A common issue that clients bring their computers in for repair is when something is spilled on them. Now, we all know liquid and electronics are a bad combination, and we should not intentionally mix the two. However, accidents happen. Below is a list of things to do when a laptop or desktop encounters liquid.


As soon as the liquid comes in contact with the device, power it off. We cannot stress this enough. For laptops, this usually means pressing and holding the power button. Desktops can be turned off in the same fashion or unplug it from the wall. If your laptop has a removable battery, remove it from the device. The longer you wait to turn off your computer, the higher probability of damage to your device.

Dry the exterior of your devices with a towel. Fold your laptop in a ‘V’ shape and flip it over to allow any liquid to drain from the keyboard. Allow your computer adequate time to dry before doing anything further. A common thing we see with liquid damaged laptops is keyboard damage, which in some cases is significantly less expensive to replace than other components.

What’s Next?

Once the machine is turned off, start considering the next steps for your device. How old is it? Do you have a service plan or warranty? If you have one of the mentioned, read the terms; if you attempt to open the device, it might be voided. In addition, some warranties do not cover liquid damage, so make sure you read the fine print.

Do It Yourself Option

If you don’t have a warranty and feel comfortable taking your device apart, start disassembling to see where liquid might have gotten. Dry any apparent areas of liquid with a dry, lint-free towel. Dab these spots dry; if you wipe too hard, there is a risk of damaging some of the components. Once everything is dried off, reassemble and try powering it back on. Note: Do NOT use a hairdryer or heat gun to evaporate any liquid; this method will result in further damage to the components.

Take It To A Shop For Repairs

The above option may seem straightforward, but we do not recommend it unless you have experience working with these devices. Different laptop or desktop models will come apart differently. Some components need to be disassembled in a specific way to avoid damage. Taking it to a shop will help you avoid unnecessary extra repairs due to damage during disassembly. Our team at Computer Warriors has the training needed to handle these types of repairs. In the event of liquid damage, the quicker you get your device to us, the more likely of a successful outcome.

Stay Away From Rice

Rice is not your friend. Contrary to widespread belief, rice isn’t your friend when it comes to drying out electronics. Rice can get stuck in between keyboard keys, ports or gunk up other components of the device. Rice can result in further damage and additional repairs.

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