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How do I Repair Laptop Water Damage?

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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2016
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Spilling liquid on any of your electronics, especially your laptop, can be a very nerve racking experience, and you may even believe that laptop water damage means the end of your computer. Many warranties will cover accidental damage, but that protection becomes void if you try to repair a laptop yourself. So if you have a warranty, contact the company immediately. The first thing you must do when any liquid is spilled on your laptop is unplug it and remove the battery, along with any cords and external hardware. Next, you must try to dry up any liquid and allow the machine to sit for a period of time before trying to power it up again.

In the event that any liquid comes in contact with your laptop, if it isn't already off, you must shut it off immediately. If necessary, execute a hard shut down by pressing the power button for a few seconds. The battery should also be removed as well as any cords and cables, and any additional external hardware, such as an external hard drive or flash drives. Following these initial steps may stop any laptop water damage from occurring. Not shutting it off could cause certain components in your machine, especially the motherboard, to short out.

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The next step is to remove as much water as possible from the laptop. If just a little liquid was spilled, you may be able to blot it up with a soft, lint-free cloth. Larger amounts of liquid are most likely to cause laptop water damage. To get rid of this water, blot up any liquid that you can see and tilt the machine to the side to drain out as much liquid as possible.

You may also have to disassemble the laptop to remove any water inside the machine. Before doing this, keep in mind that any static electricity can ruin a machine just as easily as laptop water damage can, and you should take measures to prevent this from happening. Most professionals recommend using an anti-static wristband, but if this is unavailable, you may be able to ground yourself by continuously touching the bare metal frame of the computer. To disassemble the laptop, follow the manufacturers instructions, which can often be found in your owner's manual or online.

When inside, blot up any visible liquid. If you have spilled something like soda of coffee on a laptop, you may want to rinse certain components to prevent them from becoming sticky. Rinse only the parts that have been affected, and many computer repair technicians recommend that you only use de-ionized or distilled water when doing this. After you have dried and cleaned as much liquid as you can from the inside, leave the cover off, if possible, for the next step.

After following the previous steps, the only thing to do next is to wait. Place the laptop somewhere warm and dry to air out and let any remaining liquid evaporate. Some experts recommend using a fan or hair dryer set on cool, but others advise against this. Let the laptop sit for at least a day or two before turning it back on. Usually if any damage has been done, it will make itself known within the first day of using the computer, and if you notice it running differently, it may have received some laptop water damage.

To prevent laptop water damage, it is important to keep your machine completely away from any liquid whatsoever. This includes using the machine next to sinks or tubs, as well as leaving it outside. Drinks should never be set next to the computer, and it is also a good idea to supervise children when they are using your laptop.

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Discuss this Article

Laotionne
Post 2

I wish I had known about this article and the ways to repair/clean my laptop after I spilled coke on it a few months ago. I took it to the repair store and getting the laptop working again cost me slightly less money than a new computer would have cost me.

Feryll
Post 1

Sometimes it simply helps to be lucky when it comes to liquid being spilled on laptops. It is amazing how much damage a small amount of liquid can do.

However, in addition to the cleaning measures mentioned in this article, one of the first things you should do when water or another liquid spills onto your keyboard is to pick up the laptop and turn in up side down so that as much of the excess water as possible will be immediately removed from the computer, where it could otherwise do more damage.

If you know nothing about taking a computer apart then I recommend you remove as much water as possible from the exterior of the computer and then take it to a laptop repair person or at least someone who knows more about computers than you. Otherwise, you may do more damage to the computer as you try to clean it than the actual spill did.

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