Spilt liquid on your laptop? Act now with these steps

Water damage to laptop

What to do if you spill liquid on your laptop

Working from home can bring with it additional complications and risks that you perhaps wouldn’t experience in an office environment. Couple that with children being home-schooled and using your tech more than usual – accidents like spillages are more likely to occur (we talk from experience as last week a member of staff’s 6 year old spilt water all over a work laptop while on their school zoom call, rendering it unusable L).

So what should you do if this happens to you? Act quickly using the following steps and you just may be in with a chance of recovery…

If you spill any kind of liquid on your laptop, you need to act quickly. Most damage from spills happens in the seconds after the accident happens!

If your laptop was on…

  1. If your laptop was on when the spillage occurred, turn your computer off immediately and unplug it. This is THE most important stepDO NOT try and turn it on to see if it works, this is the worst thing you can do!!
  2. If you have a removable battery, remove it immediately. There is usually a switch or button on the underside of your computer.

If your laptop was off…

  1. Keep it switched off. DO NOT try and turn it on to see if it works, this is the worst thing you can do!!
  2. If you have a removable battery, remove it immediately. There is usually a switch or button on the underside of your computer.


  • Remove all easily-detachable components – unplug your mouse and any cables, and remove any flash drives and DVDs.
  • Dry any liquid from the outside of your machine and open up your laptop as far as it will go.
  • Hold your laptop upside down to drain any excess liquid.
  • Use a towel or absorbent fabric (lint-free), to dry any wet surfaces.
  • Do not dry the computer with hot air from a hairdryer for example.

If you have a warranty, it’s worth using at this stage. If you don’t have a warranty, it would be wise to take your machine to a repair shop as soon as you possibly can. Smart Computers have an onsite repair centre; we would be happy to take a look for you.

If you are unable to get to a repair centre, then you must let your laptop ventilate and dry out for at least a day or two before you try turning it back on yourself. If you attempt to power up your PC too soon after a spill, you’re inviting disaster — doing so can cause a massive short and ruin your computer.

Types of liquid

The type of liquid spilled on the device can make a difference. Water is the least acidic, sugary and alcoholic fluids are more conductive and more corrosive, and they can quickly cause permanent damage.

However the action you take needs to be the same. And remember, the faster you act, the better.

The next steps include removing internal components, however we would advise you have a professional do this for you, as modern-day laptops are more complex and doing it yourself could cause further damage.

Once everything has been cleaned and examined by a professional, the laptop should be left alone to air-dry for two to three days in a warm, dry area.

Taking these steps will give you the best chance of recovering your laptop.


Now more than ever you should be backing up your data. It is always important to have a full back up, however with more risks apparent while working remotely, the effects of losing hardware or data is not only frustrating, but could be devastating.

The primary purpose of data backup is to enable you to recover data after it’s been lost, deleted or corrupted.

Smart Computers provide an effective offsite data backup service. Allowing you to select the files you wish to be backed up remotely, on an hourly, daily or weekly basis.

Alternatively, you can auto-back up to a cloud service such as Microsoft One Drive. If you need assistance in ensuring this is set up correctly, get in touch with the support team on 01242 580654.

Rent a laptop

At Smart Computers, we provide a laptop rental service. You can rent anything from 1 laptop upwards, and from 1 day upwards. Perfect to keep you working if your laptop is out of action for a few days, or longer term. We deliver nationwide, and usually within 24 hours.

Included within the rental is access to free remote support (for rentals over 3 months).

To get a quick laptop rental quote, click here.

Safeguarding your laptop

There are accessories you can get to protect your laptop from damage caused by future spills.

These accessories include:

  • Silicone keyboard covers
  • Full laptop shells
  • Protection of a robust laptop bag

A quick google search will provide you with the above accessories.

For any of the Smart services, call us on 01242 580654 to discuss your requirements.