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What should I do after I spill liquid on my device?

What should I do after I spill liquid on my device?

We get this question all the time. For some reason, people are very particular about the type of fluid. It's very important for people to tell you whether it was apple or orange juice that their kid spilled on their MacBook Air.

Asked by: Guest | Views: 87
Total answers/comments: 6
bert [Entry]

"Pull the power cord and remove the battery if possible.

No hair dyers or any forced air on/into a closed device! you'll only be spreading any liquid not drained around inside where you can't see or get at it.

In my opinion 72hrs is a conservative wait time for drying- hours or a day mean nothing Best way to dry it is to seal it with a desiccant like silica packs (though even something like pasta can work in a pinch) or in a room with a dehumidifier.

Liquid and electrons don't mix. You really ought to open and dismantle the device as much as possible so that you can clean up, rinse off any residue that's right if it's already wet you can wash it and clean it so that there will be no corrosion occurring later. Spraying with a DIELECTRIC electronic contact cleaner, and/or 99% alcohol will also speed the drying process (70% alcohol contains too much water).

Forced air on the open parts is OK, but if you're in a humid environment packing up with desiccant in a trash bag or rubbermaid container and making changes over three days or so would be better.

There's been a lot of well I spilled on laptop my keyboard, but itstill worked at first..., If you're lucky enough not to kill it straight off, then at least remove, clean and dry the keyboard best as possible before continued use. With many laptop designs there's ''nothing between the bottom of the keyboard and the RAM, FAN, Optical Drive, and all the other parts of the logic board but AIR

bert [Entry]

"I am an electronics engineer, so trust me when I say;

No hair driers please!

Hair driers can actually melt solder, depending on solder's composition. Improper heating of solder will result in porous solder with increased electrical resistance, also known as ""cold"" solder. You need a microscope to actually be able to see this.

Best possible solution is to disassemble the computer as suggested on other answers. Use DIELECTRIC spray, it is specially designed to clean electronic components without damaging the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) or electronic components, you can use a tooth brush if you are extremely careful. Do not do this in a hurry, this requires a lot of patience.

When disassembling, it is extremely important to use antistatic precautions, specially if you live in a place where air is dry. Or house heating is used, especially electric heating.

At the very least you must discharge yourself by touching an electrical ground. Like your computer's chassy (if its metallic) while STILL connected with a properly grounded power cable (you must touch where there is NO paint, usually the back of a desktop would be unpainted).

If you want to be really safe you would need to buy an anti static wrist strap so that you are connected to ground ALL the time you are working with your computer.

You can get a ground connection from your wall sockets IF your sockets are PROPERLY grounded.

If you are thinking that this is all an exaggeration consider that you could have anti static shoes, anti static pants, ant static shirt and anti static gloves, also the floor you step on could be anti static.

If data on your computer is important, you can remove the Hard Drive and read its information by connecting it to another computer, even if yours does not work any more.

You can do it!

Good luck!"
bert [Entry]

"I actually wrote an article called ""Spills that Kill."" You can read the full text here.

Excerpt from the article:

""Here’s a few tips in case a spill ever happens to you, whether it’s on a laptop any other electronic product:

Don’t panic. Panic just complicates things.Remove power to your device as fast and soon as possible. If that means not saving your blog post, so be it. You can always view the auto-save, but there’s no auto-save function for your logic board.Shake out any liquid as soon as the device is turned off.Let the device dry in a manner that is conducive to getting the liquid out. If it’s a laptop, place it upside-down on a counter and let it relax for a day or two.Possibly disassemble parts of the device to verify that it’s dry, and/or to use a hair dryer to finish the job.Cross your fingers, and turn the device on."""
bert [Entry]

"I had some experience with liquid spills: water, wine, screen cleaner, etc.

In addition to all what was written above, I would add:

- Go about it slowly. Don't generalize, due to the so many places liquids can seep into and the extensive list of reactions, shorts, and damage they can cause.

- Some means that seem extreme can be used when nothing else works and you have nothing to loose. Just do it gently and don't force it.

- If it's working at first, and starts ""working less,"" then stops working, it usually is due to corrosion.

- If a whole ""unit"" is not working instead of parts of that unit (example: some key vs. the whole keyboard, or 1 button vs. the whole trackpad), it can be useful to look at the gate e.g. connectors and sockets for those connectors.

- Completely dead is usually easier to fix than part dead, speaking from the experience I've had. Have faith :)

I'll illustrate with a few examples:

- An unusual fix? I had a Vaio trackpad with coffee spilled in it, that wouldn't work. It was sandwiched between two layers of glued/fused thin plastic and couldn't be removed without breaking the plastic layers. Before breaking it apart, I sprayed some WD40 a few times, let it soak then drain out over the course of a couple of hours, and it worked since. 1 year now and no complaints from this now happy return customer.

- Works than stops working / corrosion: a client brought a MPB drenched with water, for us to have a look. Another service center had quoted $900 the cost of replacing the mother board.

At first the MBP ""mostly"" worked fine apart from the HDD which was clicking (due to a drop that happened before the water damage). Some keys from the keyboard that were not functioning after the spill. Corrosion marks and liquid marks were all over the motherboard and the inside of the case.

By the time I was able to work on it the 2nd day, the trackpad had stopped responding whereas it was working before. Then the MBP wouldn't start. I deduced that corrosion was eating away at the board and the connections between the MB, the on/off button, and the trackpad. Cleaning them with contact spray & isopropyl alcohol did not solve it. So I sprayed WD40, and very gently scrubbed the corrosion on the board and the tip of the connecting flat cables, using a used/soft toothbrush to avoid damaging any solder joints. Those may have become fragile due to corrosion. As a result everything worked again except some keys on the top case which had to be replaced. The repair ended up costing less than $400, including our fee, the cost of the HDD and a replacement original top case.

- Part vs. full dead: a new mid-2013 MBA was brought to us after the owner spilled wine on the keyboard. The keyboard and trackpad were both completely dead/unresponsive. It was weird because usually a spill would kill some keys on the keyboard and not ALL the keyboard would become unresponsive.

I was still unfamiliar with this model, so I used a guide from iFixit to take it apart and study the insides. I noticed that unlike previous models of MBPs that I had worked with, this MBA had a flat cable connecting the motherboard to the trackpad, then another cable connecting the trackpad to the top case: so no direct connection from the top case to the motherboard. And no traces of corrosion anywhere, just some spill marks on the trackpad, the connecting flat cable, and its socket.

I cleaned everything with isopropyl alcohol while scrubbing ever slightly, but no luck..

I examined the cable using my 20x scope, and found the culprit: the electrolytes from the liquid, combined with the electric current traveling through the cable caused the gold or copper on the tip of the cable to migrate from one pin to the other. Now all the pins connected and caused the cable to short. This issue was not apparent to the bare eye. Looking through the scope, I used a needle (nothing thicker would do) to scrap the metal between the pins to remove the short. I put everything back together and the MBA worked like a charm. All the keys on the keyboard also worked perfectly. This guy was lucky. I gave him back his laptop and ordered a replacement cable since I figured this one was a bit ""diminished"" and needed to be changed later on. But the owner has yet to come back and have it replaced :)"
bert [Entry]

"Call from another office: ""Macbook flooded with cup of coffee! Help!"". ""Remove battery, put some paper towels on keyboard, turn it upside down, send it to me"".

It was really flooded, even HD was covered with coffee, of course HD containing VeryImportantDataNeededASAP. I removed logic board from HD and washed it in denatured alcohol, dried, reassembled, and it worked.

Macbook warranty was over, so I decided that I have nothing to loose. I took another Macbook, went to ifixit.com and started disassembling it completly - http://bit.ly/2cDOva. I washed keyboard and logic board in denatured alcohol too, lefr it for weekend to dry, then reassembled it.

It worked like charm, I was pretty surprised :)

and then accidentally I spilled denaturated alcohol on another Macbook, that forced me to dissasembly it too (thx ifixit again) and learned me a lesson: ALWAYS SEAL THE BOTTLE!!!"
bert [Entry]

"I helped a friend with an iPhone 3G that took a shower in a cup of tea and I just left the device open for 2 days and reassembled it.

In his case the LCD got some black lines and the battery died.

After the replacement of these parts it was new again.

Before doing this REMOVE THE BATTERY if possible.

In the case of salt water, juice, coffie you can wash it with distilled water, in the case of salt water even with tap water is better then nothing.

Then just leave it drying for some time if possible open.

There is a more specific product that sometimes I use that is Kontakt Chemie PCC.