Children have caused their families $2.8 billion in damages to electronics in a short 5 years. One of the common damage methods is liquids in laptops.
Children aren't the only ones spilling drinks though. It only takes a clumsy moment to be staring in horror as your drink spills across your laptop keyboard.
Do you know what to do if you spill water on your laptop? You may think your laptop is lost forever.
This isn't the case, with some quick actions and a little luck you can save your laptop. We are going to help you fix laptop water damage and get you running again.
What to Do If You Spill Water on Your Laptop
Turn it off. Do not pass go, do not try to do it by clicking shut down. Hit the power button and shut it down immediately. Every second counts when it comes to turning your laptop off after water gets in it.
Do not turn it back on until you are sure that you have completely dried everything. Expect that this process will take a few days.
Take Everything Out
Unplug your power cable and remove the battery. This removes the power supply so there is no possibility of an electrical charge.
Unplug and remove any accessories attached to your laptop. Unplug any cables. Take out any flash drives and DVDs.
You want your laptop to have nothing attached. This prevents further damage and makes it easier to dry your laptop.
Dry It Out
The first thing you should do is turn the laptop upside down. This will drain the liquid back out through the keyboard.
Place paper towels under the keyboard to help absorb the liquid. Open the lid as far as it will go.
You can place a bag of rice under the keyboard to help draw the liquid out. Place the laptop in a warm place, and set a fan up to circulate the air through it.
Do not do This
Do not use loose rice. The rice can get inside your laptop and cause more damage.
Do not use a hairdryer to dry your laptop. Hairdryers produce concentrated heat which will damage the electrical components.
What Did You Spill?
Spilled water on a laptop is the least corrosive of the liquids you could spill on your laptop. Water will evaporate and leave nothing behind.
Spilled coffee on a laptop is going to corrode more. Sugary drinks or ones with alcohol are also going to wreak havoc on your laptop.
These liquids will leave sugar and residue behind when they evaporate. Over time the leftover residue will eat away and corrode your internal parts.
At this point, you have two choices on how to proceed. You can attempt to finish the job yourself or take it to a professional.
If you have not taken a laptop apart before or do not have the right tools, take it to a professional. Do you have experience with taking a laptop apart and putting it back together? Then you should consider taking care of the laptop water damage yourself.
Seek Professional Help
If you have a warranty, now is the time to use it. Even without a warranty, you may want to consider taking it to a shop.
Your manufacturer has probably installed liquid damage indicators. They are going to know if you spilled something.
Drying It Yourself
You need to have the right tools and some experience before you attempt this method. While we are giving advice, we are not responsible for any damage you may cause to your laptop.
If you are not confident in your abilities, do not attempt this method. You can cause more irreparable damage if you don't know what you are doing.
Ground yourself before you do anything with the internal components of your laptop. This will remove any electrical charge that could damage your circuitry.
Work with your laptop on a hard surface. Stand in your bare feet on tile or wood, try to avoid carpet.
Avoid wearing materials that create static like wool or some synthetics. If the air is dry, add some humidity. You can do this by placing a wet cloth in front of a fan.
Finally, touch a piece of bare metal. This will discharge any static you may have already built up.
Drying the Components
Open up your laptop and remove the internal components one by one. As you remove them, use a microfiber cloth to dry them off.
Use compressed air to remove any dirt, dust, or lint you find inside. At this point check that there is no more liquid inside the body of the laptop.
If you spilled a liquid that will leave a residue, use 90% or higher isopropyl alcohol. Use a toothbrush to gently remove any traces of the spilled liquid.
Pay extra attention to the contact surfaces of the ribbons. When cleaning the board make sure you don't knock anything off.
Put It Back Together
You need to wait at least 24 hours for everything to dry. Do not rush this process.
Once you are sure everything is dry, you can put the laptop components back in. If you find the laptop is not turning on, you'll need to take it to a professional.
Waterproofing For the Future
You can buy a clear silicone protector for your keyboard. There are also laptop skins that go over the top and bottom of your laptop.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure that they do not block the air holes. Your laptop needs the ventilation to stay cool.
Save Your Laptop
Now you know what to do if you spill water on your laptop, act fast. Turn it off and remove any sources of power as fast as possible.
Then remove anything else plugged into the laptop. Turn the laptop over and drain it. If you feel you can, proceed with drying the inside components. Otherwise, take it to a professional to have serviced.
Whatever you do, plan to not have use of your laptop for a few days. With a bit of luck though, you'll be using it again.