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Modèle mi-2009 A1278 / Processeur Core 2 Duo 2.26 ou 2.53 GHz EMC 2326

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Spilled coffe, stripped it down, now how can I clean it?

So, I tired to turn it on and it wouldn't. After eliminating any possibilities I decided to check the inside when I realized that the battery was covered in coffe. As it seems, my mum spilled some (and didn't tell me until now) and whipped it off assuming it wouldnt do any harm. I was away for 5 or so hours and that is when I came upon the damaged MBP.

I have removed the logic board, which has coffee residues, as well as the DC connector and the battery. All of these are now left to fully dry.

My question is what can I use to clean this up once its dry, and what are the chances of my MBP actually working once I put it back together?

Thanks in advance.


Dried it, cleaned it with Isopropyl alcohol, new thermal grease and all bits are back together. It wont star when using the power button so we are jump starting it.

The keyboard is fried. Managed to jump start the laptop and started testing. As I mentioned before, the keyboard is not working but the kb backlight is. Also, no sound from the speakers, but when I plug my headphones it works.

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Here's iFixits guide on repairing liquid damage: Electronics Water Damage

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I use different things depending on what was spilled:

Distilled water is a good start for coffee using a damp (not wet!) paper towel to wipe down the battery case and other smooth areas. Use cotton swabs (Q-Tips) to wipe the other areas so not to pull anything off the logic boards or get into the tight places.

I then use isopropyl alcohol if cream or milk was in the coffee to cut through the fats they have and to act as a drier for the distilled water used before.

Some people just go for the isopropyl alcohol alone. I've found sugar and coffee do better with water, but, you don't want tap or bottled water! you must use distilled water as it won't leave any iron or salts (calcium) deposits which over time will cause problems - Remember your high school chemistry classes ;-}

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I took everything apart. The only thing I couldn't disassemble was the keyboard. Everything (except the keyboard) went into a tub with rice. Hopefully this will help to remove any humidity that is left. What worries me is that coffee was in there for about 5 hours and since I didn't know about the spillage, I tried to turn it on. I just hope I didn't make things worse by doing that.


Rice is a great drier (I even put some in my salt shakers). The only problem I have when using it is tends to concentrate what was in the water or what ever was spilled. The film left on the logic board over time will cause issues. More so where the air is moist as it re-activates things.

You could still wash everything down again with isopropyl alcohol alone just to make sure.

The only risk here is any corrosion caused by the battery still being in the system with the wet coffee.

You have a fighting chance - At worst you'll need to replace the keyboard as it sounds like it got the most coffee. Did she add sugar or cream/milk in her coffee? Which will have damaged it.

Good Luck!


No sugar, about 10% of non-fat milk. The idea is to leave the board in rice for a day or so and then clean everything with Iso. I am aware that the keyboard my not work and I am ok with that as long as the rest does.


Forget the rice step. Remove the all power sources from it (battery, etc...). Hold down on the power button for 30 seconds to discharge the capacitors. Clean the board ASAP.


Thanks ABC for the advice. This happened last night. I took the MBP apart and I cleaned it today. Im getting the thermal paste later on today and hopefully I will be able to put everything together and test it tonight.


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i just got done going through the same thing. i used the denatured alcohol. it worked, but this is what i noticed... some people on the internet say

leave it for hours or like over night. i say from experience that 1 hour was good with a soft tooth brush and some general clean up afterwards. the solder points wanted to tarnish up like mad until i rised with deionized water. ever then, i had to really go over it with a magnifying glass, so my opinion is alcohol can be a bit much, be careful if you use it. i found my liquid in places i couldnt even believe... this site was invaluable.

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Jay Curts sera éternellement reconnaissant.
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