What to do if you spill liquid on your laptop

Spilling water, coffee, or any liquid on a laptop is a very common issue that can be expensive and stressful. To make matters worse, this damage often isn't covered under warranty. Here are some crucial steps to take immediately after a liquid has been spilled on your machine:

  1. Turn the laptop off. Unplug it from the wall, and unplug the power cord from the laptop.
  2. Next, turn the laptop upside down to allow the liquid to drip out and remove the battery.
    • Note that if you have an Apple computer, removing the battery will involve unscrewing the back and a little disassembly. If you feel comfortable doing this, there are free guides available at iFixIt.com.
    • If you feel uncomfortable with any of these steps, don't hesitate to contact the helpdesk!
  1. Dry as much of your computer off as possible by dabbing with a paper towel or Q-tip. If you feel confident enough to take your laptop apart, delicately dab the inside of your computer dry as best you can.
  2. Prop up your laptop so that it can dry upside down and open. For example, you can place it on two stacks of books and place a fan nearby. Although you’ll be anxious to turn it on and see if it works, it’s best to wait and let the laptop dry out completely.
  3. After taking these initial steps, put in a ticket with the HelpDesk so that we can help you determine how to get your laptop back up and running.

Prevention

Please be aware of the damage liquid can inflict on your laptop, and consider the following:

  • Use a laptop stand. Raising your laptop up will not only help it avoid liquid damage, but can help you sit with better posture at your desk.
  • Use a wireless keyboard. This again can help with posture and a liquid-damaged keyboard is much easier to replace than a laptop!
  • Try to only use lidded coffee cups and water bottles at your desk.
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