What to do when your MacBook gets wet

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Accidents happen, it is common to suffer from negligence or small imprudence that can play tricks on us, like destroying your MacBook and all the data it stores.

When an accident occurs, the most important thing is to stay calm and react quickly. If you have spilled liquid on your MacBook, you should quickly evaluate how to place the computer to prevent the liquid from continuing to infiltrate. The first reaction of most people is usually to place the computer upside down. If you’ve cleaned the computer with a cloth without placing it first in that position, it is likely to have caused that more liquid gets inside.
Once the MacBook is draining you have a few seconds to evaluate the disaster. The most important thing is to turn it off. You should turn it off using the power button and remove the battery (if the Mac has a removable battery) and/or unplug your device immediately. You should also disconnect any external devices. The less time liquid is infiltrating or the MacBook is turned on, the more chances of saving it.

 

You don’t have to worry about your files and data. Most of your information will be stored without any problem and will be available when you turn the MacBook on again (Not everything is lost! You must be optimistic).

After this incident, the best you can do is to let the computer dry:

Macbook drying

What not to do when your MacBook gets wet

As we said before, a classic reaction is to clean the computer with a cloth without placing it upside down. By keeping it in the position in which the liquid fell, the liquid will continue to infiltrate.
Another common mistake is to try to dry the computer with heat. Using a hairdryer or something similar could overheat sensitive parts and damage them irreversibly. We don’t recommend placing the computer in the oven, under sunlight or something similar.

A common technique is to dry the MacBook using uncooked rice. It is proven that the rice trick absorbs moisture; many people have done it and it works. Don’t forget that the important thing is to get the best result, so rice is nothing more than a fix. Rice comes with a thin powder that can damage your computer; however if you place a cloth or a towel between the keyboard and the rice, it becomes quite a safe practice.

macbook-arroz
Rice with a towel to absorb moisture

Even if the liquid you spilled was water, it will leave solid residue once it dries. That means an intensive cleaning will be needed to prevent further damage to your computer. Even if your computer is dry, turning it on without first cleaning it will be a big mistake. If you spilled coffee, juice or any other liquid which contains more substances than bottled water, they will leave behind more solid residue.
This type of accident can cause damage to any component of the device, especially when the MacBook is turned on.

How to clean the inside of your MacBook

The truth is that we have yet to make a tutorial about it on YouTube, although it is not a task that everybody can do. You need to have the time, patience and a minimum of technical knowledge. To clean the inside of your MacBook before switching it on again, you will need:

  1. Brush
  2. Thin tools (thin as a toothpick)
  3. Isopropyl alcohol (never ethyl alcohol; although the best is ultrasonic cleaning)
  4. Pressurized air (spray or machine: use it always in cold mode)

Open your MacBook up and carefully clean all the components where you can see moisture or some kind of residue after the evaporation of liquids. Let it dry and then reassemble to check that everything has remained intact. In case of error, it will be necessary to look for the origin of the problem according to the symptoms. Next, you must repair the damaged components.

Repairing a wet MacBook Air isn’t easy, and more components such as the keyboard are likely to have been damaged. We invite you to contact us so you have more chances to save your MacBook (also the motherboard if it’s a MacBook or MacBook Pro).If you are in Barcelona, come and visit us at our repair centre (if you live anywhere in Spain, we will collect your device). Usually the cost of this type of service starts at 200€ if the damage is not excessive. We are highly experienced technicians and we will multiply the chances of saving your MacBook. If you still want to take a chance, we will show you more details below.

How to repair a MacBook K6 – 820-2879

In the following video, Fernando shows us how to repair and clean a wet MacBook. You can see that it is a task for experienced technicians. In this case the problem was in the motherboard, a part of it was corroded.