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Late 2011 model, A1278 / 2.4 GHz i5 or 2.8 GHz i7 processor.

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Spilled a sweetened drink called "Pink Dolphin with Amino Acids"

I was using my mac halfway when the wind blew and knocked my half finished bottle of "Pink Dolphin" over my mac. Thankfully, it remained on and i quickly got some toilet paper and cleaned it off. The bad news: Some of the liquid went into the fan exhaust and a little little bit into the keyboard. It still turns on, but now when I use Chrome, it lags significantly. When I play Minecraft or L4D2, it lags like !@#$. should I open it up and take a look? My mac seems normal with its CPU usage and Fan Speed. It will hang occasionally. I can feel its not performing like as before. All parts are functioning. My friend suggested a OS X reinstall but I believe its a hardware problem.

EDIT: I use a keyboard skin.

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From what you describe here it does sound like you have some spillage internally (not an OS problem).

First your lucky you had a key board skin on your system when you spilled your drink. I'm sorry to say you should not use it as it does stop the flow of air the system needs to cool its self. Your drink has both sugar and acids which over time will cause damage (corrosion) and burnout components.

The keyboard skin would have funneled your drink into the areas along the keyboard and case edge this is where the drink may have leaked in. Try popping the key caps off around the edge where the drink spilled the most. With some distilled water (not tap!) and some cotton swabs moistened (not wet!) see if you can clean up the last remains of your drink. Hopefully it didn't go any farther in from this direction.

As for the fan grill along the back edge I suspect thats where you have some work to clean up your drink from the main logic board. Follow the steps outlined in this IFIXIT guide MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Late 2011 Logic Board

As you will need to get to both sides to inspect and clean the drink and any corrosion you find. Again you'll use distilled water with the cotton swabs but this time you'll also use some 85% or better Isopropyl alcohol to wipe down the areas a second time to help remove the water (acting as a dryer) and to remove any oils that may have been present in the drink. Take care not to snag the swabs on the small components as you don't want to pull any off. You may need to use a small soft brush to scrub down any corroded areas again be careful! You can also use a can of can'ed air as well to help in drying. Don't forget to wash out the heat sink fins as well.

Post any pictures of areas that look bad so we can see the damage. We may have some ideas how to deal with them. - Good Luck

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The liquid has been inside for days...


Then time is a wasting ;-} If you can't get to it for a few days put your system in a tight plastic bag sucking out as much air as you can and then putting the system in the refrigerator (not the freezer part!) cooling it down will slow the corrosive effect of the sugar & acids in your drink. When your ready to work on it keep the system in the bag and let it warm up on your table to room temp which will take about an hour (no direct sunlight!). This will prevent any condensation from entering your system.


If your not up to it, get your system to someone with the skills, an Apple Authorized Service Center. You don't want wait to long as it will get tougher and more expensive to repair.


You can't get back time - the longer you delay the more there will be to repair, at some point repairs will no longer be economically viable. - but if you haven't already 'backup your important files if you have any. You don't need to backup OS or apps but documents, pictures, music, movies, anything that would be a PITA to replace should be saved.


Oh no I am cleaning tomorrow only! Would it be too late?


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I would take a look at the motherboard. Probably some liquid got on the motherboard and because of that it's not working properly.

When I troubleshoot a laptop after liquid spill, I always remove the motherboard. Even minor corrosion as it shown on the following picture might cause big problems.

Block Image

Here are steps for troubleshooting a Mac laptop after liquid spill.

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