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What to Do If You Get Water Spilled on Your Laptop or Notebook

Barbara writes about the things she loves. Her hobbies include gardening, crochet, reading the Bible, cooking, and home remedies.

Acer Aspire laptop computer

Acer Aspire laptop computer

I spilled water on my laptop one morning and panicked. The water spilled on the touchpad and it wasn't working. I thought I had ruined it. I know I should have been using a container with a lid if I was going to drink while surfing, but I didn't.

I dried all of the water I could get out of it, and after about three days, it started working again. Later I found that there are faster and better ways to take care of the problem. The first one is not to panic like I did. Your computer will probably work again just fine.

Just follow the steps below.

Steps to Take When You Have a Small Spill

  1. Turn off and unplug the computer.
  2. Use a microfiber cloth and dab up the spill. Use a cotton tip swab for hard to reach areas.
  3. If it is a small sticky spill, use 90% isopropyl alcohol to clean the spill. Alcohol dries faster.
  4. Be sure the computer is completely dry before using.

Steps to Take for Larger Spills

  1. Turn the computer off immediately. Unplug it from the power source. Remove the battery.
  2. If you've spilled a large amount of water on the computer, turn it over and let all of the water drain off of the computer. If needed, shake the computer to get the water out.
  3. Now lay the laptop on its side. If any water got into the CD slot, be sure it is laying down on its side.
  4. Don't use the computer until you know it is perfectly dry. Using a blow dryer on a low setting will help dry the laptop faster.
  5. Most computers will work fine after this treatment. If yours isn't, you will need to take it into a repairman.

How to Fix a Wet Laptop

Sticky Spills

If you've had a sticky spill, try to clean it as best you can using the steps above. Speed is important in this case. Once you let the spill dry, everything is going to stick. You are probably going to need to take the laptop to a repairman in this case. Otherwise these instructions will usually work for a water spill. Sticky spills are more serious.

What to Do if You Spill Juice

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Caroline C. on August 26, 2012:

Thank You Sooooo Much!!!! This happened about 20-30 minutes ago!!! My daughter spilt water on my laptop!! And I looked it up on Google on my phone ane this came up!!! I prayed that it would work and it did!! Because I'm telling you this on my laptop!!! :D Again, Thanks!!! TONS!!!! You ROCK!!!! \m/

b. Malin on November 16, 2011:

I guess I always have that fear of spilling I try to keep my Glass on the other side of the Table when I am working on a Hub. Good Timely Hub Barbara. I usually work on my Glass Dining room table or out on the porch on that Glass table...Lover Man uses the Den and Desk, but NEVER has any Glass near by...Cautious Fellow!

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on November 16, 2011:

Scroll to Continue

lucybell21 and Rhelena, Thanks for dropping by. I guess I'm not the only one that drinks around the computer. I know I'm not supposed to, but I spend so much time here at Hubpages.

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on November 16, 2011:

vox, The alcohol might still work. There are sites that tell you how to remove and replace the keys. I tried this though and have a key I couldn't get back on right, so good luck. Thanks for your comments.

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on November 16, 2011:

Savva Pelou, I had never thought of that one before. I bet it would be a good way to dry out a cell phone. Thanks for your comments.

Helena Reimer on November 16, 2011:

I have done this before, but only in small amounts and I always kept working afterwards. But I guess it is not a good idea. Thanks for letting me know. :)

Bonny OBrien from Troy, N.Y. on November 16, 2011:

I will have to keep this in mind. I always have a cup of coffee nearby when I am on my laptop.

Jasmine on November 16, 2011:

I wish I read this hub a couple of years ago, before I spilt juice on my computer :( It works normally, but some keys are still sticky!

Savva Pelou from London on November 16, 2011:

for smaller devices, emersing the device in uncooked rice is a brilliant way to dry the inner workings. Rice is brilliant at absorbing moisture from its immediate surroundings, but it must be left in the rice for at least a day. good hub

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on November 15, 2011:

Lymond, Whoops. That is why you need to keep the hair dryer on low. Taking it apart is a good idea, but I'm not sure I'd get mine back together again without taking it in. Thanks for commenting.

Lymond from UK on November 15, 2011:

I managed to tip a cup of boiling water on mine. Took it apart completely to dry it and it was fine. Only problem was I melted the return key with the hair drier :-)

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