On a portable computer immediately do the following things:
- Immediately shut down the computer and unplug the power cord.
- If your portable Mac has a removable battery, take it out.
- Disconnect any peripherals (printers, iPods, scanners, cameras, etc.)
- Lay the computer upside down on paper towels to get as much liquid as possible to drip out.
- Note what was spilled on your Mac.
- Bring the computer into Tekserve as soon as possible.
Do not try to turn it back on. Liquids can help electrical current move about the components of your Mac in destructive ways. Don’t shake the computer (this will only spread the liquid around). Finally, don’t use a hair dryer on it (even at a low setting a hair dryer will damage sensitive components). Liquid and spill damage is not covered by warranty or AppleCare (but may be covered by some insurance policies or credit cards). You can learn more about Tekserve’s spill cleaning service here.
If you’ve spilled on a desktop computer’s keyboard, shut down the computer, unplug the keyboard, and turn it upside down. Wait a day or few for it to dry. It may all be okay now. If not, buy a new keyboard. (Former Byte columnist Jerry Pournelle says just to take it in the shower with you and rinse it thoroughly and then dry it for a few days, but he also believes in Star Wars missile defenses.) New Apple keyboards start at around $49 and other brands are available for less. Check out the keyboard section of our online store.