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macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 1, 2014
So I think this is a rather unique situation. A few months ago I was about to begin my morning when I stupidly spilled espresso all over my keyboard. Thankfully, I have my coffee black without sugar or cream. I immediately wiped off as much of it off the keyboard. Then placed a laundry basket upside down with a towel on it, and then placed the Macbook keyboard facing downwards on top of it to drain onto the towel. After a while I picked it up and felt like there was still some coffee so I kind of picked up the Macbook how you would normally pick it up, but leaned it towards the edge with the power button. At that point, that edge kind of functioned like a drain. I kept holding it like that until coffee wouldn't drain anymore. Suffice it to say, I've been using my Macbook for a good few months now and it still runs great.

Unfortunately, my keyboard backlight is stained brown almost and so I tend to keep it off, even though that was one of the features I liked most. I was watching a video of a keyboard replacement on youtube and the keyboard seems to be glued really well to the unibody which is why the spill didn't kill the system. The coffee wasn't allowed to spill beyond the keyboard. Unfortunately, it seems like the backlight is made out of some mesh or something, which was stained by the coffee.

I'm sorry for the long post, but I'm about done. I was thinking of spilling 100% isopropyl alcohol or some other liquid, that if by some chance managed to make it on the system, wouldn't harm it. And then I would drain it like I did with the coffee. I'm wondering though, would doing this remove the staining so I have have my proper backlight back? Or would I just be wasting my time and risking my Macbook? Also, is there any other liquid that might better be suited to this task? I have a 2015 Macbook Pro Retina 13in.

Thanks so much. Any help would be really really appreciated.


macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2016
You need to replace both the keyboard and the keyboard backlight.

The keyboard is held on by rivets. You'll need to look on YouTube to see how to remove those rivets.

It takes about an hour to do, maybe longer if you haven't done it before.


Jan 3, 2014
So fixing a spill by flooding it with another liquid....what could possibly go wrong...and if you power it up with a drop of isopropyl in the wrong place it'll short just like any other liquid.
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macrumors 603
Oct 19, 2005
As others have said. I wouldn't press my luck trying to spill liquid in it twice. If anything, I'd try to take it apart and properly clean it.
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