13" aluminum unibody, 2.0 or 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

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MB took a drink. Still Powers-up and appears to charge. No Display

So my 9 year old daughter spilled water on our MacBook 13" Unibody (Model A1278) Late 2008. I wasn't too worried because she said the lid was closed. But, upon further interrogation, I learned that she opened the lid and water got onto the keyboard area she wiped it off with a paper towel and quickly closed it in an attempt to hide it from us. That is, until her 4 year old brother ratted her out...

The MB would have been asleep prior to her opening the lid - not powered off. Meaning, there must have been a short period of time where the laptop was powered on with water dripping down though the keyboard onto the logic board.

I opened the MB and held down the power button to manually power it down. I then put the MB into a large container with rice and left it there for over a week.

I then plugged it into the charger and the light went from orange to green over a period one would expect the MB needs to take a charge. I then tried to power it on and observed that it appears to be getting power because he back light of the keyboard comes on and i can hear the fan working but I have no display.

So I powered it back down and, now, I'm debating what my next step should be:

1. Hook it up to an external monitor to see if it works - wondering if I risk causing further damage to the logic board.

2. Just clean the logic board to remove any corrosion as a first step - if so, I'd need detailed instructions on how to clean water damage.

NOTE: I'm attaching the highest res picture my iPhone allows of the MB with the lower case removed. I think I may have spotted some corrosion in case anyone with sharp eyes is able to confirm. Although, I suppose if i have corrosion on this side of the logic board, it's likely for corrosion will be on the other side as well. I guess I'll need to remove it and clean both sides so am really looking for some best practices in this regard.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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All is well in the above answer by dhrusso except that leaving the MBP in rice does nothing to it except allow corrosion to settle in.

Following a liquid spill, DO NOT TURN ON, DO NOT STORE IN RICE. Rice is for sushi. Power off your laptop, take it apart ASAP, remove the logic board, soak it and clean it with 90%+ isopropyl alcohol and a soft brush. Air dry it, connect and test.

This is a minimum. It COULD be enough. It's better to have it cleaned professionally.

As per my experience, liquid damage is the worse that could happen to your device on the long run if you leave it unattended to.

This means professional cleaning, ultrasonic, drying, testing, repairing/replacing affected components.

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Thanks for the insight, Rany. I've done some cursory searching companies that provide such services to no avail. With the exception of a couple companies in California, everything I find is geared towards buying my own ultrasonic cleaner. I'm in Columbus, OH area if you feel like doing some Google-Fu on my behalf.


There are mail-in options. Look up Jessabethany's profile on iFixit for one. Contact her through her website to see if she'll do it. Else she may give you a lead.


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MF2003 will be eternally grateful.
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