If you’ve never spilled water on a laptop or PC before, then consider yourself lucky. Thousands of computers are damaged every day due to dangerously placed mugs of water, coffee, or soda. If you want to learn how to fix your computer after spilling these liquids on it, then keep reading.
Shut it down immediately: As you may have learned in elementary school, electricity and water do not mix. If you leave your PC running after spilling water on it, you not only risk the chance of a short circuit, but you could even electrocute yourself. For that reason, you need to power off your computer immediately.
Disconnect the power cord and remove all external devices: Even when your computer isn’t running, your peripherals may be burning battery power or creating some sort of current. Unplug them and move them away from the wet computer.
Use gravity to your advantage: At this point, you want to prevent your PC from experiencing any further damage. If you have a laptop, turn it upside down. Or, if you have an external keyboard, unplug it and turn it upside down as well. This will remove any liquid left on the surface and prevent the remaining liquid from traveling deeper into your system.
Clean up the spill: Use paper towels or regular towels to mop up any remaining liquid. To prevent the build-up up static electricity, only choose materials that are free of lint.
Check to see if your keyboard is removable: Some laptops have a removable keyboard. By taking this out, you can clean up any liquid that has become trapped underneath. If your keyboard is not easily removable, you may still be able to remove the individual keys and clean underneath. This tip also applies for those who have external keyboards on their desktop PCs.
At this point, you have two options ahead of you:
Option A: if you want to be completely sure that your laptop PC is safe from liquid damage, then you may want to disassemble the computer completely. This requires a fair bit of technical expertise and can be a risky thing to do – especially if you’re not comfortable handling electronics.
Option B: On the other hand, you may be able to simply put your laptop or keyboard in a box of rice and wait for it to dry out. Rice is extremely good at finding moisture, which makes it an effective tool whenever you need to remove liquid from an electronic device. After placing your device in the case of rice, wait for at least 24 hours (preferably longer) to ensure that as much moisture as possible has been removed.
If your computer still experiences problems after this point, then you should take it to a computer repair shop for additional inspection. Remember, not all liquid spills can be fixed, and water damage isn’t always covered by the warranty. However, if you follow the steps listed above, you give yourself the best possible chance of saving your hardware from permanent damage.