Laptops and every other electronic are extremely vulnerable to water damage. So, it is always advisable to never place any sort of liquid near the laptop. Even if you want to have water while working, you should place it slightly far or below the level of the laptop surface.
In the case of water spillage, there are always risks of short-circuit, electric shock, and stains, and it can even render the laptop completely useless.
Nevertheless, a few quick and rational actions can save your laptop from the worst damage.
How Do I Proceed If the Water Spilt on My Laptop?
Now that the unfortunate has happened, you should take the remaining glass of water or other sources away from the laptop. If you still have a warranty, look for their policy to see whether they compensate for any water damages and proceed accordingly.
But, with or without a warranty, let’s look at a few steps to prevent permanent damage to your system.
Turn it Off Immediately and Remove Battery if Possible
The very first thing to do is to remove the charger from your laptop. Then, if the water is just spilt over the surface, it probably won’t harm the system immediately. So, get a towel and wipe or soak away the surface water as much as possible.
After that, you need to shut down the laptop. This will eliminate the presence of active current within the system, thus preventing short-circuit and electrical shock.
You should press the power button for a few seconds to force turn off the system. Even if the laptop is still functioning, we recommend you follow this way instead of shutting it down from Windows. This is because you do not want to waste even a few seconds as the water can fry up any electronics during that duration.
More importantly, you should remove the battery if it’s external and removable. Then, after turning off the system, press the power button again for around 10 seconds to drain any stored energy from the capacitors as well.
Remove All the Peripherals
You should start unplugging every peripheral, cable and accessory, such as Keyboard, mouse, USB drives, external display cables, etc., and keep them away. This is to prevent any damage from the water in the peripherals and save yourself from electric shock.
Soak Away Water From the Surface
Doing the above methods may prevent any further damage to the laptop and yourself. But the danger is far from over. The longer the water stays over the system, the higher the chance of it getting inside the laptop. Furthermore, spilling liquid, such as tea and coffee, sugary liquid, etc., can leave stains on the keyboard as well as corrode the parts even after drying.
Thus, realizing that time is of the essence here, you need to remove as much water as possible. Take a towel or a piece of cloth and gently dab it on the surface, screen, and other areas to absorb the water particles from it. You can also use cotton or earbuds to wipe water from the keyboard.
Similarly, look if the ports are wet and wipe them off as well. The main task here is to prevent surface water from entering the vents, ports, and circuitry.
Let the Laptop Dry
Now, it is time to let the laptop dry for a while. If you had spilt a large quantity of liquid, then you could not have removed all of it by simply dabbing. Also, the laptop and its components will still be wet.
So, keep the laptop upside down in V-shape and keep it in a dry and warm place. Do not place it in direct sunlight, which can damage the circuit further. Also, trying to remove the internal components before drying can cause the water to go further inside, and you may do more damage.
You can place a fan or dryer near the laptop and operate it at a lower speed to quicken the drying process.
However, if you have just spilt the water over the keyboard and the screen is still dry, you should be careful while drying. You should not position the laptop such that the water enters the screen as well. The V-shape drying should work in this case as well.
Also, remember not to use a heater or dryer over the screen as it may damage it further. Nevertheless, you can use the dryer at moderate or low speed to dry the air vents and fans.
Leave the laptop to dry for at least 48 hours. The aim is to remove the water particles completely from the system. Whatever you do, do not try to power on your laptop before this, as it can completely damage your system.
If you still doubt that the danger may prevail, we advise you to go to the professional laptop repair center and let them handle this.
Remove Internal Components
After the laptop dries in a day or two, you can disassemble it and remove the internal components. The reason for this is that the hardware inside can still be moist because of water. On top of that, most laptops have an internal battery, which might have got damaged by water. Thus, you need to remove them and dry them separately.
Furthermore, even if the laptop gets damaged permanently, doing this can help you save your files in the storage drive.
- Turn over the laptop and remove all the screws carefully.
- Remove the back cover.
- If you have an internal battery, unscrew all the nuts, and take the battery out.
- Unscrew the hard drive, disconnect it from the slot, and remove it.
- Similarly, take out the RAM, Wifi Module and other removable components.
- If you see any water inside the laptop or any damp region, use a towel or cotton to wipe the water. Be very careful not to spill the water onto the circuitry again.
- If the liquid is sticky or acidic, use a small amount of isopropyl alcohol to wipe it away. However, make sure to not spill the alcohol directly on the computer.
- Now, keep the components in a warm and dry place. You can also use a drier to remove moisture from them quicker.
However, it is quite difficult to remove the internal components and battery, such as in Macbooks. Also, due to lack of fans, water spillage in mac is dealt differently. So, you may not be able to follow this part. Nevertheless, if your laptop is under warranty, we recommend you take it to the manufacturer’s service point.
Can I Keep My Laptop Under Rice?
You may have heard of this technique of keeping the electronics covered under rice to dry and remove water from phones and laptops.
Yes, it can work in some cases, but it is not a guaranteed fix. Rice is not able to remove all the water from the system. It is always better to leave the laptop out in the open in a dry area than to leave it in rice.
On top of that, it is highly possible that the rice grain will enter the vents and ports and damage the parts further.