I had a recent spillage of coffee on my MacBook (aluminium Unibody late-2008 model). I immediately turned it off and left it to dry out for about 24 hours and all appears to be well, with all the keys functional (I spilt it mainly over the right-side of the keyboard).

However to get rid of the imminent coffee smell I am going to disassemble it to clean up the keyboard.

The problem with the Unibody MacBooks is that to get to the keyboard you have to take everything else out of the body – hard drive, logic board, pretty much everything – as the only access to the internals is from the bottom of the body.

I have read that cleaning is best done with a high-percentage alcohol but the cleaned components have to be left to dry for at least 24 hours, preferably a few days.

The Question

Since I have to remove most of the internal components to get to the keyboard to clean it, but once this is done the cleaned parts have to be left to dry out, what is the best way to store the rest of the internal components for a few days in order that they don't get damaged?

My initial thoughts were:

  • Replace the unaffected components in the body
  • Use antistatic bags

But are there any better ways to do this?

2 Answers 2


I'd use a flat space that won't be disturbed for a few days. If you can lay out parts in some kind of order you'll have an easier time reassembling them.

Cardboard shipping boxes work well (especially the style Amazon uses for some shipping -- large footprint, but not very tall). Plastic storage bins can work, but take extra care; some types can be very static-y.

Inside the box, use antistatic bags to separate individual components (hard drive, ram chips, etc) -- this way they won't damage each other if the box gets shifted. You don't need any padding so long as you have a place where the box can sit undisturbed for a few days, although if you've detached the LCD you may want to pad that.


Antistatic bags are a good idea.

Use Isopropyl Alcohol (ie, rubbing alcohol)

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