Last week, one of our clients came in with a laptop in a rice bag. He had spilled liquid on it and put it in a rice bag hoping it will dry out the moisture. Liquids and laptops don’t mix, obviously, but it’s not necessarily the end of the world. If this happens to you, do the following as fast as you can:
1. Turn off the laptop immediately. This means disconnecting the AC adaptor and taking the battery out. You want the laptop completely disconnected from any source of electricity including the battery in order to avoid a short.
2. Turn the laptop upside down, with the keyboard facing down, so that the liquid stops going into the laptop and starts draining out.
3. Remove any external attachments such as cables, USB devices, media card and anything else that’s plugged into the laptop.
4. Use paper towels to gently wipe the keyboard and all the wet spots you can see. Don’t push the keys too hard as this can cause the liquid to go into the case rather than to come out.
5. Leave the laptop out to dry in a well ventilated space for about 24-48 hours. You can use a fan to speed up the process, however you need to be patient and make absolutely sure the liquid is gone before powering up the laptop. Sometimes drops of liquid will remain hidden under the keys and powering up your device will produce a short.
We don’t recommend using a blow dryer as this can cause damage such as melting or damage to the keyboard. We also don’t recommend opening the case if your laptop is still under warranty, because opening the case will void the warranty.
If you spilled water, these steps will many times suffice to restore the laptop unless the water reached the internal components and caused damage. If you spilled a sugary liquid or something like beer, the laptop will need to be cleaned by a professional to remove the sticky residue created by such drinks.
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