Well crap... coffee spill.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Steve's Barber, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. Steve's Barber macrumors 6502a

    Jul 5, 2011
    A full cup no less, all over my MBP 13. It was bound to happen - I drink so much of the damned stuff.

    Dog was on my lap at the time - poor little bastard got pitched to the floor as I picked up the MBP, turned it upside down, unplugged the power and quickly did a forced shutdown. (Glad it wasn't a child :D).

    Dried it out with a blow dryer. Seems to work fine. I hope over time it the innards don't corrode. Thank god it was coffee black, no sugar. At least I held off on AppleCare as I'm sure the liquid sensor is tripped.

    Somebody please tell me you've done this a hundred times with no ill effects. :(
  2. djpuma macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2010
    I know a friend who did this and he shut it down right away and took it apart and made sure everything was dry before he turned it on.

    Luckily beneath the keyboard are some sheets of plastic (one to help the backlight illuminate everywhere and another that's perforated, but no liquid got through.

    The bad part was certain keys became sticky and half of his back light went out.

    What he did was buy a top case from ebay (including keyboard) and pulled the entire logic board out and essentially did a chassis swap.
    The computer has been fine ever since.
    This also happened to a current generation macbook pro (at the time) so it was tougher to find the top case.

    Cost about $180, but it beats buying a brand new laptop.

    Good luck
  3. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    #1 Rule In My House

    Do not hold any liquid over a computer, PERIOD. Water on computer desks in spill-proof containers.

    Keyboards? Have at it; they are relatively inexpensive (unless you own a Matias Tactile Pro http://matias.ca/tactilepro3/).
  4. randomrazr macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2011
    u should have left it to dry for atleast 24 hours...theres still liquid in it...
  5. ericrwalker macrumors 68030


    Oct 8, 2008
    Albany, NY
    A little late with that info now aren't you!!! LOL. Yeah I have a rule like that myself too, though I do tend to bend them every now and then.
  6. Risasi macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2011
    I had a close call three weeks ago. I was working it home on the couch and had a cup of coffee next to me. The oldest kid did this weird juke move on the couch. Well...that didn't cause me to spill, but it threw me out of my game. I picked up my cup to keep it away from her, and had it sitting in my hand on the left side of my laptop. (Yeah, I know what you're thinking "sure, blame the kid".)

    Five minutes later I'm not sure what happened but I like "shuddered" weird in my hand and almost spilled on the couch, but then I over-compensated and the airborne liquid was headed right for the keyboard. Fortunately I did some sort of weird Matrix move and caught it on me instead. Unfortunately it all ended up in my crotch. Fortunately I had been too lazy to top off my mug and make it hot again.

    My wife sitting next to me gave me a "what in the crap is wrong with you" look. Which reduced me to stuttering like an idiot trying to explain what happened, why I did what I did and how I just saved my laptop.
    Even though now looking back in hindsight if I hadn't done anything I don't think I would have even spilled on the couch.

    I've had a few people spill on their laptops. One was a coworker with a Thinkpad T61, which has a spill tray built in. Unfortunately he didn't know that and turned it upside down. Yeah, he had to replace some components. :D
  7. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Jun 16, 2009
  8. iphonenub macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2009
    It sounds like you acted fast, so hopefully everything is ok. After reading topics like this so many times I've decided not to eat or drink anything while I am on the computer. Which is really difficult because every morning I have to wait until I'm done my coffee to use my MBP. I suggest from now on you do the same.

    Another thing you should do is install a system monitor that monitors computer temps if you don't have one already. Just to make sure that everything is operating at the proper temps.
  9. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    Most people do it once and then throw the MBP away or have an expensive repair.
  10. Darien Red Sox macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2010
    CT, USA
    Some people I know have been lucky more than once with both spills and drops. Why they did not learn after the first time I don't know but I don't let any food or liquid withing a 10' radios of mine.
  11. goMac macrumors 604

    Apr 15, 2004
    Probably not a good idea. The air is just going to push it deeper into the machine and superheat things like the keyboard that aren't meant to be superheated externally.

    (I once saw a case where someone put their laptop next to a space heater to try it and managed to melt the entire keyboard. Nice. I've seen the same thing happen with a blow dryer.)

    Your biggest problem isn't going to be the liquid itself. It's going to be the coffee in the liquid. The internals are likely stained, which could be a problem.
  12. billli macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2011
    Waterloo, ON, Canada
    Soak it in mineral oil? to try to wash the stains off?
  13. Steve's Barber thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 5, 2011
    Not an overhead spill. Tall coffee cup right next to it tipped over. Still… point taken. (And ass chewing well deserved :eek:).

    You are right of course. Been using it over the last 7 hours and all seems fine. I'm only worried about something failing down the road now. Not to mention, the inability to buy AppleCare in a few months when it's out of warranty.

    I officially feel your panic. I miss the PC desktop days when you could ruin all the keyboards you wanted because you were only $20 away from a new one courtesy of Wal-Mart. :)

    Indeed. If there is a membership fee for joining the "idiot's club" I just paid it.

    Yeah, I know. I'm already back to old habits. It was the coffee mug's fault anyway. :D

    Really though… I spend so much time on my mac I really don't want to have to treat it with kid gloves - not that a spill is anything minor of course. I just don't want to get too OCD about the damn thing.

    Yes, I thought of that. I just blow dried it for may 45 seconds or so. Appears to be ok but earlier a few keys just didn't feel right. They've since loosened up.

    All the backlighting works fine and are the temps. Maybe I was quick enough but damn you gravity just the same! :D
  14. goMac macrumors 604

    Apr 15, 2004
    Perfectly seriously, I don't actually know what one could do. You just have to hope the coffee particles don't interfere with operation.

    If there were issues, taking out the logic board and cleaning it with something like mineral oil wouldn't be such a bad idea, actually.
  15. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Jun 16, 2009
    I am not going to insult you as I think we all eat and/or drink near our computers at some point or another. The fact remains though, this seems to be a common issue in this forum. It's always "I spilled x on my MBP." and you replace x with water, beef fat, juice, coffee, snapple, beer, milk, whiskey, scotch, wine, and who knows what will be next.

    If you don't want to spend money on a keyboard cover, just use saran wrap.
  16. iMacC2D, Dec 15, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  17. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    I didn't mean it as an "ass chewing." I'm sure that you feel badly enough already without having forum members pile-on... ;)

    It's just a reminder to all of us... and I appreciate you mentioning that the cup was next to the computer, not over it. (Yipes!) I have to remind my wife on a regular basis that drinking something while using her MBP on her lap on the couch isn't a very good idea...:rolleyes:
  18. SurferMan macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2010
    South FL
    Definitely open up the machine and remove the battery to get to the trackpad if liquid got there, especially coffee. May be fine at first but it could degrade electronics and get stickier as time goes on, you'll need a triwing screwdriver though to get the battery out.

    Same thing for the key's, stickiness can build up along with effects on electronics even if it seems ok right now. Pain in the ass to do, but worth it.
  19. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    We really need to sticky something about not turning it on for several days after a spill + cleaning it out. Applecare can be cancelled if something happens that would invalidate it. You get a somewhat prorated refund. I think they keep 10% of the remaining amount or something. It's in their terms and conditions.

    This was nicely written. The OP still should have avoided testing to see if it worked before having it disassembled and cleaned. Coffee is somewhat acidic, but it would be worse with sugar due to its corrosive properties.

    There's one thing that really annoys me with the design of these machines. They installed liquid damage sensors, yet never installed any form of spill resistance like other oems. I'm simply irritated by their priorities.

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