Spillled some juice over the keyboard :(

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by pim16aap2, May 27, 2014.

  1. pim16aap2 macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2011

    I spilled some juice over my 13" Macbook Pro 5,5 mid-2009's keyboard.
    I turned it off and followed THIS tutorial to clean the dirty keys (I, j, K, L, N and M).

    When I booted my Macbook Pro again, there were a few problems:
    1) Every left mouse click is treated like a right mouse click (both for my track pad as my normal mouse). Disabling all track pad gestures didn't change anything. When I logged into this site however, this issue was resolved. Trying to enable a few of my most used gestures again broke it again and once again my mouse didn't work again until I had visited this site after disabling all the gestures again.

    2) This issue is a bit worse: My keyboard's being weird. I'm currently typing on my USB keyboard I had laying around because I wouldn't be able to type it on my macbook pro's keyboard.
    I tried to find out which keys were broken by launching Text Mate and trying to hit all the buttons, starting at "1". Ctrl + number is a shortcut I use with Total Spaces and pressing only the number buttons triggered this shortcut. All the other buttons would just give the annoying "you can't do this" noise.
    After I disabled all the keyboard shortcuts, my screen wouldn't fly all over the place when using the number buttons, of course, but it's still not working.
    It does seem to register the keys I press. I tried to finish a word I was typing with my built-in keyboard, but the only result was that the word changed a bit (ctrl + j/k/l (can't remember which of those I pressed) = shortcut for autocorrect?), but that was it. I tried to press all of the other buttons, but none worked. This also brought back the problem with my mouse, even though that was resolved until I tried to use my built-in keyboard. The issue with the mouse was fixed again, somehow, but I have no idea how or why.

    Would it be possible to salvage my Macbook? I'd love to use it a little longer.

  2. Cmd-the-World macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2010
    I think the problem you are facing is a "depressed" ctrl key. In OS X ctrl + click acts as the secondary mouse button (aka right mouse click). As you yourself noted that the majority of the time when pressing a keyboard key is acting as a ctrl+key shortcut. This indicates that there might still be some juice underneath the keyboard shorting something.

    I would personally switch it off and allow it to dry for a number of days before turning it on again. Liquid Damage could be a serious problem. If possible leave it upside down with the screen open to allow the liquid to seep out.
  3. AndyK macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2008
    Seal it up in a bag of rice for 2-3 days then see what happens. Maybe take it to an Apple Store for assessment afterwards.
  4. pim16aap2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2011
    Yeah, I thought that the CTRL button was stuck, but it didn't look or feel like it.

    I won't be home for a week, so I'll just put it in rice and post an update when I get back. Just gotta survive one day without it. Should be possible ;)

    Thank you for your help.

  5. posguy99 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 3, 2004
    Rice isn't going to help you. Juice isn't just water, depending on what it was, it has lots of contaminants in it, plus acids. Drying out the water just leaves the contaminants.

    Replace the keyboard.
  6. pim16aap2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2011
    Back home again. The rice didn't help, as posguy99 predicted. I don't want to bring it to an Apple store as it is not worth their price (it's too old).

    I think I'm going to try to take it apart and clean it with isopropyl alcohol. Might be worth a shot. If it doesn't work (I doubt it will), I think I might buy a keyboard on ebay and try to replace it myself.

    According to THIS video, at 2:44 you shouldn't try to do it yourself if you don't have the proper tools (and yeah, the proper skills etc etc). My main question is what tools I need. I currently have THIS set. Will this be enough, or do I have to purchase a new screwdriver(set?).

    Like I said, it's not worth getting it repaired by someone else, so I might as well give it a shot myself.
  7. Barney63 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2014
    Bolton, UK.
    That is just a jewellers screwdriver set (flat and cross head).
    You need a set that includes the "pentalobe" screwdrivers (five sided ones) and possibly the "tri-wing" screwdrivers (three sided ones).

  8. pim16aap2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2011
    Alright. I'll get those.
    Can I replace just the keyboard or do I have to remove the entire topcase, as iFixit seems to want me to to?
  9. pim16aap2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2011
    I've got some alcohol ketonatus (96%) (I couldn't find isopropyl here). Before I take it all apart, could I try just pouring a little of that over my keyboard? It shouldn't leave any residue, but I'm afraid it might make it worse because of reactions between softening agents and the alcohol.

    It's already broken, so I'm thinking it might be worth a shot, but is there a risk for the rest of the computer?

    If that doesn't work, can I 'simply' but THIS and replace my current, broken keyboard with it?
  10. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    OP - Not to pick on you, but why the **** does anyone have any kind of drink that's not in a covered container near an expensive computer?
  11. pim16aap2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2011
    Well, I usually eat breakfast in front of my computer and I always drink stuff out of a glass. I mean, you wouldn't throw your drink over your computer right? That would be stupid, right?

    The first two years I had it, I would probably hit someone with a bat if s/he would come near it with any kind of liquid, but... well... that changed ;)
  12. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    Either take it to Apple and pay the $325 depot repair or get a new one. The one you have is ruined.

    And you might even invest in a travel mug for use near a future computer, or learn to not drink near it.
  13. pim16aap2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2011
    Well, I don't want to pay $325 for it, as it's old and slow and I don't need it enough to justify the price of a new one. That's the reason why I'm trying to find a way to fix it by putting in a new keyboard myself.
  14. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    It's almost certainly not just the keyboard . . .
  15. pim16aap2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2011
    Hmmm... That'd suck...
    I'm about to get a new pc and once i have that, I'm going to take this laptop apart and try to tinker around with it. Would there maybe be a way to route the keyboard via USB? Or I might try to cut up the top case and put an apple keyboard in it. It might not be pretty, but it'll be fun at least ;)
  16. kupkakez macrumors 68000


    Apr 4, 2011
    I don't get it either. I keep my MacBook on a stand so that should my cup with a lid and a straw spill it's just going to get on my desk.
  17. pim16aap2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2011
    I was holding a glass of juice with both my hands but one of them somehow slipped off my desk (both my elbows were resting on my desk) and then the juice flew up in the air and landed on my MacBook's keyboard. It was the only thing that got hit -_-
  18. pim16aap2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2011
    I haven't changed anything, but all they keys from esc till "l" work just fine now and it no longer thinks I'm holding down ctrl after pressing a random button anymore. Besides esc till "l" (from the left to the right), only ' (aka ") works. The bottom layer is working as well now. It's just left-shift to right-shift and ; and \ that are ignoring my fingers.

    It's a bit strange, especially considering the N and the M didn't got hit as bad as the letters above.
  19. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Depot repair isn't typically offered in cases of liquid damage.

    You wouldn't know until you open it up and examine how far the juice went. If it reached the logic board and you've been using it, it may make things worse regardless of whether you stop now. Generally if you do something like that, you want to power it down immediately and not turn it back on prior to internal cleaning. The reason people said to use isopropyl was because it does not conduct electricity. You also shouldn't pour anything into the machine. You would want to disassemble and clean these things carefully, but if you're experiencing erratic behavior from a given component, that component is going to eventually fail regardless of whether you clean it.
  20. pragmatous macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2012
    I simply don't put drinks around my mac or if I do it's sealed with a cap.


    There's more to it than just the keys. You have to consider the electronics. What likely happened was it shorted out the circuitry in the keyboard as water conducts electricity. There's water in liquids.

    You'll have to eventually get a brand new keyboard as eventually those keys will stop working over time.

    You may have also shorted out parts on the mainboard on the laptop as well so eventually you'll have to replace that.

    You'd be better off buying a macbook air.


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