Mac Performance

Spilled Water on Mac?

Can a MacBook with water damage be repaired? Wondering how to get water out of your MacBook? We’ll explain everything you need to know.  

 

Accidents are prone to happen, but when you spill water on your Mac, it’s a nightmare. Although it has the potential to ruin your MacBook, don’t fear. After reading this article, you’ll know how to save your Mac or at least lessen the repair costs.

 

As soon as you’ve spilled any liquid on your Mac, there are some things you shouldn’t do, or it will cause further damage to your Macbook.

 

Here are some things that aren’t advised when you’ve spilled water on your Mac:

  1. Attempting to use your Mac after the spill
  2. Not unplugging devices connected to your Mac
  3. Not putting your Mac in a dry space
  4. Not drying it sufficiently
  5. Leaving your Mac in rice.

BEFORE WE BEGIN

 

When you spill liquid on your Mac, it’s a horrible feeling. If your Macbook is playing up after the instance, it’s advised to seek professional help. Luckily, with MacKeeper’s Premium Services, you can get any important query answered 24/7, alongside a free checkup.

 

Here’s how to get help from MacKeeper’s Premium Services:

  1. Download MacKeeper
  2. Launch MacKeeper
  3. In the left pane click Premium Services
  4. Click Chat Now
  5. Enter your question in the live chat box
  6. Receive help from a qualified agent.

What to do if MacBook gets wet

When your trusted MacBook gets wet, it can leave you feeling helpless, especially if you're reliant on your Mac for work, school, etc. However, if you follow the steps below, you’ll be able to get your Mac working, or at least reduce the costs of repair.

Unplug Mac’s charger

First things first, in the case your MacBook charger is plugged in, unplug your Mac charger. Essentially, this measure will stop your Mac's charging circuit. If you have running circuits after the spill, it could ruin your device. Therefore, unplugging your charger immediately is crucial.

  • If the spill happened with your Mac charger plugged in, unplug your charger from the wall and then your Mac.
  • If the spill happened near the A/C outlet, take caution when removing it from the wall.

Note: Take precautions by using rubber gloves to remove your charger from the A/C outlet.

Turn MacBook off immediately

After you’ve unplugged your Mac’s charger, shut down your MacBook immediately. Even if your Mac looks like it’s running fine, using it after it's exposed to a spill will make matters worse.  

 

Here’s how to turn your Macbook off immediately:

  1. Don’t close any tabs or applications, just leave everything as it is
  2. Hold down the Power button until it shuts down.

Unplug installed peripherals

Unplug anything plugged into your Mac. This cautious reaction will help avoid liquid blocking the ports and prevent damage to your peripherals.

 

Follow these steps to unplug installed peripherals:

  1. Carefully remove anything plugged into your Mac, including external hard drives, mouse, iOS devices, etc.
  2. If any peripherals are wet, dry and put them in a dry space.

Move MacBook to a dry space

Now your Mac’s off and all installed peripherals are unplugged, your device should be safe to take it away from the spill. Take your Mac and place it under a dry towel in a dry space. If you dropped your Macbook in a pool or something, you evidently would’ve done this already.  

 

Note: As you move your Mac to a dry space, hold it upright without shaking or tilting it. Trying to drain water out of your device is a bad idea.

Absorb as much liquid as possible

After moving your Mac to a dry space, you’ll need to absorb as much liquid as possible. Depending on how bad your spill is, this can be a lifesaver. There are a few ways to do this.

 

Follow these steps to absorb as much liquid as possible:

  1. Wipe your Mac and keyboard with a paper towel or cotton fabric
  2. Dry the screen with a microfiber towel
  3. To dry the ports, you can clean them using a cotton bud.

Note: Ensure to dry as much of your MacBook as possible. The quicker your Macs dry, the better.

 

After cleaning the ports, you might be wondering how to reset USB ports on Mac. We’ve got you covered!

Let the MacBook dry out completely

After going through the previous steps, you may feel the temptation to boot up your MacBook. That's not a good idea.  

 

If your Mac does turn on, the likelihood is there is liquid amongst the components. Booting it up in this state will cause an electrical current to reach the affected components. In turn, this careless idea can cause further damage.

 

Wait at least two days, preferably three or more for your MacBook to air dry. In this period, turn your MacBook upside down to aid water to leave your Mac internally. When you turn it upside down, place it open, upside down, and under a towel.

 

To help your Mac dry, you can also blow cool air on your device. Using a fan of some sort will take out some moisture.

Turn on Mac after water damage

After you’ve left your Mac for at least 48 hours and you're sure it’s dry, turn on your Mac after water damage. However, without proper inspection, booting up a water-damaged device is hit or miss.

 

Here’s how to turn on your Mac after water damage:

  1. Check that your MacBook is completely dry
  2. Hold down the Power button until you see the Apple logo.

With a bit of luck, your Mac will be back up and running. Unfortunately, if it’s working and seems fine, you can still run into problems with your components in the future. A major issue with water-damaged components is they can erode and rust with time, even once the liquid is gone.

Backup data on Mac

Now you’ve booted up your Mac, it’s vital to backup your data instantly. As we discussed, a water-damaged device can come back to haunt you in the future. Also, if you need to take your MacBook to a repair center, they probably won’t be able to backup your data for you.  

 

A great way of helping you backup your Mac is with the help of Time Machine. If you’re someone who forgets to backup regularly, you can automatically backup your device with Time Machine.

 

Here’s how to backup data on Mac with Time Machine:

  1. Click the Apple logo in the top left and select System Preferences
  2. Click Time Machine
  3. Insert a USB drive, Thunderbolt drive, or other compatible backup disks
  4. Click Select Disk to select your backup disk
  5. Check the box Back Up Automatically
  6. To back up manually, click Back Up Now in the Time Machine menu.

Run hardware diagnostics

So, your Mac's backed up now, right? Now you’ve done that it’s wise to run hardware diagnostics, as it'll highlight any current damages.  

 

Here’s how to run hardware diagnostics for MacBooks with Intel processors:

  1. Shut down your Mac
  2. Boot up your MacBook whilst holding D on the keyboard.

Here’s how to run hardware diagnostics for MacBooks with Apple Silicon:

  1. Shut down your Mac
  2. Hold the Power button until you see the startup menu
  3. Now, hold Command + D on the keyboard.

If your Mac has no errors after running hardware diagnostics, your MacBook is still at risk in the future. If applicable, it’ll be a good idea to submit an AppleCare+ claim or contact an authorized repair center. Read the steps below to learn how to do so.

Submit an AppleCare+ claim

If you have coverage from AppleCare+ on your Mac, you can claim up to two accidental claims a year. At this moment, a liquid spill would cost $299 plus applicable tax.  

 

Even if your MacBook is a little old and running great, it’s smart to submit a claim. As Mac’s components are prone to rust after water exposure, it’s important to get your device checked professionally. You could always wait for another issue to do this, but you don’t want to claim after your Mac is past repairable.

Contact an authorized repair center

If you’re experiencing issues after the spill and you don’t have AppleCare+, you’ll need to contact an authorized repair center. Alongside Apple Stores, Apple Authorized Service Providers specialize in Mac repairs and are certified to do so.

 

After you spill liquid on your MacBook, it’ll void the warranty unless you’re with AppleCare+. You don’t have to go with an Apple Authorized provider, but since they're authorized, it's a safe bet.

 

So, is your Mac working fine? You probably still want to have it professionally checked to prevent corrosion in the internal components. Contact a few repair shops and see how much it’ll cost to inspect and clean the internals of your MacBook.

 

Sometimes, the logic board will need to get replaced. If the repair shop says you need a new one, it’s smart to wait it out until it fails. That way, you can see if the cost is worth it as opposed to buying a new MacBook.

How to avoid spilling liquid on Mac in the future

As you now know, spilling liquid on your Mac is a horrible feeling. You may not have been able to prevent your spill, but there are some precautions you can take to prevent your MacBook from getting wet again.

  • Keep your Mac raised from any drinks/food. Consider purchasing a MacBook stand
  • Consider purchasing a waterproof keyboard/Mac cover
  • If possible, keep food and drinks on a different table from where you use your Mac.

Following these tips won’t just keep your MacBook clean, it’ll help to prevent an annoying issue like spilled water on your Mac from happening again.

Be extra careful with liquid around your Mac

After reading this article, you should now know the steps to take when you spill water on your Mac. Hopefully, your Mac is saved, or at the least, you’ve reduced the repair costs.

 

As we covered today, as soon as you spill any liquid on your MacBook, be quick to unplug your charger, turn off your Mac, unplug installed peripherals, and move to a dry space. After you can carefully proceed with the other steps, we went over. Remember, the first port of call is to stop all electric current from reaching internal components.  

 

We also looked at the benefits of using a professional service such as MacKeeper’s Premium Services. Here, you can have any questions professionally answered 24/7, which will give you the peace of mind you need after you’ve spilled liquid on your Mac.

 

And if your MacBook won’t turn on, we have a detailed guide ready for you—take a look at it too.

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