Spilling liquid onto a thousand dollar plus MacBook Air or MacBook Pro is a horrible feeling. Before panicking, you can take a few positive steps which may help to preserve the Mac or your data. While there is no guarantee but the Mac can be saved from permanent water damage, yet sometimes, you can recover a MacBook Air and MacBook Pro from spilled liquid encounters by taking some very quick actions, or perhaps just mitigating the water damage to the keyboard rather than the entire computer.

However, before getting it into specifics, it should probably go without saying that if you happen to drop a MacBook Air into a lake, swimming pool, or a river, it probably isn’t fixable and the data has a high chance of being corrupted.

This article is basically aimed at how to recover from smaller water accident you can run into, like a splash from a spilled glass of water, or cup of coffee knocked over onto a desk. The reality of fixing computers with liquid damage is very complicated to deal with the chances of recovery being low. At least that has been my experience.

In most cases of liquid spillage, your personal safety needs to be your number one priority. Electricity and water don’t mix and can cause a dangerous situation, so if you’re not sure what to do then contact your local professional electrician and leave the situation alone.However here are some steps you can take:

(1) Turn off the MacBook Pro or Air immediately assuming it’s still on.

(2) Unplug the power cord and all external devices. If possible then disconnect the battery.

(3) If the water or liquid mainly went onto the keyboard of the MacBook Air / MacBook Pro, quickly flip it over so the liquid doesn’t penetrate farther into the motherboard. Sometimes using a small hand held vacuum to suck the water off after flipping can be helpful. However, make sure that your vacuum doesn’t pull the keys of your keyboard. Some dehumidifier compressors, if handy, can be useful to gently blow and dry off the liquid.

(4) Dry off the remaining moisture after the above steps using some cotton, or other very absorbent, towels.

Wait for at least 48 hours, and when you know for certain that the MacBook Pro / Air has zero remaining liquid within it; you’re welcome to turn the Mac on yourself and see what happens. If you are fortunate one and acted quickly, you may get away with no damage to the MacBook at all, or perhaps you will only end up with a damaged keyboard. If liquid got into the logic board or power system, the Mac is probably beyond a simple repair.

How about the stuffing the Mac in to Silica Gel or Rice?

You can try packing Mac in to a large plastic bag with Silica gel if it is handy, but you might need lots of gel and it takes long time to absorb the liquid. Rice is less effective as it takes longer to absorb the liquid and can gets it into your Mac fan and other unwanted areas. Later it can cause more problems for your Mac. The best thing is if you have a dehumidifier handy and then use it in for 48 to 60 hours in closed container. The liquid will be gone and you might have your computer back.

This has been my experience in handling liquid damage for Mac Products.