5 Minute HelpDesk – What to Do If I Spilt Coffee on My Laptop

Drinking coffee while working on your laptop maybe an energizer until the day you accidentally spill it on your laptop. But there’s a good chance of recovering your laptop if you act quickly. Our IT HelpDesk from Perth will help you with what to do if you spilt coffee on your laptop.

Switch the Power Off

The first thing to do – turn off your laptop. In most models, the quickest way to do this is to press and hold the power button until the screen goes off. The longer you take to switch off, the higher the chance of seriously damaging it. Then remove the power cable and unplug peripherals if any. If the model you own has a removable battery, remove it and place it somewhere safe to dry off. In case you spilt a lot of liquid, try placing your laptop face down on a towel with the lid open. This can help the liquid to drain before they cause any more damage.

Ensure your hands and the laptop’s areas you touch are completely dry – if not there are chances you could get seriously harmed or further damage your computer.
By turning off the system and removing the battery if possible, the circuit will get broken preventing from a nasty shock and damage to your laptop.

Repairing the laptop

If your laptop is under warranty its best to contact the service provider. It is always advisable to get your laptop repaired by the authorized dealer. Third-party dealers can get it done for a lesser cost – but the quality of components and repairs cannot be guaranteed.

If your laptop doesn’t have a warranty, you might want to open the chassis yourself. Unfortunately, some laptops are tough to open. If you are unsure of how to proceed, it is best to take it to a professional. Otherwise, you may end up doing more harm than good.

If you’re comfortable to open the chassis yourself – you can assess the damage and attempt to dry out any moisture. Just remember to take a photo before you start, so you know how to reassemble later.

It is easier to dry out if it was water that was spilt. If you spilt something sticky, it is advisable to take your laptop
to a specialist.
After opening the chassis, remove some components and keep them in a dry and airy spot.
You can try dabbing with a clean cloth to dry extra moisture.
Avoid using hairdryer, heater, or any other heat source to dry your laptop, as they could cause further damage. When it is dry, you can reassemble and try to turn it on.

Sticky residue on keys

You can clean the sticky keys with isopropyl alcohol. Spray it on the keys and clean with a soft cloth or cotton ball. Try cleaning
individual keys.
This is not the best way, as there can always be some residue left. For a thorough cleaning, we recommend taking your laptop to the specialists.

Don’t Use Rice for Drying

This is a common tip that you will see in a lot of places. It’s not an approved technique and we will never recommend it. Rice doesn’t speed up the drying process. You may even end up with bigger troubles if any grains get into USB ports or inside your laptop.

These are some quick tips on what you need to do if you spill coffee or water on your laptop. However, we always recommend to avoid keeping food or drinks near laptops. There is always a chance of accidentally spilling them.
If you need any help with IT related queries, contact us or email at helpdesk@computingaustralia.group. Our IT HelpDesk in Perth is available 24/7 to assist you with all kinds of IT problems.

Computing Australia is a member of The Computing Australia Group of Companies.

Jargon Buster

Chassis – The outer shell of a laptop consisting of the case, keyboard, motherboard, pointer, and display.
USB port – Computer port used to connect various devices to a laptop without needing a specific port or bulky connector.