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3119 Leonard Terrace NE Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

SO, you Spilled Liquid on your Laptop? WHAT NOW!?


What a bummer…

First of all, I have to say…if you do spill liquid on your laptop, I feel sorry for you. It’s unfortunate and I also feel that pain. I personally have never spilled on my own computers, but I have spilled coffee on the keyboard of my desktop by mistake simply by getting bumped by my dog when going to set my cup down on my coaster.

Here’s what you need to do first!

The first step to take when you have spilled on your laptop, is actually the last thing most people think of. Most people I’ve come across want to turn it on to make sure that it all still works, unless of course it’s still running. DO NOT turn your laptop back on! The reason being is when you push power through the components on your laptop and there’s liquid damage, you risk corrosion, and electrical shorts, potentially totaling the motherboard. The first thing you should instead do, is turn off the laptop if it isn’t already on. This will prevent any kind of liquid damage from spreading throughout all the components on your board, and hopefully isolate any damage to the power components only. Don’t worry about that document you were working on…if you have a Mac, the first step is crucial, because you may never get that document back if you’re not vigilant.

Step Two: Unplug everything!

After you turn off your laptop, be sure to unplug everything you can from it. If your power adapter is plugged into the laptop to charge it, pull it immediately. If the battery is external, pull it out if you can, because that battery is still delivering voltage to the motherboard. If your battery is internal, and you’re not comfortable pulling it yourself, ask someone who can or give us a call, and we’ll be happy to take over from this point on. If you are able to get the battery out of your laptop, that’s great! Pull it out, and leave it out.

Step three: Let it sit…in rice?

I’m sure you’ve heard the age-old adage about throwing your phone in a bag of rice if it’s dropped in water. Well…the same actually applies to a computer, or any electronic device that’s been damaged by liquid for that matter. The reason behind this is simple science. Rice is so absorbent, that leaving any electronic device in a “bag of rice” will allow the rice to absorb about 95% of the moisture, provided it can reach all areas of the laptop that are liquid damaged. Even when it can’t, it’s still worthwhile to attempt to place your laptop in a bag of rice to dry it out before moving on to step four. Yes, there is a step four, because while rice is helpful in the process it’s not the be all end all to repairing your laptop after a spill.

Step four: Take it to a professional

This is the most important step in the whole process. Taking your machine to a professional will help to give you the full scope of damage that occurred when you spilled on it. Hopefully if you followed the steps above, you would just have cleanup. Cleanup for a professional when assessing your computer consists of pulling the motherboard from your laptop, identifying where the spill started, and how vast it was, where the liquid ended up, and removing any potential “sticky” liquid from the board. If all goes well all fans, the board, and all connections will be cleaned, and hopefully there is no corrosion on the board. Corrosion usually spells a death sentence for that component on the board, and potentially the board itself.

We are here to help

If you or someone you know has spilled liquid on their laptop, we are here to help. We can open up the computer, remove the battery, and clean up your system. With any luck, we’ll be able to have you up and running within a day or two, and your computer will be back in working condition! If you ever need help with a spill on your laptop, give us a call.

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