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What happens when you spill coffee on your laptop?

It can happen to all of us, that moment when our human radar temporarily forgets the latest position of a full cup of coffee at our desk. Then there is the moment of horror when we realise what has just happened. Coffee and computers aren't mutually compatible, at least not when spilt.

Remain calm. While panicking can alert your work colleagues, at home it can also get your pets over excited, causing more potential havoc. Remember, there is a good chance things will be all right, laptop keyboards have an element of water resistance to them. But equally, it might not be. Smoke, or even fire, is a sure warning sign that things have gone beyond mere spillage.

If this happens to you, read the following advice:

Firstly, unplug it from the wall socket and remove any network cables.

Secondly, turn your laptop upside down and remove the battery. Electrics and water are much more compatible when there isn't an electric current running through them. This will also help drain the liquid.

If you've done that, then there isn't much more you can immediately do, unless it catches fire, in which case, grab the nearest foam fire extinguisher and then panic!

After you've finished extinguishing/panicking/swearing/crying/shouting (delete as appropriate), you can assess the damage.

If it was just coffee or water, then hallelujah, but if it was something like orange Fanta then things could get a little sticky here. Either way you need to clean up your mess.

  1. Use something absorbent, like a cotton wool bud or sponge to remove any liquid residue.
  2. Use additional rubbing alcohol to assist with any nasty stickiness on any circuits and components inside the laptop as this will evaporate.
  3. Take it to the warmest room in the house to help with drying, do not be tempted to use a hair-dryer, the microwave or an oven!
  4. Remove and clean the keys with more warm water or rubbing alcohol so they don’t stick down every time you press them (a bit like typewriter keys used to do when pressed down together).

Right, it should now be as clean as you can get it. Once it’s dried off, it’s time to test it.

If it works, carry on.

If it doesn't, get professional help from Hale IT and let us take a look for you. Call 0161 941 2525 for any questions, data recovery and repairs.

By | April 22, 2015 | Computer/IT Support, Repairs | 0 Comments

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