If you’ve just spilled a liquid on your laptop, you can still save it from damage. Regardless of if you’ve spilled coffee on a MacBook or soda on your laptop, you have to act fast to stop the liquid from doing damage to the internals.
Let’s go through the steps for what to do if you spilled liquid on your laptop.
First, you need to ensure no power is running through your laptop. If the liquid goes through the keyboard and onto some live circuitry, it can cause some short circuits and damage the laptop.
As soon as you can after a spill, remove the power plug from the laptop. Then, shut the laptop down. If you and your laptop’s shutdown times are fast enough, you can perform a system shutdown by clicking on the Start button.
However, it’s best to hold down the power button on your laptop to trigger a sudden shutdown. These aren’t as healthy for your system as a regular shutdown, but not as unhealthy as allowing moisture to creep into your laptop.
Then, if you can, remove the laptop’s battery. Once you’ve done this, your laptop will have no power surging through it, thus reducing the chance of damage.
Now that the power is off, it’s time to mop up all the liquid you can see. Go ahead and grab some kitchen towels and begin soaking up all the liquid on the surface level. This will stop any extra liquid from entering the sensitive electronics inside.
It’s important to catch the liquid without letting it fall in between the keys. Take care when mopping up that you don’t push liquid into the laptop’s electronics.
When checking for internal damage, the end result will differ between laptops. Some can be disassembled easily, while others are locked up tight.
Double-check to see if you can easily and safely remove the outer shell of the laptop. If you can, carefully open the laptop’s case and use a soft towel to dry off the hardware. Don’t use a hairdryer, as these can create static electricity which can severely damage the hardware.
Again, this step will wholly depend on the make of the laptop you own. Some laptops allow you to remove the keys on the keyboard, while others will be a bit more stubborn.
If you can remove the keys, go ahead and do so. Mop up any liquid that you can see around the keys. Again, don’t be too forceful, as this may push the liquid further into the sensitive electronics.
Once you’ve cleaned up everything you can off of the surface and inside, it’s time to tackle any liquid that fell between the keys. This has the biggest chance of affecting the laptop in a detrimental way.
Laptop keys can be tricky to remove, so your best bet may be to turn the laptop upside down. Find a safe way to position your laptop so that the screen is open and the keyboard faces downwards.
Try to position it in a way that doesn’t damage the screen, else you’ll have two problems instead of one. One good way is to flatten the laptop out, then place it upside-down on a table with a towel underneath it.
Because you can’t see into the working mechanisms of the laptop, it will be very hard to gauge when it’s fully dry inside. As such, it’s best to leave it for a full 24-hours before trying to touch it again.
If the laptop still boots and works perfectly once it’s dried out, you may have the problem of sticky keys. Drinks with added sugar will be particularly effective at gumming up your keyboard and making it hard to type.
Fortunately, there are ways to clean your keyboard to get that gunk off. You don’t need anything special; disinfectant wipes will do the job just fine.
If you’ve tried all the above and it still doesn’t work, there’s not a lot more you can do without professional assistance. Even if the laptop can’t boot up, a repair shop can replace the hardware or extract the data from the hard drive.
If you want to prevent spills in the future, you can get special accessories that keep your drink in your cup, instead of over your laptop.
For instance, if you use your laptop on your lap, you can purchase a laptop tray that has a cup holder built into it. That way, your drink won’t tip over when you adjust your laptop.
If you use your laptop on a desk or a table, consider changing your glass or mug with something sealable. If you like to sip on water, grab a sports bottle and fill it up. If you prefer tea or coffee, pick up a Thermos or a travel mug, both of which can be secured with a waterproof cap to prevent spills.
Finally, it is possible to grab silicone covers that sit on your laptop’s keyboard. Not only does this prevent liquid from sneaking in, but it also stops dirt, dust, and grime from accumulating on your keys.
Given the laptop’s portable nature, there are plenty of ways that they can see harm. If you love taking your laptop to Starbucks, it’s worth knowing how to protect your laptop from spills so that no permanent damage is done.
If you do like bringing your laptop with you, it’s a good idea to prevent theft as much as possible. Did you know that there are bags specifically designed to keep thieving hands at bay?