Liquid Spills on Laptop


I spilled coffee on my laptop, what should I do?

Accidents happen, and one of the most dreaded mishaps for laptop owners is liquid spills on their precious devices. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, there are steps you can take to minimize potential damage. Here is a list of steps you can take:

Act Quickly

The first and most crucial step is to act swiftly as soon as the spill occurs. Shut down your laptop immediately, unplug it, and remove any devices or cables connected to it. This will minimize the risk of short circuits and further damage.

Turn It Upside Down

Carefully turn your laptop upside down to allow gravity to help drain the liquid away from the components. Be cautious not to jolt or shake the device excessively, which can further spread the liquid.

Remove Excess Moisture

With an absorbent cloth, gently pat your laptop’s affected areas. Avoid rubbing, as this may cause the liquid to seep deeper into the device.

Let It Dry

Give your laptop ample time to dry naturally before powering it back on. Leave it in an open, well-ventilated area for at least 24-48 hours. Utilizing a hairdryer or placing it near a direct heat source may do more harm than good, so be patient.

Seek Professional Help

If, despite your best efforts, your laptop fails to function correctly after drying, it is advisable to consult a professional technician.

Remember, prevention is the best policy. Consider investing in spill-resistant laptop accessories or keeping beverages in spill-proof containers near your workstation to avoid mishaps.

How does liquid spills affect electronic devices?

When the device is turned on during a spill, electric current is sent to places it should not go, causing damage. Depending on the liquid, it can cause corrosion, which is a chemical reaction that occurs between metal in the circuit board and the acid in the liquid.

Even if your electronic device survives the initial incident, it is possible that your laptop will develop problems in the future. Electronics often function with some corrosion, but issues or complete failure is possible over time.

Here is a list of common liquids spilled on laptops or other electronic devices (in no specific order):

  • Coffee
  • Water
  • Soft Drinks
  • Wine
  • Beer
  • Tea
  • Sea Water
  • Nail Polish Remover (rare)

What are the main components that can be damaged from liquid spills (coffee, water, tea, soft drinks)?

Liquids that contain acids with a pH value between 4.5 to 5.0 such as coffee and soft drinks are corrosive. In fact, it is the acid particularly in coffee that gives each blend its a unique flavor. Therefore, the longer these liquids remain in contact with electronic components, the greater chance of damage. The laptop parts that are typically affected are:

  • Keyboard (full damage)
  • Individual Keys on the Keyboard (partial damage)
  • Trackpad/Touchpad
  • Motherboard

To receive a free quote to evaluate your laptop after a spill, click here.