2.26 or 2.4 GHz / White plastic unibody enclosure

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Coffee on new MacBook

Long story short: Working from home, with at baby on the knee, drinking coffe = coffee in shiny new laptop.

I have done this before, with a MacBook 2,1 - so I quickly turned the laptop off, tore out the powercord, put a newspaper on the keyboard and turned it upside down. Getting the battery out was harder though, so I let it remain (my second mistake?). After ca 24 hours I turned the laptop back (probably too soon), and checked the newspaper - which had absorbed a decent amount of coffee. But the laptop won't turn on. (When I connected power, the battery was loading for a couple of minutes - and then turned green.)

I've opened the back and removed the harddrive and memory, as well as the battery connector now. There's no coffee in the power connector - or any other connectors that I can see.

So, I guess my question is: Is there any chance to save the laptop? Am I in for a logic board change - or will a wait an see approach likely be enough? (The coffee inside is still a bit wet.) Should I tear it down as far as I can and wipe the coffee off? Is there anyone else out there as stupid as I am?

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Yeah, no cream nor sugar - clean coffee. I have three children, so I compulsively throw the silica packs away. I'll just have to get the missing torcs bits and try to clean it as well as I can, and see if it works after Christmas or so - when it has had some more time to dry. We'll see then if it's really fried, or just a bit grumpy.

Thanks for your answers!

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How new is it? Because while Apple won't officially cover accidental damage, I've had them cover me crashing the hard drive and I've heard similar stories.

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I think it matters if the coffee had cream in it or not, which would make it more conductive. As rdklincorporated says, it's important to dry it completely; you should not have turned it on so soon, as you correctly noted.

I had a friend who dumped an entire glass of water into their keyboard. They removed the power and battery and set the computer on a scientific scale and kept it there till the weight didn't change any more; it took about two weeks (they live in Reno, where it's pretty dry.) The computer is still working fine a year later.

I collect the little silica gel packs that come in things you buy. Someday they may come in handy to help dry a soaked cell phone or other device. I've heard dry rice works also, but you don't want to pour rice in your MacBook! I took a wet Blackberry and wrapped it in a paper towel and covered it in rice for a couple weeks once; it would turn on after that, and talk to me, but it didn't recover to the point of usability.

Make it a rule to never set or hold a container of liquid where it can spill onto your keyboard.

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Hi! Sorry to hear about the laptop. Yes, I'd definitely break it down as far as possible in order to get the coffee out of it. You mentioned that it is still wet...the main thing is to absolutely not turn it on until it's 100% dry. If the board hasn't been fried so far, it will get fried if the laptop is powered on while wet. Even if it takes a couple days, let it dry out 100%. There is a possibility, however small, that it will power on when it's dried out, and I'd say that will be helped out further if you are able to get in there and wipe out coffee in the meantime. But no power -- you'll fry it. Good luck!

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I spilled most of a 32oz Coke on my MBP 17", fortunately it wasn't plugged in at the time. The next day I (with the help of iFixit) completely tore down my laptop and then scrubbed off all the cola on the logic board--which was EVERYwhere--with a 100% solution of isopropyl alcohol, let it dry then rinsed it in the sink with some distilled water. I let that dry overnight and put it all back together and it worked just fine...that was 3 years ago and I'm typing this on the very same MBP. Good luck!

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Alas, this is more common than you think!

The most obvious choices of having apple repair it or purchasing an new logic board are both very expensive-- representing a huge percentage of full replacement cost.

One alternative that has not yet been mentioned is that there are a few people who specialize in repairing logic boards, and do so typically for about $250 to $300. Go to eBay and search "macbook logic board repair". These guys clean them, try to identify what chips have been damaged, replace chips if possible and so forth.

Thanks to eBay's feedback system, you can know that these are not scams and many other people have had success with a particular repair shop.

I sent out a 15" unibody just before Christmas and its repaired and on its way back now.

Lastly-- if repairing is not your thing-- remember that you can still get a surprisingly good amount of cash for your liquid damaged laptop on eBay-- probably more than you think!

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Hi new to this forum. Very useful resource great work.

I have seen these before and the case will shield the board a bit and the coffee will find its way around to the bottom case. But not always so check the logic board carefully.

It will however short out the keyboard and as the power button is part of the keyboard circuit, it stops working.

Suitable for Macbook unibody A1342 and possibly others but I am not 100% sure about the others

Once everything is well dried and cleaned if the power button still won't work you can try to jump start it.

Take the back off and look for the keyboard connector. It's next to the battery plug, check the battery removal guide to see pics.

Disconnect the keyboard ribbon, note it's difficult to get back in sometimes. Plug in a usb keyboard, usb mouse and AC power if you need it. There are 30 gold pins in the keyboard connector on the logic board. Counting from the left you need to momentarily connect pin 5 and 29 with something metal, sharp pointed tweezers worked well.

This will simulate pressing the power button and jump start your macbook. If it boots up normally all is well with the logic board. You will probably need to replace the top case and possibly the DVD drive to get it fully functional again. If it won't boot then there are problems, mainly bad ones.

If you have fully disassembled your Mac you can get away with connecting just the LCD, usb keyboard, usb mouse, AC power, HDD and the FAN (V.Important!) Then try to boot.

Good Luck.

Thx to velocityg4 for this info

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You might try flushing with alcohol; it dissolves coffee and evaporates quickly. I've used it to flush other electronics when they've gotten wet (also works in your ears, BTW, if you've got water stuck there). Do it with the battery out though.

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Hello! I made the same mistake than you yesterday. some coffee without milk or sugar on my unibody mac.

I let it dry all night long, after cleaning what I can clean, but maybe I didn't wait enough...

Today, the computer was okay, it works well, excepted some sticky keys on the keyboard. and with the time running, after two hours is was several keys that are not working anymore. So I take out some of the keys to clean it, but they are clean! And even, when I press on the plastik button, corresponding to the key, nothing happen.

so I don't know?? Now the computer is shut down and I will wait. But I'm worried about it. Do you have an idea of why the keys break only after a while?

Sorry for my english, I'm working on it =)

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You should probably ask this as a new question, most answerers don't look in answered questions :)

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NoNo, I'll second the advice to ask this as a new question. Possibly cleaning the key contacts with alcohol may help, but that's my only idea.

I never got my own laptop to work again, but my insurance covered part of the cost of a new one (and I got one of those Moshi rubbers this time, to protect the keyboard/laptop ;).

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Hi, is it possible to wash the key under the transparent film? I've a macbook pro unibody late 08 mid 09 and i think it's the same kayboard (but i've the backlight). I've put a coffé in my keyboard and 3key do not respond and my backlight is off exept under the "T" "Y" and "6" and arroud key (see image attach).

Can I repair my key and my backlight?

I've my physical click of my trackpad broken too.

Thanks :).

Block Image

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Dan Wildman - THANK YOU! This was pivotal in helping me realize that my logic board was a-ok after a tragic diet coke spill! After re-assembling the guts of my Macbook A1342 after spot cleaning the logic board with 90% IPA, I jump-started the power with a pair of tweezers and CANNOT BELIEVE IT WORKED! You just saved me a TON of $!

Ordering my replacement Upper Case now and am so thrilled with all of the information available here on IFIXIT!

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Hi! I experienced that liquid spill always damage the keyboards and logic boards. I would tell you if you need to fix , I would suggest buy a keyboard case from amazon for about $160.00 plus logic board from laptop aid for another $160.00. Take the screen off and ram, hard drive and track pad off and reuse them . Or just buy another macbook. I like to fix my macbook so, to me it's a easy job. We'll good luck and hope your decision is best for you!

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ibnalhazardous will be eternally grateful.
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