What to Do About Beer Spilled Into a Laptop

By Daniel Kamau

When you spill beer into your laptop, disconnect it from power sources, clean it and take it to a professional after drying it out.

If you have spilled beer into your laptop, several things can happen -- the laptop circuitry might be shot or eroded, or the beer stains may form a gel that causes the keyboard keys to stick. Act fast to help get your laptop back to good working condition.

Step 1

As soon as the spill occurs, remove the AC adapter and battery (if removable) to prevent the beer conducting electricity to every component it touches. Removing power sources immediately also reduces the chance of shocking yourself as you carry out emergency procedures to dry your computer. Further, unplug all peripherals, such as mice and flash drives.

Step 2

Open your laptop as wide as possible and turn it upside down to allow excess beer to flow away from the circuits inside.

Step 3

Pat dry any wet surface using a dry towel or lint-free fabric as best as you can. You still need to get that sticky beer out of your computer. Unlike plain water, beer contains corrosive sugars and salts. To get rid of the beer stains, wipe your laptop with a slightly wet cloth dipped in a solution with a small amount of isopropyl alcohol.

Step 4

Lay the open laptop, upside down, on a towel on top of a crate and room fan in a warm, dry room. The basic idea is to create as much airflow into and around your laptop, while providing absorbency for residual beer.

Warning

Do not use a hair dryer to dry your laptop, it may cause further damage to your laptop's internal circuitry.

Step 5

Let your laptop sit, turned off and unplugged for 72 to 96 hours. After drying, you are not out of the woods yet. Your laptop may look dry, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe to turn on, instead, take it directly to a computer repair store to determine if there’s any damage. The techs at the computer repair shop will safely open up your laptop and ensure that none of the beer seeped into its circuitry.

Tip

To avoid further water or beer damage to your laptop, consider purchasing a waterproof bag or case or using a custom-fit invisible shield cover to protect the keyboard