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How To Clean Up After Spilling on Your Laptop


Working on airplanes, in cars and trains can be hazardous to your laptop's safety. You may be faced with a mobile professional's worst fear - spilling a liquid on your laptop. It's a wise idea to keep a soft cloth in your laptop bag just in case. Follow these steps to clean up the spill and protect your laptop from further damage.

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: Varies

Here's How:

  1. Turn it off. If need be, do a hard shutdown.
  2. Blot up excess liquid with a soft cloth. Don't use a wiping motion, that just pushes the liquid around.
  3. Remove any cables, external drives, removable bays and external Network Cards.
  4. Blot up the liquid that may have gotten on the removable media.
  5. Do not take apart the casing. This can void your warranty and you could damage internal components.
  6. Tilt the laptop from side to side to allow the liquid to drain out. Do this gently and do not shake the laptop.
  7. Place upside down so that any excess liquid that you couldn't reach will drain out.
  8. Use a blow dryer if you have one and set it on the coolest setting. Carefully dry the laptop, paying attention to the keyboard and the parts you removed. Keep the blow dryer moving over all parts.
  9. The minimum recommended drying time is one hour but it leaving the laptop to dry for at least 24 hours is preferred.
  10. Once your laptop has had time to dry, reattach the removable components and start up the laptop. If it starts up with no problems, then run some programs and try using the external media.
  11. If the laptop does not start up or there are other problems, it is time to take your laptop to a certified repair service. If your laptop is still under Warranty - follow those procedures.


  1. Water is the easiest liquid to clean up on a laptop. It is a case of moving quickly to ensure water doens't get into the internal casing.
  2. Other liquids, especially those that are sugar based will makes things sticky and is harder to clean up. Use a slightly damp warm cloth to clean up sugar based liquids.

What You Need:

  • Clean soft cloth.
  • Blow dryer
  • Time - to let the laptop dry out.
Related Video
How to Clean Your Laptop
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