Spilled Drink On Laptop? Do This Immediately to Avoid Liquid Damage

spilled drink on laptop

No time to lose! Execute these steps now!

  • Step 1: Unplug It Immediately
  • Step 2: Turn It Off
  • Step 3: Remove the Battery…If You Can
  • Step 4: Look for Dangerous Signs
  • Step 5: Dry It Out (Not With Rice!)
  • Step 6: Take It to a Professional

Step 1: Unplug It Immediately

Liquid and electricity do not mix. Quickly and safely disconnecting power sources is your best chance of reducing the likelihood of electrical shorts within your laptop. Even before turning it off, your first gut response to spilling your latte all over your Macbook should be to make sure your hands aren’t wet and safely unplug any power supply. Also, unplug any accessories plugged into any ports on your laptop.

Step 2: Turn It Off

Once your wet laptop is successfully disconnected from any power supply, turn it off in the way that is usually frowned upon: press and hold down your laptop’s power button until it completely shuts down. 

Step 3: Remove the Battery…If You Can

To protect your system from electrical shorts due to whatever you just spilled on the keyboard, removing the battery will help salvage your laptop. Most laptops with removable batteries have a few latches that make removing the battery fairly intuitive. Some laptops, unfortunately, do not make removing the battery easy or even possible without certain tools. If removing the battery is not possible, you’ll want to skip to Step 4 and Step 6 immediately.

Step 4: Look for Dangerous Signs

Before you can begin the process of removing moisture from your laptop, make sure that there are no signs of smoke, bulging components, or other instances that make handling the device potentially dangerous.

Step 5: Dry It Out

So far, your laptop should be safely disconnected from any power sources and completely shut down. Now you should be able to safely be able to attempt to remove the moisture. If you feel comfortable enough with removing the backplate, do so. Use a lint-free paper towel or cloth to wipe off visible moisture. Lay your laptop upside-down on something lint-free, yet absorbent such as a paper towel. It’s best to leave the laptop to dry for about a day before attempting to connect it to a power source again and turning it on. 

Bonus: Don’t Use Rice!!

The internet is full of articles that sing the praises of burying a soaked electronic device in a bowl of rice to remove moisture. While this practice may be useful for some devices without many moving parts or ports such as tablets and mobile devices, doing so with a laptop is not advised. Even though rice does a fairly decent job of absorbing moisture, laptop hinges, keyboards, and ports will likely become jammed with rice, possibly leading to more damage than the spill. Save your rice for dinner.

Step 6: Take It to a Professional

Believe it or not, if the proper steps are taken, many laptops can make a full recovery from drink spills if the right steps are taken in time. Even if your computer seems to work fine following a spill, it’s still a good idea to take it to a computer repair specialist for a professional inspection. The computer repair technician can inspect sensitive components for moisture damage that can prematurely shorten overall the lifespan of your laptop computer.

November 12th, 2020