* year from most companies and would cover accidental damage as well as theft.


    Apple probably could prevent a lot of these by placing a membrane under the keyboard. Toshiba and Lenovo sell ultrabooks that are spill-resistant so it can be done. While obviously nothing is foolproof, accidents can happen, and unfortunately the MacBook Air's sealed design makes it very susceptible to water damage even from minor spills.

    * - Note these are all US prices, but I would guess that similar policies would be available elsewhere.
  11. coldjeanzzz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
    My dad spilled wine on his laptop (not apple) one time and it took 3 days of drying out before it turned on again. It still had some problems and the screen was stained with wine lol but it still worked.

    Wait a bit and see what happens

    But yeah I can't believe how many threads I see about people spilling things on their laptops. Even when I do eat and drink anything next to my laptop I make sure the laptop is a good distance away on the desk so even if I do spill it won't go anywhere near the keyboard. People are just too careless with their things, blows my mind considering how expensive these products are.
  12. daonesteven macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2007
    Baltimore, MD
    755 estimate is accurate according to my experience. Spilled milk on my 11 just 2 months into owning it and it shut off by itself as well. Attempted to dry it out and left it alone for a full 48 hours and it turned on successfully but took it into Apple Store just in case, since my warranty's shot already anyways. They gave a pretty compelling reason to repair it: the dried milk will eventually corrode and cause more issues down the line. I wasn't sure if this was accurate at the time, but my roommate just spilled diet coke on his Asus Zenbook couple weeks ago and it actually turned on fine but a week later it shut off again, so I believe it. Luckily for me, I had buyer protection with AMEX so I got it repaired entirely for free.

    FWIW, i had a keyboard cover on when the spill occurred but it was useless because it just ended up flowing across the hinge opening area and there's nothing to protect that area since it needs air flow. I threw mine away after the incident and the realized the better lesson to learn is to keep all liquids a very safe distance away from your mba.
  13. wolfpuppies3 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2012
    Virginia, USA
    Hmmm. New logic board = $750. Keypad cover = $7.50. That is why I have a cover on the keyboards of each of mine.

    Thoughts for the future.
  14. 0x000000 macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2011
    Thanks for the info about the uselessness of keyboard covers.

    The rest is pretty accurate. My MBA first ran well, with only two keys not working. Topcase replacement would've cost me something around 350 (euros), but images from inside the laptop showed the fluids leaking everywhere; not only the logic board, but everything from the SSD to speakers, cables, battery, everything. A full replacement of everything affected would've cost me 3,200 bucks and it was recommended because I couldn't be sure if and when the corrosion completely kills it off.

    It died a few weeks later.
  15. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    I was reviewing keyboard cover reviews on the site, as I've wanted one for some time. Complaints always come up regarding wear, especially when cleaning them. The only real solution I can think of is better sealing of these machines. I've always kept liquid away from them, but no matter how clean I try to maintain things in the area with the inclusion of washing and drying my hands prior to sitting down at the computer as a general habit, it's quite difficult to keep things totally clean over long term use. That's one area where I think they could improve. No matter how much care is taken by the user, it would be appreciated by at least a portion of their millions of users.
  16. Stingray454 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2009
    Dry it VERY good before even attempting to turn it on. Put in on a hot, ventilated place (on top of a radiator or something) with the lid open for 2 days or so. Or, as someone suggested, put it in a bag of rice, as rice is great at soaking up moisture. I wouldn't give up quite yet, even if it doesn't turn on the same day, it might after a few days of drying (takes a long while to get it completely dry on the inside). Just give it some time and try again, and don't attempt to power it up until then as that might damage it further.
  17. jbzcar macrumors regular

    May 11, 2012
    Moshi Clearguard. Done. :p
  18. drambuie macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2010
    If it was just water that was spilled, letting it dry may work, but even if it dries, milk will leave residues that could be conductive, or corrosive. Whether the logic board is damaged, or not, is an unknown.

    If it was my MBA and totally dead, I would disassemble it, following an iFixit guide. Then all components showing milk residue could be rinsed clean with distilled water and a soft brush, and allowed to dry completely. The hardest part will be the keyboard. It may need to be immersed for a while, and agitated. It could take a few days to dry. If you're lucky and the MBA suffered no component or logic board damage during the original spill, odds are it will work after reassembly. If it doesn't work, you'll only be out the time taken to clean it. The repair costs would be the same, except that the repair person won't be dealing with a milky mess.

    Electronic components such as PC boards can be washed with distilled water without harm, if dried thoroughly before use. Tap water is not recommended, as it can have mineral content which will leave residues.
  19. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    They hold up well? The complaints seemed to be centered around people having trouble cleaning them.
  20. daonesteven macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2007
    Baltimore, MD
    they hold up well in terms of form and function, but in terms of looking like it did the first day you open it from the package, I doubt any keyboard cover is going to maintain that over use. Moshi is probably the highest quality but I think it's made of different material than the typical silicone keyboard covers. I've really wanted to try one but haven't really seen the need for a keyboard cover after I experienced a spill accident that rendered its purpose useless for me. Plus it's too expensive for me to just buy and try out.
  21. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    I may order one after further research. I don't change computers constantly, and I have some leftover credit at the Apple Store. Most of the time I order from third parties, so this would be a good way to use it. I'm weird about the cleanliness of keys. It's important to me. I just don't want to buy something that won't hold up a while. If I can get at least a year out of a $25 cover, I'm fine with that. I just wouldn't want something that wears out every few months. If it doesn't work out, I'll go back to a desktop keyboard whenever I'm at my desk. I already use a larger display at those times + a wacom tablet. I'd simply have to rearrange things.
  22. jbzcar macrumors regular

    May 11, 2012
    Easy to clean. just a little dish soap and warm water. :)
  23. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Thanks dude. I am going to order one. I've got leftover Apple Store credit that I haven't used anyway. It's a good way to get rid of it.

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