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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Spilt water on my MacBook when on, am I doomed?

Spilt water on my MacBook when on, am I doomed?
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Feb 17, 2014, 05:38 AM
I spilt some water on my MacBook Pro last night, about half a wine glass full (it really was just water). It wasn't connected to the charger when it happened, and when the water hit the machine it turned itself off immediately. I promptly closed the lid til a fraction was still open and put it upside down, then grabbed a towel and mopped up all the water I could. I didn't plug the battery cable back in or attempt to turn it on last night, however this morning I presses the power button to see if anything would happen, it didn't, then very briefly stuck the power cable in to see if the green light came on, it did, then I immediately unplugged it. I realise now that attempting either of those was a mistake.

If I leave it til tonight do you think the MacBook will be alright? Is there anything else I can do to improve my chances?
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Feb 17, 2014, 06:20 AM
Put it in a warm, dry place (NOT the oven), open it and set it down like an upside-down "v". Leave it to dry for at least two days.

If it really was only water, chances are pretty good you'll see a full recovery.
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Feb 18, 2014, 09:09 PM
Don't turn it upside down "like a V"! (Some liquid inside could then drain forward but still inside) Instead open at a 90 degree angle and immediately turn upside down so keyboard is upside down on a table and horizontal with the floor, with screen hanging over the edge of the table. Put a small towel under the keyboard ASAP. That way, the liquid is draining out at the correct (90°) angle. I would be unplugging and shutting down all at the same time. (Quickest way to shut down: press power key; select shut down). If an older MacBook with removable battery, I would also unscrew the bottom case and remove the battery. (Good idea to learn how to do that ahead of time, if possible.) If just water, I would air dry for a few days (with some added gentle warm air?).
My daughter had a bottle of orange drink kicked over onto her keyboard while at college, and she did not drain it as above. It wouldn't startup. I had to replace the keyboard (~$120 part) which I did myself. Check out ifixit.com for instructions on how to replace your keyboard with your particular model. They sell parts, but I bought my keyboard from a cheaper source. If it looks too hard, find a reputable repair center online, who will be much cheaper than Apple.
In her case, a little of the drink managed to drip down inside on to the circuit board (main logic board I believe) but fortunately didn't permanently short it out (despite not draining properly or taking the battery out). I cleaned that spot off with a a Q-Tip & isopropyl, if I remember correctly. It was less than a year old, under warranty, but of course such spills are not covered. Huge relief when it finally started up again.
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Feb 19, 2014, 03:36 AM
amiller77 is suggesting the right way. Let the wine/water dry completely after then start your machine.
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Feb 19, 2014, 03:14 PM
Please see and use our sticky for posting on this topic:


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Feb 25, 2014, 10:12 AM
happened to me once with a cup of tea. Took the battery out, and put it close to the heater over night. Brought it to the mac 'power seller' around the corner the next day, just to make sure. He opened it and checked everything. When I went to get it back he said everything was allright, except one little thing: when starting it showed a little cup instead of an apple. Mac-humour I guess
I would definitely recommend letting somebody look into it (literally), just to make sure.
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