Spilled water on MacBook. How long to let dry?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Doctor Q, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #1
    A friend of mine has a new MacBook (which I helped her select and purchase). She made the mistake of having a glass of water next to the MacBook, so of course you know what happened. Some water, not much, spilled into the keyboard.

    I advised her to disconnect power, remove the battery, let any water drain out, and then let it dry before trying to boot it.

    The question is how long to let it air out? 1 day? 2 days? a week? Until the school year is over?

    I see recommendations all over the map in the forums. She should wait "long enough," but while she waits she'll be worrying about whether or not it's going to work. I don't want to tell her to wait a long time if a day or two will do.

    Is it just a wild-guessing game, or do we know how long it takes water to thoroughly evaporate while the MacBook is intact (not disassembled)?
     
  2. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    #2
    flip it upside down, have it dry for 2 days at minimum, put the battery back in and cross your fingers.. :)
     
  3. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
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    Los Angeles
    #3
    After a couple of hours, since most of the water (anything that would drip) was out, I told her to leave it face up so it would be exposed to more air.

    Some people say to use a hair dryer to blow air, as long as it's set to cool/blower (no heat), so I mentioned that too.
     
  4. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #4
    It also depends on the relative humidity. 2 days might not do it if the humidity is 90 - 100%

    I generally recommend putting it in a warm place with good airflow -- on top of the fridge is often a good place if it is open.
     
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #5
    Dripping out is not enough -- the water has a nasty habit of wicking in between membranes of the keyboard and other places where it will stay. Air dry for at least 2 days after all the visible water is gone would still be my recommendation.
     
  6. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    Thanks, katie ta acho and CanadaRAM. I told my friend to wait until the weekend at a minimum, but I wasn't sure if that was long enough.

    Looking for well-ventilated place makes sense, although I'd never put anything on top of the fridge, because things up there tend to work their way toward an edge and then fall off. One MacBook accident is enough. I knew a lady who kept her kitchen knives on the fridge -- safe from little kids -- and ended up badly cut after opening and closing the fridge door one too many times, so I'm especially wary of that.

    Luckily, my MacBook friend is in Los Angeles, where we're having a heat wave.

    I wonder to what extent the outcome of a tap water laptop spill depends on how hard or soft the city's water is!
     
  7. rubeeen macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    #7
    they sell grip matts at grocery stores, you can cut them to whatever size you need. they're usually used to put under kitchen mats so they dont slide around;)
     
  8. chex macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 17, 2007
    #8
    hardness of water is not really an issue, the main problem is with short circuiting due to water...
     
  9. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #9
    It's been a few days, so my friend put the battery back in, plugged in her MacBook, and tested it. It powered up and she's very pleased about that!

    The battery level is 0%. She'll trying charging it next.
     

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