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FunKaLiTy

How to thoroughly clean a laptop after sugary spillage?

11 minutes ago, FunKaLiTy said:

I just had my worst nightmare come true! :(

 

I've managed to spill a whole cup of tea with LOTS of honey in it all over my brand new $2.000 laptop, my dear Acer Predator Helios 500! *weeping*

Let me reassure you that you have done everything right up to this step. Shutting it down, unplugging everything and flipping it over to that the keyboard is allowing liquid to leave gives you the best chance at a recovery here. 

As for how to proceed, take a piece of cardboard, paper or tape, and a sharpie, and draw a giant box on it. Then as you disassemble the laptop, make smaller boxes and label where the screws came from, or if they are in a piece of plastic or metal (like a housing or heatsink), you may be able to leave them in holes on the part, and remove the part.

Pay careful attention as some of the screws from the same part may be different lengths. 

if possible, work over a hard floor, like wood or ceramic tile, that way IF you drop a screw, you hear it and it doesn't get lost in carpet. 

 

Now, for cleaning it. 

My suggestion is when cleaning parts like the motherboard, ports, memory or storage PCBs, use high concentration isopropyl alcohol and a SOFT BRISTLE toothbrush, for large plastic parts, water and a rag will be fine, but give it time to dry. 

 

If you have any questions, PLEASE ask. I have done a lot of cleaning and repair jobs. (including macbooks and phones.) I would be glad to help as much as I can. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I just had my worst nightmare come true! :(

 

I've managed to spill a whole cup of tea with LOTS of honey in it all over my brand new $2.000 laptop, my dear Acer Predator Helios 500! *weeping*

 

Immediately I lifted the laptop upside down, turned it off, pulled out the charger and anything else I had connected to it.
Then I got a towel to lay it down on (still upside down, but with the screen going down from the end of the table as the screen doesn't fold all the way back) and unscrewed the service panel in the back so I could remove the battery and SSD.

Now I have it standing on top of the towel, face down, leaning on the top of the screen and the bottom of where the touchpad so it makes like a pyramid shape.

 

After googling around I've come to understand that sugary spillage is even worse than I thought, not only will it probably make some of my keys sticky, but the sugar will start to corrode my components when electricity is added *I'm pretty much crying at this point*

 

I've checked with the shop from where I bought the laptop and they say it will probably cost well over $100 to get it all cleaned up and have thermal paste reapplied to the CPU....so I'm close to deciding that I might try cleaning it myself.

 

To open the main panel I'd have to unscrew 17 more screws and then even more to remove the heatsink and I don't even know how to go about opening the front in order to release the keyboard....but maybe I could do it with some serious dedication to making a system for knowing what screw goes where when it comes to reassembly.

 

I've understood I need to get isopropyl alcohol and a tiny brush, thing is tho that I still haven't been able to find a video showing exactly how to clean the parts and I don't know what comments to trust. 
Some say it's better to just flush everything with distilled water, others say you should pour the alcohol all over your laptop, some say you should spray the components and some say you should use a microfiber cloth and apply the alcohol only to that and then clean with the cloth.

That last option seems to me the most reasonable one, but I don't know...maybe I wont be able to get everywhere using just the cloth and a brush, maybe it's better to submerge the parts completely in a bucket filled with isopropyl alcohol?

 

So that's why I've come here, does anyone here have experience completely cleaning a new or expensive laptop to remove sugary spillage?

Only video I found showed a dude just rinsing a motherboard under his sink and submerging the keyboard in his sink that was filled with water....he did that with an old laptop belonging to the daughter of one of his workmates, I highly doubt he'd do that on a brand new $2.000 machine.

 

 

PS: I know it was stupid to bring this extremely sugary drink to my laptop desk, I'm not thinking straight today cause I've gotten sick...which is why I was drinking tea with honey.

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Posted · Best Answer
11 minutes ago, FunKaLiTy said:

I just had my worst nightmare come true! :(

 

I've managed to spill a whole cup of tea with LOTS of honey in it all over my brand new $2.000 laptop, my dear Acer Predator Helios 500! *weeping*

Let me reassure you that you have done everything right up to this step. Shutting it down, unplugging everything and flipping it over to that the keyboard is allowing liquid to leave gives you the best chance at a recovery here. 

As for how to proceed, take a piece of cardboard, paper or tape, and a sharpie, and draw a giant box on it. Then as you disassemble the laptop, make smaller boxes and label where the screws came from, or if they are in a piece of plastic or metal (like a housing or heatsink), you may be able to leave them in holes on the part, and remove the part.

Pay careful attention as some of the screws from the same part may be different lengths. 

if possible, work over a hard floor, like wood or ceramic tile, that way IF you drop a screw, you hear it and it doesn't get lost in carpet. 

 

Now, for cleaning it. 

My suggestion is when cleaning parts like the motherboard, ports, memory or storage PCBs, use high concentration isopropyl alcohol and a SOFT BRISTLE toothbrush, for large plastic parts, water and a rag will be fine, but give it time to dry. 

 

If you have any questions, PLEASE ask. I have done a lot of cleaning and repair jobs. (including macbooks and phones.) I would be glad to help as much as I can. 


Fine you want the PSU tier list? Have the PSU tier list: https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/1116640-psu-tier-list-40-rev-103/

 

Stille (Desktop)

i7-8700k @5.15Ghz (Delidded) - Cryorig H7 Ultimate - 16GB Vengeance LPX - MSI Armor GTX 1080 - SanDisk Plus 480GB - Crucial MX500 500GB - Intel 660P 1TB SSD - (2x) WD Red 2TB - EVGA G3 650w - Corsair 760T

Evoo Gaming 15" (Finally got rid of the MacBook :D
i7-9750H - 16GB DDR4 - GTX 1660Ti - 480GB SSD M.2 - 1TB 2.5" BX500 SSD 

El-Sleep (ProxMox server)

2x Xeon E5-2667  - 48GB ECC DDR3 - Quadro 4000 - Dell H310 HBA (Flashed with IT firmware) -500GB Crucial MX500 (Proxmox Host) Kingston 128GB SSD (FreeNAS dev/ID passthrough) - 4x4TB Toshiba N300 HDD

Toys: Oculus Rift CV1, Oculus Quest, about half a dozen raspberry Pis (2b to 4), Arduino Uno, Arduino Mega, Arduino nano (x3), Arduino nano pro, Atomic Pi. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
13 hours ago, Brink2Three said:

Now, for cleaning it. 

My suggestion is when cleaning parts like the motherboard, ports, memory or storage PCBs, use high concentration isopropyl alcohol and a SOFT BRISTLE toothbrush, for large plastic parts, water and a rag will be fine, but give it time to dry. 

First of all, thank you for being so willing to help :)

 

However what I am actually wondering about is how should I apply the isopropyl alcohol?
Should I just pour it on the parts, should I submerge the parts in it or should I just apply it to a non-linting rag and use the rag + brush to go over the parts?

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9 hours ago, FunKaLiTy said:

First of all, thank you for being so willing to help :)

 

However what I am actually wondering about is how should I apply the isopropyl alcohol?
Should I just pour it on the parts, should I submerge the parts in it or should I just apply it to a non-linting rag and use the rag + brush to go over the parts?

I would pour a small amount on the part, brush with the toothbrush, then rince with more iso Alcohol. 

if you need it to try faster, use a hairdryer on low heat to dry it off. 


Fine you want the PSU tier list? Have the PSU tier list: https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/1116640-psu-tier-list-40-rev-103/

 

Stille (Desktop)

i7-8700k @5.15Ghz (Delidded) - Cryorig H7 Ultimate - 16GB Vengeance LPX - MSI Armor GTX 1080 - SanDisk Plus 480GB - Crucial MX500 500GB - Intel 660P 1TB SSD - (2x) WD Red 2TB - EVGA G3 650w - Corsair 760T

Evoo Gaming 15" (Finally got rid of the MacBook :D
i7-9750H - 16GB DDR4 - GTX 1660Ti - 480GB SSD M.2 - 1TB 2.5" BX500 SSD 

El-Sleep (ProxMox server)

2x Xeon E5-2667  - 48GB ECC DDR3 - Quadro 4000 - Dell H310 HBA (Flashed with IT firmware) -500GB Crucial MX500 (Proxmox Host) Kingston 128GB SSD (FreeNAS dev/ID passthrough) - 4x4TB Toshiba N300 HDD

Toys: Oculus Rift CV1, Oculus Quest, about half a dozen raspberry Pis (2b to 4), Arduino Uno, Arduino Mega, Arduino nano (x3), Arduino nano pro, Atomic Pi. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
27 minutes ago, Brink2Three said:

I would pour a small amount on the part, brush with the toothbrush, then rince with more iso Alcohol. 

if you need it to try faster, use a hairdryer on low heat to dry it off. 

Okay great thanks, that helps me figure out how much IPA I'd have to get, would need probably at least a liter if I were to submerge the parts in it, now maybe 250ml is enough, but just to be sure I think I'll order 0.5 liter, it's only another $3 so $11 total.

 

I'm starting to feel less concerned about the actual cleaning process, but still pretty anxious about how I should go about removing the motherboard and keyboard as any disassembly video I've found so far only shows as far as removing the heat pipes (to reapply thermal paste).

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I've gotten some help on the Acer forum regarding disassembly, do you have anything more to add? 
https://community.acer.com/en/discussion/551232/inside-look-of-the-helios-500

 

I'm still feeling a bit anxious about the whole thing, but all the help I'm getting from you guys do reassure me that I might actually be able to do this without breaking anything *crossing fingers*

 

Also I have another question regarding the cleaning process, I'm thinking of ordering this toolkit:
https://www.ifixit.com/Store/Tools/Pro-Tech-Toolkit/IF145-307-4

 

There I get some anti-static thing I'm supposed to attach to my wrist, first of all do you think it's necessary for me to use that and second should I use gloves as well?
The gloves they have on ifixit cost €20 for a pack, that seems really expensive to me for just some disposable gloves, if I need to use gloves, what would be the requirements for them?
Powder-free seems logical, but is there anything else?

 

Also do I need to use an anti-static matt to place the components on to avoid damaging the components?

 

Seeing all these tools I'm starting to think I need them, but I probably don't :P

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10 hours ago, FunKaLiTy said:

 

Also do I need to use an anti-static matt to place the components on to avoid damaging the components?

 

If you're working on a wood or plastic table, you're fine. 

if not, put a big piece of cardboard down as that will act as an insulator.

10 hours ago, FunKaLiTy said:

I've gotten some help on the Acer forum regarding disassembly, do you have anything more to add? 
https://community.acer.com/en/discussion/551232/inside-look-of-the-helios-500

 

This looks insanely useful. There's also a video of someone taking the entire back panel off, so I would follow that to get to that point, then use your link to continue. 

10 hours ago, FunKaLiTy said:

Also I have another question regarding the cleaning process, I'm thinking of ordering this toolkit:
https://www.ifixit.com/Store/Tools/Pro-Tech-Toolkit/IF145-307-4

 

There I get some anti-static thing I'm supposed to attach to my wrist, first of all do you think it's necessary for me to use that and second should I use gloves as well?
The gloves they have on ifixit cost €20 for a pack, that seems really expensive to me for just some disposable gloves, if I need to use gloves, what would be the requirements for them?
Powder-free seems logical, but is there anything else?

That kit is an amazing toolkit. I carry mine daily in my backpack. 

 

The anti Static wrist strap is something I would wear, and you clasp the other end to a grounded object. Typically the center screw on a wall outlet is where I'll connect the alligator clip if you're close enough. If not, you can clip it to any large metal object to ground yourself. 

 

Gloves are really personal preference if you ask me. I prefer to work without them as I can grip better, but again; personal preference. 

 


Fine you want the PSU tier list? Have the PSU tier list: https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/1116640-psu-tier-list-40-rev-103/

 

Stille (Desktop)

i7-8700k @5.15Ghz (Delidded) - Cryorig H7 Ultimate - 16GB Vengeance LPX - MSI Armor GTX 1080 - SanDisk Plus 480GB - Crucial MX500 500GB - Intel 660P 1TB SSD - (2x) WD Red 2TB - EVGA G3 650w - Corsair 760T

Evoo Gaming 15" (Finally got rid of the MacBook :D
i7-9750H - 16GB DDR4 - GTX 1660Ti - 480GB SSD M.2 - 1TB 2.5" BX500 SSD 

El-Sleep (ProxMox server)

2x Xeon E5-2667  - 48GB ECC DDR3 - Quadro 4000 - Dell H310 HBA (Flashed with IT firmware) -500GB Crucial MX500 (Proxmox Host) Kingston 128GB SSD (FreeNAS dev/ID passthrough) - 4x4TB Toshiba N300 HDD

Toys: Oculus Rift CV1, Oculus Quest, about half a dozen raspberry Pis (2b to 4), Arduino Uno, Arduino Mega, Arduino nano (x3), Arduino nano pro, Atomic Pi. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
22 hours ago, Brink2Three said:

If you're working on a wood or plastic table, you're fine. 

if not, put a big piece of cardboard down as that will act as an insulator.

This looks insanely useful. There's also a video of someone taking the entire back panel off, so I would follow that to get to that point, then use your link to continue. 

That kit is an amazing toolkit. I carry mine daily in my backpack. 

 

The anti Static wrist strap is something I would wear, and you clasp the other end to a grounded object. Typically the center screw on a wall outlet is where I'll connect the alligator clip if you're close enough. If not, you can clip it to any large metal object to ground yourself. 

 

Gloves are really personal preference if you ask me. I prefer to work without them as I can grip better, but again; personal preference. 

 

Thank you so much for your help, I was super close to taking this job on myself, I had all the stuff I needed ready to go in the digital shopping cart at ifixit.com and a scandinavian online store where I could order IPA, but I wanted to wait until today before ordering so I could check with all the different repair shops in the area to see if I could get a reasonable price for them to do it first.


All the stuff I was going to buy would cost me about 120€ and I'd probably have to wait at least a week before it arrived, but then I would end up with a fully fleshed out toolkit ready to do such repairs again on something like my phone or a friend or family member's electronic device so I felt it was worth the investment.

But alas, I would still have to do it myself risking my baby getting damaged in some way due to my inexperience.

So since I got an offer from a laptop/phone repair shop in town that they would do it very thoroughly using their ultrasonic cleaning device for "only" 100€ and they'd also throw in some new Artic Silver 5 thermal paste which is the one I was going to order anyways....I'm almost a bit sad to say that I took their offer and handed my baby over to the professionals.

 

It feels a lot safer this way and it will be faster than me having to wait for the tools to arrive in the mail.
But man....that ifixit Pro Tech Toolkit sure looks sweet!
I was looking forward to getting that, but now that I don't really need it for anything I don't see a good reason spending all that money on it....I am legit a bit sad about that, almost regret my decision not to go through with the cleaning myself, but I guess now at least I know how to do it if I'd feel the need to open her up in the future and I do feel I've gained some knowledge although just theoretical it's still probably going to be useful some time.

 

Thanks again so much for your help, I feel bad having you make such effort to help me and then I end up not doing it afterall, but I hope you understand, it's my baby, she's very precious and veeery expensive.
It feels a lot safer having the professionals do the whole job for me and they even have that ultrasonic cleaning machine which will definitely make sure to thoroughly clean all the parts.
I was thinking I might not have many options as to where I could get this job done and that it might end up costing close to 200€ as well as me not being certain how good of a job they'd do and expecting a low quality thermal paste.
That's why I had almost decided to do it myself, but I feel confident these guys will do a good job, they will use a good thermal paste and they did agree to do it for 100€ which was the maximum I wanted to pay having it done for me.

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15 hours ago, FunKaLiTy said:

Thank you so much for your help, I was super close to taking this job on myself, I had all the stuff I needed ready to go in the digital shopping cart at ifixit.com and a scandinavian online store where I could order IPA, but I wanted to wait until today before ordering so I could check with all the different repair shops in the area to see if I could get a reasonable price for them to do it first.


All the stuff I was going to buy would cost me about 120€ and I'd probably have to wait at least a week before it arrived, but then I would end up with a fully fleshed out toolkit ready to do such repairs again on something like my phone or a friend or family member's electronic device so I felt it was worth the investment.

But alas, I would still have to do it myself risking my baby getting damaged in some way due to my inexperience.

So since I got an offer from a laptop/phone repair shop in town that they would do it very thoroughly using their ultrasonic cleaning device for "only" 100€ and they'd also throw in some new Artic Silver 5 thermal paste which is the one I was going to order anyways....I'm almost a bit sad to say that I took their offer and handed my baby over to the professionals.

 

It feels a lot safer this way and it will be faster than me having to wait for the tools to arrive in the mail.
But man....that ifixit Pro Tech Toolkit sure looks sweet!
I was looking forward to getting that, but now that I don't really need it for anything I don't see a good reason spending all that money on it....I am legit a bit sad about that, almost regret my decision not to go through with the cleaning myself, but I guess now at least I know how to do it if I'd feel the need to open her up in the future and I do feel I've gained some knowledge although just theoretical it's still probably going to be useful some time.

 

Thanks again so much for your help, I feel bad having you make such effort to help me and then I end up not doing it afterall, but I hope you understand, it's my baby, she's very precious and veeery expensive.
It feels a lot safer having the professionals do the whole job for me and they even have that ultrasonic cleaning machine which will definitely make sure to thoroughly clean all the parts.
I was thinking I might not have many options as to where I could get this job done and that it might end up costing close to 200€ as well as me not being certain how good of a job they'd do and expecting a low quality thermal paste.
That's why I had almost decided to do it myself, but I feel confident these guys will do a good job, they will use a good thermal paste and they did agree to do it for 100€ which was the maximum I wanted to pay having it done for me.

To be fair, an ultrasonic cleaner will definitely do a better job cleaning it as well. Those things are designed for cleaning up from liquid damage and will have the highest possibility of success. 

Hope to hear that it went well. And yes that ifixit toolkit is amazing!! I've used it to take apart countless desktops, laptops, iMacs, iPhones, even random household appliances. I personally think that a toolkit is never a mistake to purchase unless you never plan on opening or attempting a repair on anything. 

Welcome to the Forum btw, glad we could help. :)


Fine you want the PSU tier list? Have the PSU tier list: https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/1116640-psu-tier-list-40-rev-103/

 

Stille (Desktop)

i7-8700k @5.15Ghz (Delidded) - Cryorig H7 Ultimate - 16GB Vengeance LPX - MSI Armor GTX 1080 - SanDisk Plus 480GB - Crucial MX500 500GB - Intel 660P 1TB SSD - (2x) WD Red 2TB - EVGA G3 650w - Corsair 760T

Evoo Gaming 15" (Finally got rid of the MacBook :D
i7-9750H - 16GB DDR4 - GTX 1660Ti - 480GB SSD M.2 - 1TB 2.5" BX500 SSD 

El-Sleep (ProxMox server)

2x Xeon E5-2667  - 48GB ECC DDR3 - Quadro 4000 - Dell H310 HBA (Flashed with IT firmware) -500GB Crucial MX500 (Proxmox Host) Kingston 128GB SSD (FreeNAS dev/ID passthrough) - 4x4TB Toshiba N300 HDD

Toys: Oculus Rift CV1, Oculus Quest, about half a dozen raspberry Pis (2b to 4), Arduino Uno, Arduino Mega, Arduino nano (x3), Arduino nano pro, Atomic Pi. 

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