Liquid Spill

MacBook Air Liquid Spill
Liquid inside MacBook Air after 24 hours of ‘drying’

What do you do if you spill liquid on your laptop?

Your number one priority after a liquid spill is to turn it off and remove any power source. Not so easy with built in batteries but unplug everything you can and hold the power button down until the laptop switches off.

The next priority is to remove as much liquid as possible. Dry the outside and then tilt the laptop so that liquid can drain out.

How long should I leave it to dry?

The longer you leave a liquid spill to dry the better. When electricity mixes with liquid it can damage the components and data tracts making repairs much more difficult. Do not be tempted to switch it on, leave it to dry for at least 24 hours.

It powers on. Did I save it?

There is always a chance that you did but do you want to trust chance with your data. If it powers on, the first thing to do is copy your data to an external device. Once you have done that I still would not trust the laptop 100%. A liquid spill is probably going to leave corrosion behind and the impact of this might not show up for weeks.

Liquid still present after overnight drying

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These images are from a MacBook Air that was allowed to ‘dry out’ overnight. Unfortunately the laptop was powered on at this point and if damage had not already occurred then it probably did when powered on. There was still liquid present inside the machine and corrosion that would need cleaning and some of the components were blown.

What should I do for the best chance of success?

  • Turn it off
  • Disconnect all power
  • Let the liquid drain
  • Contact a Computer Repair company.

A computer repair company is going to be able to dismantle the laptop, which you might not be able to do. They will clean the board with isopropyl alcohol and then use an ultrasonic cleaner before rinsing in more isopropyl alcohol to remove all liquid. The board is going to be properly dried and, if components need replacing they might be able to do this too. If the board is beyond repair they might be able to replace it or recover data.

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