It is easy to accidentally spill a cup of water, wine, tea, coffee, sugary drinks, or any liquid substance over a working laptop. Most times, we panic and lose control of the situation.
Spilled water on the laptop still works?
Here are a few things that you can do to minimize the damage:
- Unplug the laptop from power and clean off the water.
- Turn it upside down and air it to dry completely. Drying the computer will prevent water damage to the internal components.
Don’t mistake ignoring the laptop after you’ve spilled water on it. Even if the device works appropriately afterward, you should take measures to keep your device safe. This article highlights the steps you should take after such an accident.
Spilled Water On Your Device: What You Should Do
Water or liquid spills are the bans on electronic devices, especially laptops. It can cause unrepairable damages or even lead to the electrocution of the user.
Water spills on a device can penetrate the laptop’s hard drive and other essential parts and spoil them in the case of a spill over a laptop.
Do the following immediately to save the laptop from any or more damage.
Unplug The Laptop Cord
Unplug the power cable if it is in a power source. Disconnect the power source to prevent electrocution from the water-conducting electricity, do this as safely as you can.
Switch Off The Laptop
Switch off the laptop entirely by holding down the power button. Do not waste time shutting it down properly, as it might permanently cause a short circuit and damage the components. The faster the device is off, the better the chance.
Keep The Laptop Upside Down
Turn the laptop upside down to expel liquid contents, and prevent water from entering further inside the device. Open the laptop in an inverted V. This inversion will also prevent any screen water damage. It is best to have a towel on the table to absorb the water coming out.
Remove the battery if it is easy to remove. Some laptop batteries are tightly screwed, while others are free with a latch for removal. You can remove it if it is easy and fast to remove and prevent water from entering the battery unit and causing damage or hazard.
Remove the keyboard cover and hard drive if you can to prevent water damage, and clean and dry them thoroughly after removal.
Remove All External Extensions
Take out all peripheral devices attached to the laptop. These include USB, SD card, phone, charger or mouse cords, and anything that draws power from the device. Any power circulation in the laptop will cause a short circuit, frying the system further.
Wipe Moisture Off The Laptop
Using a towel, soak up excess liquid on the laptop surface. Get the keyboard, ports, edges, and vent with a cotton swab. You can unscrew the backside of the laptop and clean off moisture if possible. A blow dryer will work wonders in helping the computer get more air to dry.
Leave the laptop in the open air to dry for at least 24 hours. Yes, as long as you can, the surface might dry fast, but the inside will take more time as they absorb water quickly. The longer you leave it to dry, the better.
Get To A Repair Shop
After drying the device for 24 hours or more, please take it to a repair shop. We do not advise turning it on to see if it works; the temptation will be there. Resist it. Although the liquid has dried, it can leave mineral residues that can cause rust or corrosion with time, especially in the case of sugary drinks.
It is crucial to get the computer to a professional technician who will use powerful solvents and cleaning machines to wipe every trace of liquid in it. You might want to do it yourself if you have the know-how.
Use a professional if you are not tech-savvy. Ensure the battery is safe before use. Water easily damages a battery and exposes the user to computer electrocution.
You Could Take Your Laptop Apart
It is important to note that disassembling modern laptops can be challenging due to their intricate and compact designs. We advise against attempting to take apart your laptop unless it is an older model with easily accessible components. Digital Trends and the author will not be held responsible for any damage caused to your laptop during disassembly.
If your laptop allows for disassembly, follow these steps:
Step 1: If possible, remove the battery from your laptop. This is typically done by pressing a switch or button on the underside of the device.
Step 2: If you are concerned about liquid damage affecting other components, such as memory and storage drives, remove those as well. Some laptops have access panels on the underside, while others require a Phillips or Torx screwdriver for removal. To remove the memory, press the side clips to release each stick. For solid-state drives or hard drives, additional screws may need to be removed to detach the component from the frame. Carefully disconnect the power and data cables.
Step 3: Inspect each removed component for signs of moisture or corrosion. Dry any wet parts, and if the liquid is not water, use a clean toothbrush dipped in 99% isopropyl alcohol to clean the component. The alcohol will dissolve residue without causing further damage and evaporate without leaving a sticky residue.
Step 4: Once all components are clean and inspected, allow them to air-dry for two to three days in a warm, dry area. A fan can help speed up the drying process. Avoid using a hairdryer, as it may cause static issues. When everything is dry, reassemble the laptop by following the disassembly instructions in reverse order and test its functionality.
If the laptop functions properly, the issue is resolved. If not, consider taking the device to a professional repair center for further assistance.
A Note On Safety
If you think, spilled water on the laptop still works? Safety may not be the first thing that comes into your mind during a laptop liquid spill, but it is imperative to prevent a shock hazard.
Liquids are great electric conductors. It is better to use a circuit breaker or a switch to turn the power source off rather than unplugging the device charger.
Avoid the device if there is any sign of smoke, melting, heating, or steam. Only clean the laptop once the power source is off and the spill area is safe. Do not worry about data recovery.
If the hard drive is intact, all files will be intact. Remember, a laptop is replaceable, but life is not.
Related Questions And Answers On Laptop Spills
How Much Does It Cost To Repair A Water-Damaged Laptop?
Repairing a water-damaged laptop costs between $99 to $300. The price may go up or reduce depending on the damage. It can cost around $100 to repair if it has minor corrosion. But, if the damage is extensive, it can go up to $300.
How Do You Dry Out A Laptop?
To dry out a laptop:
- Open the laptop lid facedown on a towel to let the liquid drain out.
- Air the computer in a dry and airy place. You can also use a blow dryer to blow air at the computer for quicker drying.
- Leave the laptop for about 48 hours to dry properly.
Does Spilling Water On A Laptop Ruin It?
Spilling water on a laptop can ruin it. Water can permanently damage vital parts or cause a short circuit to fry the laptop motherboard. The damage a water spill poses is why it is crucial not to turn the laptop on before it drys appropriately or sees the repairer.
How Long Does It Take For A Laptop To Dry?
The minimum time to wait for a laptop to dry after a water spill is 24 hours or longer. The longer it drys, the better the laptop’s chances of minor damage. Dryers can aid in faster drying but ensure the blowing air is not hot.
Can A Laptop Survive Water Spill
Some laptops can survive a water spill, especially if the laptop’s power is off. Powering off a laptop quickly after a spill will prevent a short circuit that causes damage. Remove the battery and air. There might be a survival chance.
How Much Water Can Damage A Laptop
Even a drop of water can cause a lot of harm if it enters deep inside the laptop wiring system. The water can conduct electricity to parts where it should not and damage the device components.
How Long To Leave Laptop Off After Spill
As a general rule, it is recommended to leave the laptop off for at least 48 to 72 hours after a spill.
This timeframe allows the liquid to evaporate and helps prevent any short circuits or damage to the internal components when the device is turned on.
However, the drying period may vary depending on the type and amount of liquid spilled, as well as the environmental conditions where the laptop is placed to dry.
Keep in mind that while leaving the laptop off for an extended period may improve the chances of successful recovery, there is no guarantee that the device will function properly afterward.
In some cases, professional cleaning or repair services may be necessary to address any lingering issues or damage caused by the spill.
Conclusively, water spills cannot damage your laptop if you respond on time. You can dry the laptop and prevent the liquid from sipping into the laptop’s internal parts. If the device doesn’t respond after drying it, take it to a technician to fix it.