I spilled water on my laptop – and it turned off. What to do?

Updated: March 05, 2023
6 min read
I spilled water on my laptop – and it turned off. What to do?
by Christine Tomas
Tech Expert & Writer
Checked by
Quality Control team

If you accidentally spill water on your laptop and immediately shut it down, it will be useful to study the scheme of actions to save the device. Without putting into practice the important tips, you increase the likelihood of complete failure with the impossibility of making repairs.

Before we start

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Is water intrusion harmful?

The severity of the consequences is influenced by what kind of liquid got on the gadget. If it is ordinary drinking water, it is not as bad as if you spill juices, coffee, tea, and sweet carbonated drinks. The fact is that these types of liquids are classified as aggressive.

Is water intrusion harmful?

In the case of penetration of any of them, the following unpleasant things happen:

  • Contact closure;
  • Corrosion of individual parts;
  • Oxidation of metal platforms;
  • Destruction of the contact group connections.

The situation is exacerbated by the fact that some users do not consider it necessary to properly dry the gadget, trying to resurrect it as quickly as possible. As a result, moisture accumulates inside, which cannot evaporate. Corrosion processes are much faster and more powerful when operating from an electric network.

But even with the ingress of quite harmless by its properties water, the user is still a serious risk. To ensure that the "life" of the equipment is not endangered, consider the following point carefully.


Preventing a short circuit

Your initial actions should be aimed at preventing a short circuit. If you fail to avoid the danger, you can probably say goodbye to your notebook.

  1. Act very quickly. Promptness is an important part of success.
  2. Disconnect your notebook from the power supply.
  3. Remove the battery immediately.
  4. Don't forget to wipe your wet hands with a dry towel carefully, so you don't get electrocuted.
  5. Also be sure to disconnect from the laptop the following devices:USB flash drive;
    Wired mouse;
    Printer or photocopier;
  6. Wipe the notebook thoroughly with a cloth.
  7. Then open the cover as wide as possible.
  8. Turn the gadget display down and put it on a flat surface, which must first be covered with a dry cloth.
  9. It is in this position it should be left to dry for several days at least.

In any case, the device needs to be inspected in a reliable workshop, and the necessary cleaning measures should be carried out.

Even if you turned it on after drying, it started up successfully. It may turn off again at any time. It is unlikely to continue normal operation after that.

Consequences of the “catastrophe”

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A laptop turned off after a "flood" - a problem that you can try to fix by adjusting the normal functioning and taking the necessary safety measures. Worse, when the gadget seems to have been reanimated, but you still notice obvious problems. Here they are:

  1. Complete lack of operability of the keyboard.
  2. The touchpad does not respond.
  3. Some keys do not work, some of them can "stick".
  4. Problems with the screen, the cause of which is moisture in the layers of the matrix itself.
  5. Motherboard failure.

The last malfunction is a nightmare for any laptop or PC owner.



You must disassemble the equipment to ensure that no liquid has accumulated inside. First of all, the keyboard is dismantled. Carefully try up the latches with a screwdriver and then remove them. Carefully examine the inside surface for moisture.

You will need to inspect the element thoroughly to see if it has managed to get to the motherboard. Here are the signs that should seriously alert you.

  1. Black spots (only re-soldering will help).
  2. White plaque (scrubbing and rinsing with a soft brush, alcohol, and distilled water).
  3. Yellowed areas (perform actions similar to those described in the previous paragraph).

This component needs proper drying. A serious procedure of completely washing the board is required in especially severe cases. This requires removing all mounted components and then treatment by soaking in a special solution and brushing with a soft bristle brush is possible.

The final step will be rinsing with distilled water, fed under pressure. Its temperature should be high enough.

Drying the motherboard takes at least one day. This is the only way to ensure that moisture residues are removed and that serious related problems are avoided.

One important thing you should know

Of course, you can carry out a disassembly and work with the key components of the device yourself, but it is better not to do it. All of the actions described above are not a call to action. They are submitted for introductory purposes. In the case of the problem of getting liquid on the laptop with its subsequent shutdown, it is better to contact an experienced specialist.

Any mistake in the repair process entails new troubles up to the complete loss of functionality of your favorite gadget. Only a professional will help ensure the technique is saved from death.

What’s strictly forbidden?

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  • Desperate attempts to turn on the gadget immediately after the event are true murders. It should never be done. Being in a panic and forgetting about the mandatory safety precautions, you should try to pull yourself together as quickly as possible.
  • Even a long dry-out cannot guarantee that all is well with the device. A proper diagnosis is still necessary to ensure that there are no obstacles to normal operation before starting the unit.
  • Using a hair dryer is another unacceptable action. This will only encourage the moisture to penetrate even deeper, with the inevitable development of corrosion processes on the conductive tracks and microcircuits.
  • Laying it on a hot radiator won't do any good, either. The liquid will not be able to evaporate but will only get "stuck" inside.
    Do not ignore the need to call for service. Do not risk the life of the equipment.

Who to contact?

If you can’t take your laptop to the nearest service center, entrust it to the Howly professionals. They will give you all the necessary assistance in the online mode.

Services here are not very expensive, and the level of quality that the staff of Howly guarantees always leaves customers with a pleasant impression.

You can safely address our experts with any problems, not worrying about whether they can solve a complex issue. Definitely, they will cope. Masters have the necessary qualifications and extensive experience, which allows them to confidently take on the case and bring it to a successful end.

Howly expert is ready to help you with your Laptops problem

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