Water damage in charger port, any chance of recovery?

My water bottle leaked into my backpack yesterday leading to a small amount of water entering the charger port of my MacBook. No water got on the keyboard as the laptop was obviously closed and I was silly enough to assume it would be fine and continue using it as it didn't appear to have any problems. However, around 7-8 hour later I went to plug it in to charge but it won't detect that it is plugged in. I've currently got it sitting charger side down in a container of rice in the airing cupboard and intend to leave it there for a few days, but am I wasting my time? Is this actually likely to fix the issue or am I looking at paying for repairs?

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Leaving it in rice will only make the problem worse. That leaves time for the water to evaporate and corrode the electronics. The real problem is the mineral deposits that can cause short circuits or the corrosion that is taking place as the water evaporates. Leaving the power on the device accelerates the process. The longer you let a phone sit in rice, the more time you are giving corrosion to damage your logic board. The saltier or harder the water is, the more damage will occur. The water needs to be displaced, not evaporated.

You haven't told us which model of MAcBook you have so I can't give you specific instructions but generally speaking, you will want to do the following:

Open your Mac and remove the logic board(s)

  • Inspect the logic board, especially around the connectors and look for corrosion.
  • Inspect both sides of the board.
  • Put your board in a container with >90% isopropyl alcohol and let it sit for a while.
  • Use a soft brush, like a toothbrush and lightly brush away any corrosion you see.
  • Rinse in alcohol and repeat.
  • Let it air dry for a day.
  • Re-assemble and hope for the best.

A professional repair shop that does water damage repair may be able to recover your Mac because they have access to pro-level ultrasonic baths and specialized cleaners as well as the skills to troubleshoot your board.

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