How to Fix a Wet Laptop Keyboard

By Ava Fails

Spilling liquid in your laptop doesn't have to be a death sentence. There is a good chance you can save your computer if you don't panic and contain the spill as quickly as possible. Laptops are full of sensitive electronics and liquid can easily damage them. The bright side is that most laptops are equipped with a keyboard that sits inside its own tray and can help prevent spills from damaging other parts.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Towel
  • Screwdriver
  • Plastic blade
  • Cotton swabs
  • Distilled water
  • WD-40
  • Compressed air

Step 1

Turn off your laptop immediately after the spill.

Step 2

Use paper towels to soak standing liquid.

Step 3

Flip your laptop upside down on a towel to allow excess liquid to drain for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Use as quick a motion as you can so as not to spill liquid into other parts of the computer. If you don't feel you can flip it without damaging it further, skip this step.

Step 4

Remove any other peripherals such as mice, printers or USB devices attached to your laptop.

Step 5

Remove the battery and allow the laptop to dry overnight.

Step 6

Remove the keyboard assembly. With most laptops, this can be accomplished by removing screws around the keyboard bevel and removing it. The bevel may snap in place instead of being held with screws. Use a plastic blade or credit card to pop up the bevel. Remove the screws holding the keyboard assembly in place. Carefully remove the ribbon connector attaching the keyboard on the screen side and lift it out of the case.

Step 7

Use cotton swabs dampened with distilled water to clean areas where liquid as dried on the internal parts of your laptop including the keyboard. Use dry swabs to dry any areas where liquid is still present.

Step 8

Clean any areas of corrosion with a cotton swab dampened with WD-40 and then dry the area.

Step 9

Use compressed air to further dry any damp areas.

Step 10

Reassemble your laptop and power it on for a test. If the keyboard does not function properly, it may be necessary to replace the keyboard assembly entirely.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not use a hairdryer to dry a spill in your laptop.