How to deal with a liquid spill on your laptop

Posted on | August 12, 2012 | No Comments

Every now and again here at Bluefish Computer Services in Chichester we get a call from someone who has spilt liquid onto their laptop keyboard.Liquid spill on a laptop  A lot of the time they are completely unaware what to do and how best to sort out the situation. So I thought it’s a good idea to write a quick note on the best course of action to take.

First thing, accidents happen all the time, don’t panic but you will need to act fast as things can get worse if the liquid is allowed to spread. I recommend the following steps are very quickly taken:

  1. Take out the mains power supply & remove the battery, the faster the power can be removed the less likely you are to have a short circuit. Don’t worry about closing programs and shutting down just pull the power asap.
  2. Turn the laptop upside down, preferably on top of a towel with the lid open and the keyboard resting on the towel.
  3. Seek the advice of a professional who can disassemble the laptop, check how far the liquid has penetrated and confirm if any components have been damaged.

The amount of damage will depend on the volume and type of liquid that was spilt. In the event the liquid contained sugar or acids (coffee, tea, beer, juice etc..) then it is likely the keyboard will require replacing. In the event a significant amount of liquid has been spilt then it’s possible the liquid could spread around the keyboards protective membrane and further into the laptop. If the liquid comes into contact with the motherboard or other internal components they will require cleaning and further drying.

Whatever you do don’t try the following:

–          Turning the laptop back on again without allowing sufficient time for the laptop to dry. (We recommend the laptop is checked over by a technician rather than hoping the laptop has dried out)

–          Trying to dry the spill with a hairdryer. This can cause problems with static and could cause the liquid to be pushed further into the laptop.

–          Using water to try and clean off any sticky liquid. You’d be surprised at the things we see!

In most cases when a small amount of liquid is spilt only the keyboard requires replacement. Even when a large amount of liquid has been spilt it is quite often possible to clean and dry the internal components affected and return the laptop back to normal operation. Even in the worst case scenario when the motherboard has been damaged beyond economical repair then it is highly likely that the data on the hard drive is still readable and can be transferred to a different machine.

If you require help with a spill or any other problem please feel free to contact us. We have a vast amount of experience repairing computers and we ensure every case we see is handled with the upmost care and attention to detail.


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