If you've just spilled liquid on your laptop, you can still protect it from damage. Whether you spilled coffee on a MacBook or soda on your laptop, you need to act quickly to prevent the liquid from damaging the internals.
Let's go through the steps to determine what to do if you've spilled liquid on your laptop.
First of all, you need to make sure that your laptop is not receiving power. If the liquid gets onto a live circuit through the keyboard, it can short-circuit and damage the laptop.
In the event of a spill, pull the power plug out of the laptop. Then shut down the laptop. If you and your laptop shut down quickly enough, you can shut down the system by clicking the Start button.
However, it is best to hold down your laptop's power button to trigger a sudden shutdown. These aren't as healthy for your system as a normal shutdown, but not as unhealthy as moisture ingress into your laptop.
Then, if you can, remove the laptop's battery. Once you do, your laptop will run out of power, which will reduce the risk of damage.
2. Wipe what you see
Now that the power is off, it's time to mop up all of the liquid that you can see. Take a couple of kitchen towels and soak up all of the liquid on the surface. This prevents additional liquid from getting into the sensitive electronics.
It is important to catch the liquid without dropping it between the keys. When wiping up, make sure that no liquid gets into the electronics of the laptop.
3.Dry the internals (if you can)
When checking for internal damage, the end result will be different between laptops. Some can be easily disassembled while others are tightly locked.
Double check that you can easily and safely remove the laptop's outer shell. If you can, carefully open the case of the laptop and dry the hardware with a soft towel. Do not use a hair dryer, as these can generate static electricity that can seriously damage your hardware.
4. Remove the keys and clean them underneath
Again, this step depends entirely on the brand of laptop you own. Some laptops allow you to remove the keys on the keyboard while others are a little more stubborn.
If you can remove the keys, go ahead. Wipe up any liquids you can see around the buttons. Again, don't be too forceful, as this can push the liquid further into the sensitive electronics.
5. Turn the laptop over
Once you've removed everything you can from the surface and inside, it's time to clean up any liquids that have fallen between the buttons. This has the greatest chance of adversely affecting the laptop.
Removing laptop keys can be tricky. Therefore, it is best to turn the laptop upside down. Find a safe way to position your laptop with the screen open and the keyboard facing down.
Try to position it so that it doesn't damage the screen. Otherwise, you will have two problems instead of one. A good option is to flatten the laptop and then place it upside down on a table with a towel underneath.
Since you cannot see into the working mechanisms of the laptop, it is very difficult to tell when it is completely dry inside. So it's best to let it sit for 24 hours before trying to touch it again.
6. Clean the keyboard from stickiness
If the laptop still boots up and works fine after drying out, then you may have the sticky keys problem. Drinks with added sugar are especially effective when it comes to disguising the keyboard and making typing difficult.
Fortunately, there are ways to clean your keyboard that can solve the problem. You don't need anything special; Disinfectant wipes do the job just fine.
7. Have a professional help with liquid spills on your laptop
If you've tried all of these and it still doesn't work, there is not much more you can do without professional help. Even if the laptop fails to boot, a repair shop can replace the hardware or extract the data from the hard drive.
How to Prevent Future Spills on Your Laptop
If you want to prevent spills in the future, you can purchase special accessories that will allow you to keep your drink in your mug instead of over your laptop.
For example, if you use your laptop on your lap, you can purchase a laptop compartment that has a cup holder built into it. This way your drink won't tip over when you set up your laptop.
If you're using your laptop on a desk or table, consider swapping out your glass or mug for something sealable. If you enjoy sipping water, grab a sports bottle and fill it up. If your preference is for tea or coffee, bring a thermos or travel mug, both of which can be secured with a waterproof cap to prevent spillage.
Lastly, it is possible to grab silicone covers that sit on your laptop's keyboard. Not only does this prevent liquid from entering, but it also prevents dirt, dust, and grime from building up on your keys.
Protect your laptop from spills
Given the laptop's portability, there are many ways that they can see damage. If you're happy to take your laptop to Starbucks, you should know how to protect your laptop from spillage so it doesn't cause permanent damage.
If you enjoy taking your laptop with you, it is a good idea to prevent theft as much as possible. Did you know that there are bags out there that are specifically designed to keep thieving hands at bay?
The 7 best anti-theft laptop bags
As our technology becomes more portable, we naturally want to take all of our devices with us wherever we go. What better way to make sure everything stays in one place than using an anti-theft device?
About the author
(301 articles published)
A BSc graduate in Computer Science with a deep passion for everything related to safety. After working for an indie game studio, he found his passion for writing and decided to use his skills to write about all things technical.
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