Tips for Minimizing Liquid Spill Damage
This document contains recommendations for handling liquid spills to minimize damage.
Liquid Spill Handling Tips
Repair will not simply open up and clean out computers on the spot as this is incredibly time consuming and will rarely prevent any further damage beyond what has already occurred. Customers should either wait for liquid to dry before bringing computer in for service, or bring computer in to have drive pulled so data can be accessed if that is a greater concern than the condition of the computer.
Keep in mind that when there is a liquid spill damage can be extensive and immediate, so these recommendations are just the best possible course of action after a spill. It's highly likely that there are and will be damaged parts, and these steps may end up having no effect at all.
Customers are welcome to bring their computers in to Repair to be looked at, at least 48 hours after liquid spill, but we would highly recommend to them that they are mindful of how they transport their computers so that liquid does not come into contact with even more parts of the computer.
- Don’t put the computer directly in rice. Rice doesn’t actually speed up the drying process much, and rice will end up inside the computer where it can interfere with fans, optical drives, keyboard keys, and even some connectors inside the computer. If you’re going to put it in rice, use a thin cloth like a handkerchief or thin dish towel as a barrier between the rice and computer.
- Don’t use a hair dryer or other blower to dry the computer. The heat from the hair dryer could melt solder or other delicate parts and the blowing air can force the liquid onto other components.
- Don’t try to clean other liquids such as beer or soda using water. Water can corrode the metals in circuit boards or cause an electrical short just as easily.
- Power off the computer right away, and if possible remove or unplug the battery.
- Wipe any liquid on the outside of the computer and keyboard away with a lint-free dry cloth. Try to avoid turning the computer in a way that will allow liquid to move around inside the computer.
- If the liquid spill is on the keyboard area of the computer, open the computer up and lay it flat with the keyboard down on a towel on the edge of a table or other flat surface. This will help keep the liquid from penetrating further into the computer.
- If the liquid was spilled mostly on one edge of the computer (or for example if the computer was in a backpack that was dropped in a puddle) open the display and put the computer on a towel with the affected edge down. This will help keep the liquid from draining across additional components inside the computer.
- If there is liquid in the USB, Ethernet, power adapter, etc. ports, use a Q-tip to GENTLY clean/soak up the liquid. Be very careful not to break the connectors inside the ports.
- Let the computer sit and dry for at least 48 hours before attempting to power it on again.
Place computer in one of these positions, depending on whether keyboard or side was spilled on: