What To Do if You Spill Water on Your Laptop

Chris Campbell14 Feb 2022

Staying hydrated while working is essential, at least until that terrible day when you spilled water all over your laptop. Water could easily ruin gadgets, but if you act swiftly, your laptop may well be saved. Even if you spilled some water on your laptop, it doesn't mean you're out of luck.

What To Do if You Spill Water on a Laptop

While a laptop and water are never a good match, accidents do happen. If you're reading this after a water spilling mishap, shut off your laptop immediately and unplug the power cord and batteries. A word of caution: electricity and water combined are a disaster! You may seriously injure yourself or severely damage your laptop. Ensure that your hands and the surface you're touching are fully dry when handling the laptop.

I Spilled Water on My Laptop, What Do I Do?

After you've spilled water on your laptop, you don't have much time. You need to instantly shut it off. Unplug it from the power source and remove any detachable batteries as soon as possible. Keep pressing the Power switch until your laptop turns off. In this circumstance, every second counts.

Once you've turned it off, here's what to do next:

  • Strip any easily removable parts. Start by removing your mouse and any wires, as well as any flash drives and additional accessories.
  • Dry the outside part of your laptop. Open your laptop as far as it will go, turn it upside down to discharge any stored water, then wipe wet areas with an absorbent fabric until completely dry. Do not attempt to dry the laptop with pressurized hot air from a hair drier or heat gun.
  • For the final step, we suggest that you take advantage of any remaining warranty or take the laptop in for repair. Either you go to your laptop brand's service center or visit a local repair shop in your area.

How To Get Water Out of a Laptop

The first thing you should do after a spill is to switch off your laptop and unplug it from the power source (if being charged when the unfortunate accident happened). The longer you wait to power off your laptop, the more likely it could be badly damaged. 

If your laptop has a detachable battery, remove it, dry it out, and keep it somewhere secure. If you spilled a lot of water over your keypad, consider laying your laptop down. Place it on a dry towel face down with the top completely open like an inverted V. This will let water drops drain before they end up reaching the delicate laptop components.

Most technology can withstand being submerged in water if the power is turned off. By shutting down the system and, if feasible, taking out the battery, you've potentially disrupted the circuit that may cause an unpleasant shock and damages to your laptop. The next thing to do is based on the laptop you have, your warranty, and how comfortable you feel taking it apart.

For laptops under warranty:

If your laptop is still under warranty, opening it up will almost certainly void it. It may be claimed that spilling liquid on a laptop also violates the warranty, so proceed with caution. Your laptop brand should be the initial point of contact if your computer is still under warranty. Get in touch with them. You may be able to get the laptop evaluated for free, but any repairs will most certainly be paid for by you.

For laptops without warranty:

If your laptop isn't under warranty, or if you're tech-savvy and wouldn't want to waste extra cash at a repair store, you can try to get the water out from the inside of the laptop yourself. Regretfully, not all laptops can be easily disassembled. Some laptops are extremely difficult to open, while others are constructed in such a way that removing the chassis is practically meaningless.

Here's how to remove water from your laptop if you're able to open it up:

  • Open and inspect the damage to the chassis. If you merely spilled water on your laptop, the parts should dry quickly.
  • Unlock and take out the SSD or hard disk, as well as any RAM sticks you find.
  • Using a dry and clean lint-free cloth, wipe any visible dampness in the laptop as well as on the components. Dab instead of wiping so as not to leave anything behind.
  • Put your laptop and any parts you extract in a dry, ventilated area for at least 48 hours. When drying your laptop, never use a hairdryer or any other heat source, since this might cause more harm than good.
  • Once everything is dry, reassemble your laptop and switch it on. Check to see if it's working properly.

How To Fix a Water Damaged Laptop

Take deep breaths. You've just spilled water on your laptop, and you're probably panicking out. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways for repairing laptop water damage. This doesn't have to be the end of your laptop if you act quickly enough:

  • First and foremost, turn your laptop off and unplug the power cord.
  • Disconnect any detachable peripherals next. If any of your laptop attachments, such as a mouse or flash drive, got wet during the spill, unplug them and dry them out separately.
  • Finally, use a paper towel or a lint-free cloth to dry the damp surfaces on your laptop. You may alternatively place your laptop in an inverted V position on a dry cloth, with the lid open.

If you're well-versed with laptops, you can dismantle the chassis and dry off the inside components yourself. But what if you have a laptop that you can't disassemble or remove the battery from like a Mac? This circumstance narrows your options significantly, therefore you'll have to bring it to a repair shop as soon as possible.

  • Right after a spill and before taking it to a shop, wipe dry any exposed moist areas with a paper towel or lint-free cloth while holding your laptop upside-down.
  • You may also place it on a dry surface and offer as much airflow as possible. This won't help much, but it's better than nothing while you wait for a repair shop appointment.
  • If you can't take your laptop to a repair shop immediately, you need to dry it out for at least a day or two before trying to switch it back on. If you turn on a laptop shortly after a spill, you're inviting catastrophe. This will result in a massive short and will damage your laptop.

Spilling water and other liquids is a classic problem since it's usual for us to drink while we tinker away on our laptops. Thankfully, with quick thinking and following basic steps, you might just salvage your laptop from being damaged.

Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell

Thanks for reading! I'm Chris, an avid tech fanatic that enjoys keeping up with the latest laptop models. Hopefully my tips & tricks can help you out!

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