What you should do when liquid spills on your laptop

What you should do when liquid spills on your laptop

One basic laptop etiquette is to keep all foods and liquids away from the machine. However, it's easy to forget this rule when you're on lunch break and want to catch up on an episode of Game of Thrones. I've been there so I can relate.

With this case, there may come that unfortunate moment when a liquid spills the laptop. It can be tea, water, coffee or ice cream. In that split second, your brain short-circuits and you panic. You begin to think of that long journey to the laptop guy at computer village. The good news is: all hope is not lost if you follow some basic steps.

When water or any liquid comes in contact with electricity, it can result to a pretty shocking experience. If you've been shocked by electricity before, you know it's no joke. Once liquid spills on a laptop, it can flow into the board and cause some lasting damage if not quickly remedied. If it's a sticky liquid like sugary coffee, it may cause the laptop keys to stick to the board.

Like good first aiders, your first reaction to a liquid spill on your laptop may go a long way in saving the machine. This is what you should do if you find yourself in such a scenario

  1. Remove the laptop from power source

Immediately you notice the spill, pluck the charger off the laptop and wall socket. This is to limit the chance of having another electrical hazard on your hands.

  1. Perform a force-shutdown

Force-shutdown the laptop by long pressing the power button. Your current work may be of less importance at this moment so you don't need to save it. Remember that the first two steps happen in under 10 seconds.

  1. Clear the spill surface

You can move the laptop simultaneously to a dry surface as you shut it down. Make sure the laptop is somewhere dry. If you must place the laptop back on the spill surface, dry the surface first.

  1. Remove the battery and other accessories

Remove the laptop battery, mouse, usb drives, optical disk drives, memory cards and other accessories. Arrange them in a safe, cool, dry place.

  1. Place laptop on a dry towel

Open the laptop and place it face-down on a clean, thick towel. This is so the towel can absorb any liquid. You may have to leave it in this position for some hours. DO NOT put on the laptop at this stage.

  1. Open the laptop and dry with blower

If you're adventurous, handy, and have screwdrivers and blower, you can open the laptop. Set the blower to low and use it to dry the laptop. An unconventional alternative is to put the laptop under a standing/ceiling fan working at full speed. This is to fast track the evaporation of the liquid.

Please DO NOT put laptop under a heat source. You may damage some of the board's components.

  1. Put on the laptop

After letting the laptop dry for about 24 hours, reassemble and put it on. If it doesn't come on, don't panic, take it to see a professional.

Please note that the above is a first-aid process for dealing with liquid spills on laptops. It may or may not yield the desired results 100% of the time. If you're unsure of how to proceed, follow steps 1-3, remove the battery and take laptop to a professional repair man.




Francis K,

Freelance writer, Tech enthusiast, Anime fan, Nice guy..

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