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What to Do If You Spill Water on a Laptop

No matter how careful you are with liquids around your laptop and other computer equipment, accidents still happen. Spilling something on your electronics can cause them to short-circuit and fry, rendering them useless in the worst-case scenario. Knowing what to do if you spill water on a laptop can save you time and money while preserving your data. 

As a top computer repair service in Tucson, AZ, Quik Fix Repair knows that it’s possible to fix a water-damaged laptop at home if you know the correct steps and act quickly. Our guide below explains what you can do to save a laptop from water spills. 

Top Laptop Water Damage Emergency Steps

Unless you have a water-resistant laptop, the last thing you want to do is accidentally drop water on it. When moisture soaks your laptop screen or keyboard, it could cause damage to internal components, leading to hardware problems. Knowing how to dry out a wet laptop quickly will make preventing serious complications like total device failure easier. 

Here’s what to do to prevent a short circuit after a laptop water spill. 

Turn the Laptop Off

The first thing to do to save your laptop from a premature malfunction due to a water spill is to turn the system off. Water and electronics with power can be dangerous. As soon as the spill occurs, unplug the device and press the power button for at least five seconds to shut the laptop down.

Leaving the power on while trying to clean the spill will make a short circuit more likely. If the water splashes on you as well as the computer, don’t unplug the device from the wall. It’s better to turn off the circuit breaker for the outlet to avoid an electric shock or electrocution.

Unplug Accessories

When learning what to do if you spill water on a laptop, remember about laptop attachments and accessories. These may include thumb drives, USB cords, and wireless mouse attachments. You don’t want the moisture to affect those components or create spaces where water can hide. 

You should also flip the laptop upside down and remove the battery if possible. Again, you don’t want moisture to hide in the laptop’s cracks and crevices. 

Dry All Surfaces

When the computer is off and no longer has its battery or attachments, start drying it off. Use a soft, lint-free towel or cloth to wipe down the entire surface of the laptop, including its screen.

Avoid using a heat source like a blowdryer or sunlight to dry out the laptop. Excessive heat can cause additional damage to the electronic equipment. Instead, open the laptop, turn it upside down in a “V” shape, and lay it on a towel so the water can drip out. Let the device air dry for at least 24 hours.

Open Laptop to Remove Internal Components

Sometimes a water spill around a laptop is severe enough that a simple air dry won’t be sufficient. If moisture gets deep into the laptop, you might need to open the back panel and remove the components to ensure thorough drying.

Unfortunately, opening the back of an older laptop is more straightforward than taking a modern device apart. In that case, it may be best to let the laptop air dry as much as possible and take it to a computer repair shop for additional help. 

Clean Water vs Sticky Liquid on Laptops: Same Cleaning and Drying Methods?

The type of moisture that gets on your laptop will determine whether you should attempt the repair at home or if you need professional guidance. For instance, water isn’t acidic, and while it is damaging, it won’t immediately ruin the computer. It’s possible to save a laptop from a water spill. 

Conversely, sticky liquids like juice, soda, or alcoholic beverages are more corrosive and conductive. They can quickly cause permanent damage, so professional intervention is necessary.

Get Help for Your Water-Damaged Laptop From Tucson’s Repair Experts

Are you still struggling with your computer equipment after learning what to do if you spill water on a laptop? Quik Fix Repair in Tucson, Arizona, is here to help. Whether you drop your phone on water or spill something on your computer, we offer innovative electronic repair solutions. 

With more than 250,000 successful device repairs in our portfolio, we know how to quickly troubleshoot problems and provide long-term fixes. We offer low prices and a lifetime warranty on our work. Call Quik Fix Repair at (520) 448-9611 for a quote from our East Side location, (520) 463-7044 for our South Side shop, or (520) 850-6637 to reach our Central Tucson location.