Saturday, March 03, 2007

Save the Laptop From Liquids

Rule #1: Don’t drink and type!

If you're tempted to down a soda, water, glass of wine, coffee, or other liquid while typing away at your keyboard, you may end up paying the ultimate price - liquid spilled into your computer from an accidental knock, a few drips or a dropped cup. If this happens, don't panic. Instead, follow these simple instructions as quickly as you can to try to salvage your computer.

  1. Shut it off! Immediately remove the battery and the A/C adapter! The biggest danger at first is the device shorting out.
  2. Turn it upside down immediately to stop the liquid from traveling deeper into the laptop.
  3. Disconnect and remove any and all external devices (while the laptop is still upside down).
  4. Clean up any part of the spill you can get to. Use paper towels or any absorbent material that is lint-free.
  5. Inspect the keyboard. Some keyboards are designed to protect the internals from liquids. Pour out any liquid contained in a keyboard enclosure.
  6. Wipe up anything sticky. This may include the screen, the keys on the keyboard, and any buttons. Use a clean, slightly dampened, lint-free cloth.
  7. Let it restLet it dry. Be completely sure that the parts are dry before you put back the batery or the A/C adapter.


  • Whatever you do, DO NOT power your laptop on to check if everything is OK. Give the laptop at least 24 hours to dry completely on its own before attempting any sort of power on at all.
  • Water and electricity do not mix! Make sure all power is off.
  • If you choose to let the spill dry without cleaning, be aware that any acid present will slowly "eat" the circuit boards, until the device fails.