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4 Signs of Liquid Damage to Your Laptop (And How to Minimize the Damage)

Have you ever had your laptop suddenly start acting strangely for no obvious reason? If there are other people in your home, you might want to consider whether one of them could have spilled something on it and neglected to tell you.

Although we would all like to believe that would never happen, it’s certainly possible. With the average cost of a laptop running anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, it’s not surprising that clumsy kids, roommates, or spouses might not be very forthcoming about their accidents.

Since liquid damage to a laptop isn’t always obvious right away, there’s a chance they don’t even realize how critical the situation is. After all, if it was dried off fast, there’s not likely to be any serious repercussions, right?


If you recognize any of the following four symptoms, there’s a good chance that you’re dealing with a liquid-soaked laptop. 

1. Sticky Keys

If your laptop was drenched with something that had a high sugar content, like juice, soda, or wine, it’s likely that the keys will start to feel sticky. Since there is a backing on your keyboard, it’s possible that the liquid never got past the keys. If this is the case, there’s a good chance your laptop will be okay.

2. Residue, Discoloration, and White Powder

Take the back off your laptop and visually inspect it. If water or another type of liquid has made its way inside, you’re likely to see corrosion, discoloration, and a white or green powder.

3. Activation of Water-Detection Sticker

Some computer manufacturers add a sticker inside the machine that will change color when it gets wet. Activation of this water damage indicator is a sure sign of what actually happened. 

4. Standing Liquid Inside the Laptop

If you open up your laptop and see that there is still liquid inside, the mystery is solved. Now that you know what’s causing your laptop blues, you’ll need to take some steps to try and salvage your machine.

7 Steps for Minimizing Damage from a Spill

Whether you’ve just figured out that someone spilled liquid on your laptop and didn’t tell you or you’re the one with the slippery fingers, you’ll want to do everything you can to minimize the damage. Follow these seven steps to give yourself the best chance.

1. Take a Deep Breath

Before your spiral into a full-fledged panic, take a deep breath and remind yourself that it might not be that bad. Hard drives are sealed tight, so unless it’s been sitting in a ton of liquid for a long time, there’s a good chance that your data is fine.

2. Turn Off the Computer

As soon as you realize that liquid has made contact with your laptop, turn it off. This is the most important thing to do before you even run to grab a towel. Water and electricity don’t mix, and although you’re unlikely to get electrocuted, there is an excellent chance that your computer will short circuit.

If your laptop won’t shut off, try holding down the power button for several seconds. This will usually force a shut-down. You’ll also want to unplug your laptop from the wall and disconnect USB devices and cables.

3. Flip Your Laptop Over

Keeping your laptop open, flip it upside down. This will help pull liquid away from the important components inside. While you have it turned over, take this opportunity to remove the battery.

4. Gently Dry Your Laptop

If the spill has just happened, you’ll want to thoroughly dry your laptop as fast as possible. Toilet paper works well, as it’s very absorbent and is easy to push down between cracks and crevices.

If you’ve spilled something that’s sugary, you’ll want to make sure you get it completely cleaned up as soon as you can. If it dries, it will get sticky and this will create far larger problems.

5. Disassemble the Computer and Let it Dry

If you feel confident in your abilities, disassemble your computer, clean up the components as best you can, and let them dry. This can be a complicated process, so this is the point where most people decide to bring their laptop in for professional repair

If you do decide to take your computer apart, resist the urge to rush things. It’s smart to wait at least 24-hours before you put it back together again.

6. Reassemble the Computer and Start it Up

After enough time has passed, carefully reassemble your computer. Cross your fingers, hold your breath, and hit the power button.

If it boots up, you’re making great progress!

7. Start Testing it Out

Now that your laptop is up and running, you’ll need to make sure it’s functioning as it should. Since the keyboard and trackpad are the most commonly damaged parts, check them thoroughly.

If something isn’t working right, there are two possibilities. The first is that it’s not dry enough yet. Turn the computer off, give it another day, and test it again.

Unfortunately, if another day of drying doesn’t help, you’re likely looking at permanent damage. Now is the time to call a repair shop. A professional can tell you if there’s any possibility of repair and can help you decide what to do next.  

Are You Dealing with Liquid Damage? We Can Help!

If you think your laptop has suffered from liquid damage, don’t give up! Our laptop repair service can help get you back up and running, or at least ensure you can recover your important data. Contact us today to discuss your repair needs, or just stop by our storefront with your broken laptop! 

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Community Computer Services
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OriMaster 261
OriMaster 261
18:27 08 Jan 20
Very nice and helpful people, love the store atmosphere, and fair prices.... Overall a very pleasant experience!read more
Tracy cook
Tracy cook
00:29 03 Jan 20
So far, it hasn't been that great. I took a laptop in almost 2 weeks ago and... haven't heard back from them. When I went in to drop it off, it was like they were getting ready to go out of business. The young guy who took my laptop said he would call me and hasn't yet. I know that we have had 2 weeks of holidays, but other businesses are open again. He made sure he got my $45 first though. I'm surprised by all of this, because I've gotten great service when the father was there. In this guy's response, he says that he can't get a hold of me. What he fails to mention is that he wrote my number down wrong and didn't check his caller ID from when I called last Monday or when I left a message the week before. I left a message last week and he never called me back then either. When he did finally found my number, he chewed me out for everything. He never confirmed anything about the computer, yet acts like he did. So my number is not out of service, but I will not be a customer of theirs more
23:48 22 Oct 19
I went with a problem on my tablet and that is not something they are very... comfortable with but for computers that are used you should check it outread more
Carol Lyle
Carol Lyle
16:43 13 May 19
Am new to the area having problems with tower computer at the time. Was... advised to seek a locally owned business doing computer repair. I did and chose Community Computer Services in Alexandria, Ky. 41001. Did diagnostics as I was thinking problem with hard drive. Wasn't which was great price wise. Was able to clear out all viruses and malware. Saved my pictures and other personal folders and reloaded to computer. Also installed free virus and malware programs. Runs fast!! Also they gave me a week to use to see if incurred any problems. I did not!!! While taking care of tower computer explained how slow my laptop was. So brought it in. Was going to do diagnostics see what problem was. He told me it would be like a new computer. Advised me to use chrome. He saved my files and reloaded them so where I didn't lose anything. Also downloaded the free virus protection and malware. The laptop is brand new to me. It is fantastic!!!! So fast it has to wait on me. I would recommend anyone having computer problems to see Community Computer Services immediately. Very reasonable, courteous and explained things to me where I could understand. Excellent more
Sara housypart
Sara housypart
18:44 03 Apr 19
We took our mac into their store. It was running terrible. They were able to... make it run like it was new. I was surprised on how affordable it was. We will be going there from now on for all of our computer more
Steven Noble
Steven Noble
21:07 01 Apr 19
They did a great job fixing our laptops. We will be using them from now on.
Ryan Moore
Ryan Moore
23:45 31 Mar 19
We have used Community Computer Services for many years now. They do a great... job! The pricing is great as well. If you need a laptop or desktop repaired in Northern Kentucky, then these are your more
Piles Chevrolet
Piles Chevrolet
15:36 20 Feb 19
This is a great place to have your computer or laptop repaired. They are fast,... honest and stand behind their work. I wouldn't go any place else. I recommend everyone to use this company. They give you pricing right up front. D. Hensleyread more
Joe Geiman
Joe Geiman
03:30 25 Aug 18
Always had a great experience dealing with these guys. My computer is running... faster than it ever has after being repaired there. Would recommend them to more
Penelope Kolb
Penelope Kolb
15:03 22 Aug 18
Community Computer Services provides a great services at affordable prices.... Over the past 5 years I have had to replace lap top hardware and treat viruses. Every time the knowledgeable team at Community Computer Services has provided fast diagnostics with a menu of solutions for me to choose from. I highly recommend keeping your technology out of a landfill and going strong with the support of Community Computer more
B Bailey
B Bailey
01:20 22 Aug 18
I have received great service from these guys on more than one occasion. The... prices are excellent as well. They have taken very good care of me over the years. Thanks!read more
Daryl Mullins
Daryl Mullins
04:08 28 Jul 18
My computer quit working just as my wife was in the middle of using it for... Vacation Bible School last night. She was panicking. I began to look online and saw Community Computers near where I live. I checked the reviews and it had a great rating. I called this morning and explained my situation. I was told to bring my laptop in and he would see what he could do. When I took it in I also shared with him another issue I had been experiencing, my wireless connection was not working . He said he would really try to find out the issue so we would have it for Bible School. About 2 1/2 hours later he called to give the good news that the problem was just a bad cord. When picking it up he also told me he gave it a good checking over and tried to repair my non wireless connection for over an hour. He then told me instead of trying to go into the laptop to change a chip which could be costly, he sent me to Staples for a solution of a $30.00 wireless adapter. I was very impressed with my experience Community Computers. I would encourage anyone who has computer issues to check them out. You will not be disappointed. Also, the price I paid was very more
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