how to clean my powerbook after a spill?

how to clean my powerbook after a spill?

Post by maya_ » Fri, 09 Apr 2004 23:56:36


Newbie here, but haven't found a consistent answer to this on the net:

I, like a real genius, spilled a drink on my Powerbook G4 keyboard
last night. It was gin (no mixers, no ice) that I spilled, about an
ounce, right into the upper-right of the keyboard. Followed by a
slight burning smell. I left it on for 24 hours, thinking it better
to let it evaporate, but now I worry that I made it worse, after
reading instructions ranging from washing it with water, *** ,
letting it air dry, etc.

The keyboard is useless (except for the shift key on the lower left)
The DVD drive is uselss.

My question: how to clean it out? My computer is fine, data-wise,
but mechanically hopeless.

So I'm guessing I need to do a thorough cleaning, and pray that no
irreversible or financially disastrous damage has been done.

What I need: suggestions for cleaning, and precautions. I found the
directions for removing the keyboard. Then what? Can I use q-tips
and water? Or *** ? Can I clean out the firewire port area?

HELP! or guidance of some kind would be much appreciated.
 
 
 

how to clean my powerbook after a spill?

Post by The Dark S » Sat, 10 Apr 2004 00:14:03


I had a similiar misfortune. I solved it by carefully pulling off the
keys and little scissor clamps and soaking the pieces in rubbing ***
and scrubbing them with water.

Unfortunately, I did it so many times that now my key's little clamps
are showing wear and tear.

As for under the keyboard... I talked to the apple store at my local
mall, and they were like "it will be at least 600." The tech had an
anecdote of a similiar mishap where the repair bill was 2k :(

--
XXXX@XXXXX.COM | Fight Censorship, Boycott Wal-Mart
Now is the winter of your discontent! - Stewie

 
 
 

how to clean my powerbook after a spill?

Post by fmoor » Sat, 10 Apr 2004 01:08:20


: It was gin (no mixers, no ice)

Okay, Maya, let's party!
(No *** harrassment suits, please; that was just an innocent joke.)

The two biggest enemies from spills are usually sugar and butterfat. A good
quality dry gin like Bombay has relatively little sugar and no butterfat
since you weren't putting it in your latte (horrors).

The bad news is that both *** and sugar when in aqueous solution
conduct electricity. Further *** has a low surface tension so it will
seep into lots of small cracks and up chip leads into the chip itself,
possibly shorting something out. The burning smell is not a good sign.

Whatever you do, DON'T clean it with *** . Warm distilled water is
best, but problematic. Start with the keyboard (removed from the laptop).
See if you can see any residue. If so CAREFULLY (this is very hard to do
with out getting water everywhere) flush it with warm distilled water. Do
you have one of those WaterPik dental appliances?) Then remove the DVD
drive and do the same thing. The good news is that there may be little
residue to worry about. The bad news is that it could be inside a chip
(because of the *** ), which you won't be able to get at.

The bottom line is that you may have a severely damaged machine. If you
know a good repair shop they can replace the keyboard and drive to see if
that simple, but expensive, fix will preform a resurection. (A _really
good shop will have a spare keyboard lying around which they can plug in
to see if the fix works before ordering a new part.)

Good luck. Let us know what happens. And since you're drinking your gin
neat, why not just put a straw in the bottle? That'd be safer. ;)

--Fred
 
 
 

how to clean my powerbook after a spill?

Post by becker » Sat, 10 Apr 2004 07:11:13

anhydrous ***
 
 
 

how to clean my powerbook after a spill?

Post by pete » Sun, 11 Apr 2004 01:30:57


I hate to say it, but that might have been a mistake. I would have
switched off quick and removed the battery.


I would remove the hard drive and the DVD drive then soak everything
except the screen in warm distilled water for several hours. Rinse and
repeat several times, then leave to dry for some time.

Hope it works out for you.

--

Peter
 
 
 

how to clean my powerbook after a spill?

Post by maya_ » Mon, 12 Apr 2004 02:58:32

Thanks everyong for the notes. And I'm breaking my drinking and
mac-ing habit, though the late night DVD-watching is not as fun now...

So I see some conflict in replies over whether or not to use
*** --right? Or *** on the keyboard, but not on the inner
parts?

And one poster said to dunk the parts, as in submerge, in distilled
water, rinsing and air-drying? Is this tried and true, or very
risky?

I've attached an external keyboard and it works great. The DVD drive
still doesn't work, so I'll try washing it and the keyboard, but the
hard drive, is that really dunk-able? Yikes! Or other ways to clean
it, or am I better off not trying to fix what's mostly not broken?

Anyway, thanks so much for your help, and any further notes are
appreciated.
 
 
 

how to clean my powerbook after a spill?

Post by John Johns » Mon, 12 Apr 2004 05:23:13

In article < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,



Unless you know that you need some other solvent, (distilled) water is
safest: the hardware in your machine is not water-soluble. *** may
get into things (but I really don't know one way or another).

Submerging electronic components in water is safe under certain
conditions:
1. No power to the device (unplug and remove all batteries). If there's
no power, you cannot short out anything.
2. The device must be COMPLETELY dry before powering it up. The penalty
for getting it wrong is often complete destruction of the device.
3. The water must not deposit (or redeposit) foreign substances
(especially conductive ones). Thorough rinsing should take care of this,
but again, the penalty for being wrong is likely destruction.

Be very cautious about attempting to clean electronics. As the keyboard
is removable, cleaning it is relatively easy and safe. Other parts are
more tricky.


You'll ruin the HD if you submerge it. If you are afraid that you might
have gotten something on the drive, and it still works, your best bet is
to copy everything onto another HD (good time for an upgrade and/or an
external FW drive!). It's handy as a backup and good insurance.

I don't know about the DVD drive. Likely submersion will mess with the
lubricants used in the motors and etc., but I've never opened mine up.

HTH
 
 
 

how to clean my powerbook after a spill?

Post by paulfuch » Mon, 12 Apr 2004 11:52:38


Chemically, gin is about 40% ehtanol, 60% water and probably less than
1% or 2% botanical extracts from junniper berries (IIRC). Water and
ethanol are solvents which are polar, catagorized on a scale from very
polar to non-polar. Water is the most polar of the common solvents.
*** is also a polar solvent but less polar than water, allowing it a
greater ability to solvate non-ionic materials. The water and ethanol
components of your catastrophic environmental spill would have
evaporated within minutes or hours, so the only concern would be the
botanical extract residues, and the damage caused by the electrical
shorting of the gin in a powered up machine, which cannot be cleaned
away and is probably non-repairable except by replacing the components,
All the botanicals in the gin are, by definition, soluble in the 40/60
mixture, and would probably be almost as soluble in distilled water.
Thus using distilled water would be the safest solvent to clean up your
machine.

Just FYI pure water or ethanol are both very poor conductors of
electricity, but the addition of fairly small amounts of electrolyte
impurities changes this very fast.

My first piece of advice is don't mess with anything that ain't broken!
In other words, just work with the keyboard and DVD module and leave
everything alone. The botanical residues probably won't hurt the
components, and the risk of them doing so in the future is far less than
the risk of you totalling your PB by attempting to remove them.

Regarding the KB and DVD modules, I would soak them, totally immersed in
warm water for several hours. Then remove them and let them air dry.
You might consider using an anchored hair dryer to accelerate the
drying, particularly for the DVD module, aiming it at the opening. But
keep it on low and at a safe distance so the parts do not get hot but
only moderately warm. They must be totally dry before you power them up
or you will ruin them.

Good luck.

--
paulfuchs at attglobal dot net
Sitting on a small rock (St. John) in the Caribbean
 
 
 

how to clean my powerbook after a spill?

Post by me » Mon, 12 Apr 2004 16:47:01


<snip>

I'd heard you should spray with freon to cleanup situations like this.
Comments?

--
Apple computers are for people who produce.
 
 
 

how to clean my powerbook after a spill?

Post by pete » Mon, 12 Apr 2004 23:45:42


Yes, but freon is carcinogenic.

--

Peter
 
 
 

how to clean my powerbook after a spill?

Post by pete » Mon, 12 Apr 2004 23:45:43


<...>


That's good news, so leave well alone... :)


Yeup.


Yes, that's why I suggested removing it before dunking. HD's aren't
hermeically sealed.


Best,

--

Peter
 
 
 

how to clean my powerbook after a spill?

Post by maya_ » Tue, 13 Apr 2004 14:03:35


<snip>


So you mean dunking the computer (minus the display) without its hard drive, then?

Thanks everyone for all the ideas.
 
 
 

how to clean my powerbook after a spill?

Post by paulfuch » Tue, 13 Apr 2004 21:23:11


I thought freon (fluorochlorocarbons) were now illegal because of their
immense destructive impact on the ozone layer.
--
paulfuchs at attglobal dot net
Sitting on a small rock (St. John) in the Caribbean
 
 
 

how to clean my powerbook after a spill?

Post by Jason Koes » Tue, 13 Apr 2004 22:25:52

I suppose it depends on where you are, but I don't think it is illegal
here in the US, just highly regulated. It's quite expensive (especially
in comparison to the HFCs now in use) and you aren't supposed to release
it into the air. Still, not illegal IIRC.
 
 
 

how to clean my powerbook after a spill?

Post by pete » Tue, 13 Apr 2004 23:10:49


Yes, to clean everything, but if it works with an external keyboard then
maybe don't bother on the grounds that if it's working then leave well
alone.


Good luck.

--

Peter