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With about 11% of all smartphones produced in the world ruined by spillage every year, liquid is a real issue when it comes to electronics. However, accidents happen and if you spill something other than water, you need to take special precautions.
Here’s what to do when dealing with more than water spillage on a MacBook.
Avoid a Fire
Your first step when spilling a liquid near electronics is to keep yourself and anyone else from getting shocked. Water and electronics don’t mix. Touching electronics with wet hands is a recipe for disaster.
It can also cause a fire to start. Stop the spillage but also disconnect the laptop or any nearby electronics from power outlets. When sparks start to fly, it can fry your laptop and ignite anything nearby.
If you already see flames, grab a fire extinguisher and prioritize that before you worry about a laptop. Whatever you do, don’t put more water into the situation.
Shut The Power Down
Now that you’ve gotten the situation under control, you need to shut down the power on your laptop.
Dipping a circuit in water doesn’t necessarily ruin it. Electronics get we all the time and moisture in the air can drop onto them. However, when water connects between two points on a circuit, it can short things out and burn out your components.
Make sure that you shut the power down asap so that even if things are wet, you don’t have to worry about connections.
Save The Battery
Now that you’ve cut the power, flip the laptop over if you spilled on the top. This allows gravity to be your friend. Water might fall out before it touches any sensitive components.
Getting the batter we could be catastrophic. In fact, shorting out a battery under the right circumstances could cause an explosion.
Take out the battery so that nothing runs in the background. If you have a newer MacBook, that might not be an option. If it’s possible, do it and disconnect all the other components you might have connected.
Once that first layer of water has run off of your laptop, with it still upside down, get an absorbent cloth and start dabbing. Cotton balls and cotton buds are a good way to get into the edges of your laptop. Keep your ports and vents as dry as possible.
Opening it Up
For more savvy computer users, consider opening up your Macbook. If you’ve done it before and have the tools, it might be your best shot at keeping it safe.
Be aware that this could void your warranty. However, if you’ve carefully read your warranty, you’ll realize that spilling liquids on your computer also works to void your warranty. At this point, you can’t make things worse.
With the right tools, you can safely and easily get it open. iFixIt is one of the best sites for getting the right supplies for repairing MacBooks and other Apple products. If you’re ready to open it up, remove the battery, memory, and, other components carefully so that you can rescue the logic board.
Consider cleaning your keyboard while you’re at it. A sticky drink could ruin your next writing session if you got liquid on the keys.
Drying it Out
Now you need to dry your Macbook out but you need dry heat. If you have central heating, putting it in proximity to a vent, but away from where dust could blow, may be helpful. If you have a hairdryer, consider using that on the lowest possible setting.
Don’t go so far as to try to put it in the oven or even a toaster oven.
Ultimately, you need to just get air blowing on your components. This can be done by using a fan to increase the flow of air. A can of compressed air might help but use it carefully as you could spread water around.
Getting Help From Science
If you’re trying to ensure that your laptop ends up bone dry, and you should be, then consider using the rice trick. While this is ideal for a wet phone, it can work for a laptop too.
Finding a big bowl or casserole large enough for your laptop is the first step. Then you need to make sure you have enough rice to cover it. The dry rice will be so desperate for water that it will absorb any bit of moisture that’s found its way into your MacBook
Make sure you have a can of air to clean out the rice bits from your ports later on.
Another way to make sure you dry out your laptop for good is to get some silica gel packets. Those little white packets that read “do not eat” can do a whole lot of good in keeping your mac dry. You’ll need a lot of silica, so hopefully, you’ve been collecting them for just this moment.
Be careful touching them, however, because they have a tendency to dry out your skin quickly. Wear gloves if possible.
Cleaning Out Something Other Than Water Spillage on a MacBook
Dealing with something other than water spillage on a MacBook requires extra precautions. Once you’ve got through the drying out process, you might have sugar residue, which can continue to conduct electricity. You need to carefully pinpoint points where it got in.
If it’s on your components, you’ll have to use a wooden toothpick to carefully scrape it off. If it’s on metal housing components, a cotton ball lightly dabbed with rubbing alcohol can work. However, you’ll have to go through the drying process all over again, applying no heat this time.
Instead of risking it, why not ask an expert to help.