Immediate steps to take when you spill a drink on your laptop

  1. Turn off your laptop immediately
  2. Remove the battery
  3. Remove detachable devices e.g. mouse, flash drives and cables
  4. Dry the outside and tip upside down to drain excess liquid
  5. Seek expert advice

It is all too easy to knock over a drink whilst working at your desk, but what should you do if it spills on your laptop?  The first thing to do is to unplug it from the mains, remove the battery and if the battery is built in ensure that you have shut the computer down.  Stopping the power after a spillage will reduce any electrical damage and long term damage. 

If your computer continues to work after a spillage, don’t be fooled, liquid can slowly infiltrate the internal components and cause significant damage if no action is taken.

It is important to remove any excess liquid after a spillage so turn it upside down so that it can drain out. Any visible excess liquid should be soaked up with a lint free cloth to try and avoid fluid reaching the motherboard.  You can stand the laptop in a well ventilated and warm place to allow any fluid to evaporate. You can also use a fan to speed up the drying process but don’t use a hair dryer as this can cause static problems and make things worse.  After a day or preferably two you can plug it back into the mains or put the battery back in and test it, if it’s not working properly you may want to seek some professional help as taking apart a laptop without experience is a tricky operation. 

The type of drink you spill makes a difference, water is least harmful but drinks containing sugar including alcohol are more corrosive and conductive and can quickly cause permanent damage to components.  Sugary drinks also have a tendency to leave a sticky residue, which can also cause issues with the laptop including keys becoming stuck.

We would recommend getting an expert to look at your laptop, as soon as possible, after any spillage even if it appears to be working.