How to handle water spill on your laptop

April 20, 2016

A new laptop is like a new born baby and much a baby, it needs utmost care. Being an electronic device and regularly used, it needs careful handling. Contrary to a desktop, a laptop is portable and fits easily in any and every part of the house. The danger here is that this portability and flexibility means that your laptop is more prone to food spills, water, and liquid spills. This might cause major damage to the system and needs immediate attention.

Liquid spillage can cause panic, it is an emergency situation, but to deal with it effectively you need to stay calm and act quickly. Yes, your first reaction might be panic if you spill water or liquid on your laptop. But, take a deep breath and act fast. Here’s what you need to do:

Use your common sense and let the presence of mind work bright here.

Cut off the power supply to the laptop; disconnect the charger cable to avoid unpleasant shocks. There are higher risks of fire in case of intense spillage, so it is advisable not to touch or remove the interior parts of the system and to just stop with the former precaution. There are some parts which have capacitors to hold charge even when unplugged. Such parts might harm you when touched with wet hands.

Control the spillage by making sure more liquid doesn’t spill. Pick up the laptop out of the wet zone immediately. And don’t waste time mopping up, you can deal with the floor and table later. Your laptop needs attention first.

Some laptops have water resistant keyboards and touch pads. This will save it from catching fire and is a good sign of speedy recovery. Advanced laptops have keys that are spill proof too. There are also laptops with removable key panel making cleaning easy, efficient and immediate.

If it is a small spillage, once you cut off supply, tilt it sideways so the water drains out. In the case of intense spillage, wait a few minutes until you do this step.

Now take a soft towel or tissue paper to wipe clean the laptop off the water spilled over it.

You are safe if it was just plain water that spilled over your handbook. But in the case of coffee, juice or anything that adds sugar, the sticky nature of sugar will make the whole system gummed. Now take off all the sugary stuff from the laptop using a porous, slightly moisture absorbent cloth.

The next step is to remove the batteries, hard drive, RAM and other storage devices from the system. This should get rid of excess water in the system.

Now let it dry for some time. If you suspect water inside the system, take out all detachable parts from the system and separately dry them to remove moisture if any. This can be done using a low-pressure blower of the vacuum cleaner, if using a hair dryer, keep it at the lowest level. Other cleaning methods include the silica desiccants that we see in new water bottles or the readily available rice at home.

When there is liquid spillage, it is not just water that enters your system but also few small particles. All these should be removed using a soft lint free cloth.

Once completely dried, reassemble and test the system. Hopefully, this will save your laptop after the water spillage.

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