What to do when you spill liquid on your Macbook?

Macbook Air Charging but not turning on repair after liquid damage
Macbook Air Charging but not turning on repair after liquid damage

Do’s and Dont’s with a Liquid Spillled Macbook

Liquid Spilled Macbooks are a common accident type we receive in our Adelaide Workshop, right after cracked Macbook Screens. Our Adelaide Workshop gets overwhelmed at times with phone calls of users who spilled a liquid on their Macbooks, and after leaving it to dry overnight Macbook’s do not work anymore.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation on the web regarding What to do when spilled liquid on Macbook? or Spilled liquid on Macbook, what to do?

There are a couple of actions that make sense when liquid is spilled on different types of electronics. But they do not apply to consumer electronics such as Macbooks and Laptops. In fact, have a devastating effect which we will explain shortly.

Here are couple things you should not do when liquid spills over your Macbook.

  • Do not let the Macbook Dry if liquid is spilled over it!
    Residue of liquid is more damaging than the liquid itsef as it oxidates the copper and alloy.
  • Do not try to turn on Macbook which had a liquid damage, even if it looks dry!
    We know it is tempting to check if it still works, but every time power is applied it will do more damage. Especialy when battery is connected inside, it keeps circulating power even when it is switched off.
  • Do not use dryer to dry the keyboard of your Macbook!
    This often leads to melted keyboard (especially butterfly model) and requires keyboard replcement on top of a logic board repair. It does not help in removing the residue.
  • Do not charge the Macbook if liquid is spilled on it!
    More electricity you circulate inside of the Macbook, more damage you do. This leads to increase in repair cost and decrease in success rate.
  • Do not rely on rice to absorb the moisture!
    Unless you just unwrapped a Macbook and spilled a liquid at the first 5 minutes of ownership. “Rice absorbs humidity” trick won’t help you.
    Why? Because, Macbooks accumulate dust inside, when liquid spills, it turns that dust into a mud. There is no rice in the world which can absorb enough himidity to dry that mud!
  • Do not wait for it to fix itself!
    Every minute you waste in NOT getting your Macbook Repaired, reduces the chances of a successfull Repair. Especially if your data is not backed up, acting quick and having it Repaired ensures higher success rate.

What you should do when liquid spills over your Macbook.

  • Understand the process! You need to understand electronics and ensure you are ESD safe to follow allong.
    There are lots of articles around, most of them requires some level of soldering skills and electronics knowledge. DIY is fine, as long as you do not do more harm than a good. Check some of our repair cases to gain an idea of what is involved in Macbook Liquid Damage Repair Process.
  • Disconnect the battery.
    It is important to immediately disconnect the power source, longer power runs through the Macbook, more damage it does to the circuitry.
  • Resolder any damaged traces or replace oxidated components, otherwise they will fail when time goes on.
    When oxidation occurs, it feeds on copper and alloy, meaning that components are not making a good contact with tarces anymore. If chips and cmponents are not resoldered/replaced, system may be unstable when in use which may cause data loss or complete logic board replacement required (usually above 2000$)
  • Clean oxidated areas and residue completely.
    This requires strong but gentle to chips chemical such as flux-off in an ultrasonic cleaner (UC) to ensure residue has been removed from the board and underneath the chips. “IPA and brushing” may be a temporary solution, due to residue left on the board. Or even worse may damage traces or lost components, by knocking them off by abrasive brushing.
  • Lastly, we know its cliché but: Leave it to the Professionals!
    If you do not have the skills, equipment or knowledge above, check local Macbook Electronic Repair Businesses in your Area. Be aware! There are lots of computer repair shops around, who employ “IPA and brushing” technique. In some cases it resolves customer’s issues, but in most it is a temporary fix or irreversible damage on an expensive Macbook. Ensure credibility of the places!

Effect of a Spilled Cola over Macbook

To explain how time is your enemy with liquid damage Macbooks, you can check these excerpts of videos our colleagues in NYC who specialises in Macbook Repairs like us, posted a couple of years ago.

Effect of a Cola drop on a Macbook Logic Board. – What to do when you spill liquid on your Macbook?

These videos show how a drop of Cola on a Macbook Board which is not even turned on completely causes immediate oxidation and corrosion through the components. This clearly demonstrates how urgent it is to treat and repair liquid damaged Macbooks.

Effect of a Water spilled on a Macbook

Another experiment with distilled water shows that even if the water is clear of sugar or acid components still causes damage and stops the functionality of the Macbook from 12.58V to 0.62V in under 10 minutes!

Effect of water spill on Macbook Logic Board – What to do when you spill liquid on your Macbook?

Liquid Damaged Macbook Repairable?

Depends on the do not do factors we have explained earlier. The severity of the damage in liquid spilled Macbooks depends on the quantity of the liquid and impacted areas.
We are often being asked, can we repair it or how likely it is that it can be repaired? We would not know the success rate of the repair without starting the repair process itself. Hence we have explained our repair and quoting process in detail on our Terms and Conditions page.

Is it worth repairing Macbook or better to buy a new one?

Another common question we are asked by users who have spilled liquid on their Macbooks is if repair is worth it. That is a question that depends on the extent of the damage, which we would know once we start the repair.

Most importantly we need to acknowledge that Liquid Damage on the Macbook was most likely caused by an accident. We have customers trying to convince themselves/or their parents that replacement is required due to the age of the Macbook or being “due for an upgrade”. We do not have a say in this decision, but for the fact, we have seen numerous cases where customers had accidents in a row with their new Macbooks.

If we spare $2000 or event $1000 today on buying a new one and instead fix the current one, we will have that amount available when or if an accident happens again! Perhaps most importantly we will save one more device from ending in e-waste and can teach our kids to be mindful of global consumerism trends.

Liquid Damaged Macbook Repair Reliable?

Liquid damage is one of the trickiest repairs out there, considering that when the liquid dries there is sometimes no visible residue left on the board. Most importantly it requires electronic knowledge and understanding of how Macbook electronics works within. Following schematics and having access to costly tools allows us to tackle most of the repairs successfully.

We have a sophisticated equipment workshop with high accuracy microscope, ultrasonic cleaning bath, reflow machine, and tools for micro soldering to achieve high-quality logic boards repairs. With thousands of components in stock, we quickly locate and replace failed components!


When professional equipment and know-how is used in the repair process, we ensure that not only the fault has been resolved, but areas are treated to prevent future oxidation and corrosion.

In some rare cases for example if the liquid damage the screen cable connector (in cases where liquid entered through/around the Macbook Air/Pro logo of the screen), we may need a logic board repair and a screen replacement. These two can bring the cost close to a cost of a replacement Macbook!

In the majority of the cases, if customers followed the Don’t section of our FAQ, we have a high success rate where we can keep the cost of the repair low, and ensure a quick turnaround.

To avoid a locked-in situation where cost exponentially grows we have a flexible cancellation policy where we charge only a diagnostic fee for unrepairable Macbooks. Also, it applies to Repairs where cost changes from the initial quote we give before we start the repair.

Do you need this Repair in Adelaide?

If your Apple Mac or Macbook is causing trouble and need a Macbook Repair Service in Adelaide, give us a call, and we will advise on the best scenario to get your device repaired.

Interstate? Why not Send IT for a Repair. Repairs take under three weeks, including forward and backward postage. Contact us to get an idea of cost and turnarounds.

We at IT-Solve, specialise in Apple Mac and electronics repairs. We will do our best to repair your Mac quickly without involving high costs and long waiting times in repair shops. Our average repair takes under a week!

Call us now on 0469317177 or drop us an inquiry via Text us via Whatsapp MessengerWhatsApp or Text us via Facebook MesengerMessenger
Our engineers will respond quickly to your query.

Repaired, not Replaced!

We are committed to reducing e-waste in Australia. How we do it is by educating our customers on the reparability and longevity of their devices, as well as providing affordable Macbook Repairs here in Adelaide.
Although our best intentions and hard work, this is not an easy task. Customers must accept that cost of high-quality electronic repairs, is between a third and half of the price of a new device. However, with the current trend of planned obsolescence in electronic design, we see more and more Macbooks having shorter lifespans. To tackle that, while we do our repairs we target common planned obsolescence engineering design mistakes to ensure we extend the life expectancy of the Macbooks we repair. Check some of our Macbook Repair Cases to get an idea of the process.

That said, if we buy a new one or write it off via insurance, it does not guarantee that the new one will not meet the same fate as the older one pretty soon.
As matter of fact, quite often we see accidents reoccurring within less than 2-year gaps. If we can save 2000$ or even 1000$ today by repairing our faulty Macbook is brilliant. That’s an extra half Macbook cost ready to be spent on another one when the time comes or our need for performance increases.
When that time comes is up to us to buy a new one or keep pushing the one we have, but delaying it by a year or three is always a good starting point and saves another abandoned Macbook from polluting our one and only Planet.