What Can I Do If I Spilled Water on My Laptop?

By Contributing Writer

Any liquid spill to an electronic device usually means that the electronic device is done for. However, if you have spilled a light amount of water on your laptop, there are still some actions that you can try that may bring the laptop back to life.

What To Do Immediately

Disconnect the laptop from the charger if it is plugged in. Also remove the battery as quickly as possible. Flip the laptop upside down. For example, if you spilled liquid on the keyboard, make sure that the laptop is opened as far as the hinge will allow. Position the laptop upside down so that the keyboard and screen are facing down and the bottom of the laptop is facing up. Grab some paper towel and set it underneath the laptop so that the liquid is absorbed. Make sure to use plenty of towels so that the laptop is not sitting in a puddle of liquid. Use additional paper towels to wipe up any liquid that you can see running out of the case of the laptop. Let it sit overnight, periodically checking back to wipe off any additional liquid that has accumulated.

What To Do Afterwards

Examine the laptop, using your own discretion as a guide. If the laptop still seems moist and wet, let it dry a bit longer. You can speed up the process by using a hair dryer. Make sure that you are holding the hair dryer at least 10 inches from the laptop and constantly moving it around. This will help to evaporate any moisture that is left in the laptop.

Testing the Laptop and Disassembling

Try powering on the laptop. If it still does not power on, you will need to take the laptop apart. All laptops have different disassembly instructions, depending on the model and manufacturer. Remove the keyboard and as many case parts as possible from the laptop to expose the internals. You should be able to clearly see the motherboard.

Cleaning Up The Inside Of The Laptop

Ensure that the inside of the laptop is dry. If not, use some paper towel to absorb any moisture or water that you can. Again, you can speed up the process by using a hair dryer. Be cautious when drying, as the internals of the laptop are more sensitive than the outside. Let the laptop sit for a couple of hours, reassemble, and try powering on.

Hints and Suggestions

If you have only spilled water on the laptop, there is not much more that you can do. If you have spilled a chemical drink on the laptop, such as soda pop or wine, you can try "scrubbing the motherboard." Get some VCR head-cleaning solution. Apply the solution very sparingly to a micro fiber cloth, and gently scrub the insides of the laptop. Reassemble the computer and try to power on. If you still have no luck, you will need to get a new laptop. However, some of your hard drive information may still be able to be recovered. Contact your local computer repair business and ask them for prices on hard drive recovery.