I realized this specific case has been solved but for anyone currently wondering about this DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE!!!
If your laptop is currently soaked with beer or soda or coffee like mine was, you don't have much to lose by trying to revive it yourself. You can do it. Especially after Apple shuts you down with a $750 repair estimate. Stupid liquid indicators.
A coke exploded on my mac. I thought it was fine but two days later the battery died and when I plugged in the charger, no light came on (well, a faint faint green light) and the computer was unresponsive. I thought I had killed it. Apple said they found corrosion and liquid residue inside. Just the replacement logic board was $300 and I would still be taking the whole thing apart. I decided to have faith the board was just shorted out and that nothing had actually fried.
1.) Acquire some thermal compound like the following: Arctic Silver Thermal Paste
EDIT: Wow, ifixit edited my post to substitute their own product in for my amazon link. As of writing this, it is cheaper at Amazon.
2.) Acquire some Torx screwdrivers for the logic board screws (you will need a T6 Torx Screwdriver)
3.) Acquire a toothbrush, the softer the better.
4.) Acquire isopropyl rubbing alcohol, the higher the percentage the better.
5.) Follow a guide to remove the logic board for your specific macbook model. Ifixit has great articles. Keep all parts and screws organized, in the order you removed them for faster reassembly.
6.) Remove everything you can from the logic board, including speakers, microphone, mag safe board, heat syncs and old thermal compound residue (the pasty white stuff under the heat syncs). I wanted to make sure EVERY part of the board would be cleaned if I was going to attempt this.
7.) Dip the toothbrush in rubbing alcohol and gently scrub in little circles around all sides of the small mag safe board for at least five minutes. Take your time and be thorough. You don't want to have to do this again.
8.) Dip the toothbrush in rubbing alcohol and gently scrub in little circles around all sides of the logic board for at least 15 minutes per side. More if you really drenched the thing with soda / beer / vomit or see corrosion. If you need to, you can pour rubbing alcohol right on the board. Get in and between all the connectors and on all sides of the board. Take your time and be thorough. You don't want to have to do this again.
9.) Rinse the small mag safe board and the logic board in the sink under hot (not scalding) water for at least 15 minutes. Yes, this is quite fine to do. Some people think water damages electronics. Water + power damages electronics. Again, spend more time under the tap if you really drenched the thing with soda / beer / vomit. Get in all the connectors and in all sides of the board. Take your time and be thorough. You don't want to have to do this again.
10.) Use a hair dryer on low on each side of the logic board until you can see no water residue. If you see a single drop anywhere, add another five to ten minutes of hair drying. Patience is the key at each step. Keep your hand close to the hot air. If your hand starts burning, you are too close and could damage the solder joints which would seriously ruin the board. Back up and keep the air moving in circles or back and forth over the board. Take your time and be thorough. You don't want to have to do this again.
11.) Put logic board and small mag safe board on paper towel somewhere warm and dry for 24 hours. I put mine on the dryer while it was warm and running, but furnaces work too.
12.) After it is completly dry, you are over the hill. Put a dollop of thermal compound under each heat sync you removed and smooth over the metal part of each processor and replace the heat syncs. You are almost there. Follow the guide in reverse to reassemble your mac, taking your time, watching videos and reading tips.
13.) Put the case cover back on, plug it in, hope for a green light. Mine did nothing for about 10 seconds and I started getting discouraged. Then I wiggled the charger and it turned green, then turned orange. I breathed a sigh of relief.
14.) Power on and pray. Mine again did nothing at first. Then it made the Apple C chord noise. I lost it and and jumped around the kitchen. But then it did nothing for about 20 seconds, the power button did not power it on. Patience. I hit the button one more time and heard the drive click. Once more and the front power indicator light came on, I got the white screen with the Apple logo in front of me, it booted fine and my $750 remained in my pocket.
You can do it.
Many thanks to rdlinc, Katie and machead3 for the responses.
@rdklinc: removing / reattaching the heat sink is what I'm most worried about so that's great if I don't necessarily need to remove it. Cheers.
@Katie: Indeed, it seems there are so many sensors that it would be virtually impossible for them not to have been activated :-) I'll try and be careful with the cables.
@Machead: Taking photos as I go is a great idea. Many thanks for this, should prove very helpful.