How To React To A Spilled Drink On Laptop

clean up a spill on a laptop

When you compute on the go, typing on airplanes, on the bed, on the floor with your laptop perched precariously on your legs, it’s only a matter of time before you spill a drink on your laptop’s keyboard. Not such a big deal on a desktop computer where you can simply toss the keyboard in the trash and replace it. Spilling something on a laptop is akin to dumping the drink directly on your motherboard.

clean up a spill on a laptop

How To React To A Spill On Your Laptop Keyboard

While there is no way to put a positive spin on a laptop spill, there are some steps you can take to save the laptop. What you spill, how much you spill, and how quickly you react will determine whether your laptop lives or dies. Follow these steps immediately upon spilling a drink on your laptop to maximize its chances of survival:

  • Shut down the computer.
  • Unplug and remove the battery from the laptop. Set them aside to dry.
  • Carefully invert the laptop and rest it on a thick, soft towel to allow any excess liquid to drain out. Avoid allowing any of the liquid to come in contact with the screen. Tilt the laptop forward and then flip it over so it is resting in the shape of an “A”.
  • While inverted, remove the back panels that contain the hard drive and RAM and take them out. If you are not comfortable doing this leave the hard drive and memory installed. Removing the covers could expose additional liquid, so you should at least inspect the area.
  • Allow it to air dry for 48 hours.
  • If the laptop boots, let it run for a couple of hours. The heat will help dry whatever remaining fluid is trapped in the case.

While you may be tempted to test it the next morning, you should resist that urge. Instead, try giving the laptop a gentle shake to drain any trapped fluid out and then let it resume its drying time for another 24 hours. Granted, drying time will vary depending how much liquid you spilled on your laptop, as well as how much came out with your shake test the next morning.

If you spilled soda, wine, coffee or any other sugary drink on the laptop you may run into a problem when you try and boot it up. While sugary beverages will eventually dry, they can leave behind a conductive residue that prevents your laptop from booting. If this is the case, you will need to take the laptop apart and clean it the best you can with distilled alcohol. Since laptops can be difficult to service on your own due to their complex design and form factor, you should consider taking it to a repair shop so they can properly clean and inspect the laptop.

If you have any questions regarding a spilled drink on laptop, just ask.

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