How to Save Your Laptop After a Spill

Spilling coffee, juice or water on a laptop might seem like the end of the world, but there’s a good chance of salvaging your investment if you act quickly. Here’s a five-step plan to rescue a laptop after a liquid spill.

How to Save Your Laptop After a SpillPhoto: Paket/ShutterStock

What to do after you’ve spilled coffee on a laptop

Switch the laptop off

Shut down the laptop. Pressing and holding the power button for five seconds is quickest. Remove the power cord, unplug any peripherals and remove the battery. The biggest danger at this time is the device shorting out.

Remove excess liquid from the laptop

Blot up excess liquid with a soft lint-free cloth or paper towels. Do not use a wiping motion as that just spreads the liquid further.

Turn the laptop over

With the laptop facing away from you, tilt it from side to side and from front to back in a gentle rocking motion to help the liquid to escape from all four sides.

Use compressed air to dry the laptop

Make sure that you have removed all excess liquid. Then, if you have one, use a can of compressed air to help dry the laptop. Alternatively, use a hair dryer on its coolest setting: keep the dry moving all the time and hold it at least 20 cm above the laptop.

Leave laptop to completely dry out.

Leave the laptop opened in an inverted “V” shape in a warm area, to completely dry out. Do not leave it in direct sunlight or on a radiator. Wait for 24 hours or longer, making sure the keyboard is completely dry, before reinstalling the battery and peripherals.

If you must replace your laptop keyboard

Most laptop keyboards can be replaced by a technician, or you can purchase a new USB or wireless keyboard to use with the laptop.

Now that you know what to do when you’ve spilled coffee on a laptop, find out the 13 mistakes that shorten your laptop’s life.

Popular Videos

Originally Published in Easy Fixes for Everyday Things