Spilled Oil on Keyboard - What to Soak With?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by entaroadun, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. entaroadun macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2009
    I have a MBA rev 1 and a keyboard cover. Every so often, I wash the cover. I don't know why, but this time I decided to take the whole MBA with me to the kitchen. I took the cover off and washed it. Near the MBA was a bowl of EVOO and balsamic. The cat jumped onto the counter and knocked it over, sending a good 6 tbsp of oil and vinegar into the keyboard the one time I had the cover off.


    Anyways, I power it down immediately (yes, it was on), and turn it upside down. I took it apart and the drive is fine, but the logic board has some oil on it (no vinegar, thank God), but the keyboard is drenched. I know that it is probably fried, but I want to try cleaning it anyways.

    What should I soak it with? I already have it in distilled water just to dilute the vinegar, but it doesn't remove the oil. Will isopropyl do anything? Or is there a solvent that's safe for circuitboards?
  2. alexlovesmacs macrumors 6502a

    Apr 23, 2008
    Mr. Clean Magic Eraser works wonders for the keyboard.
  3. svndmvn Guest

    Nov 6, 2007
    once you got it clean and apparently dry, make sure you don't turn it on for a few more days, isolating it in bag of rice wouldn't be bad either.
  4. spatlese44 macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2007
    I've taken apart and washed remote controls before using IPA (isopropyl). For some reason, elastimer would come out of the rubber in the buttons and would coat the board preventing a good contact. This might be the case with your keyboard when you turn it on again. The whole thing should probably taken apart and cleaned or the keyboard replaced, which I'm sure is what Apple would do.

    I have also used soap and water. Surprisingly, electronics aren't generally disagreeable with water; they just don't like it around when you turn things on. That said, if you use a water based cleaner and it gets trapped where it can't evaporate; you run the risk of a short and/or corosion.

    As for the IPA, that's only been my experience. Never tried it on a MBA.
  5. engine.engine macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2009
    Ugh, I too just spilled olive oil on my table. It pooled around my macbook and via osmosis, some has seeped up into my battery case and into the cracks of the battery itself. It's not much, but enough for me to post this message.
    Does anyone have any more advice on this?
    I remember seeing a video with a computer immersed in mineral oil while still running, so I'm hoping this isn't a big deal.
    Will oil on circuitry cause any problems? I've not yet turned on my Macbook.
    Is the macbook battery itself enclosed by anything that's "oil proof?"
  6. Patriks7 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2008
    [Completely non helpful comment]
    I know that the Air is thin, but can't you afford a knife? :p
    [/Completely non helpful comment]
  7. rhyx macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2008
    It could be toast. The best thing to do is wipe it down and let it dry completely (meaning wait as long as possible).
  8. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Isn't osmosis the diffusion of water, not oil? :D
  9. Hydroxs macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2008
    If it is pure oil, it shouldn't toast the computer since oil is non-conductive. There are people out there who use oil to cool their computer.
  10. mikey28 macrumors 6502

    Aug 6, 2008
    I would take a paper towel and cut it into strips, and very carefully slip it through the each vent and see what I could sort of "dab" out. If you could kind of thread it through (slowly gently) you could get out quite a bit.

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