Sadly, many of us have been there….a delicious coffee or orange juice unexpectedly spills on our keyboard.  In the moment of panic….what do you do?  We’ve had several of these calls lately….and while the liquid might be water, milk, coffee or orange juice, we strongly suggest you read through these tips now to better prevent permanent damage when (not if) it happens to you.

The first thing to note is what kind of liquid, and roughly how much was spilled.  If it spilled on your keyboard of your desktop computer, you’re lucky.  USB or wireless keyboards are replaced fairly inexpensively, and it’s the best case situation if you have a spill.  However, more often than not, the spill happens on your laptop, where a little liquid can quickly drip into the components of the computer and do damage to the entire machine.  You’ve probably heard that small electronics like cell phones or cameras should be submerged in rice to dry out if they’ve been exposed to a drowning.  With a laptop that isn’t as easy, so we suggest taking the following steps if you’ve had an unexpected spill on your laptop:

  • Immediately turn the computer off, unplug it, and turn it over so that any remaining liquid spills out keyboard where it came in.  Remove the battery if possible.
  • Leave it upside down for a significant period of time; preferably put the keyboard face down on the desk with the screen open and off the edge.  You want to avoid any residual liquid dripping inside the machine or on the screen which would affect the expensive motherboard of the computer, or the hard drive which contains your files.
  • Contact a computer technician like Canyonero to get the computer in for service right away.  They will begin taking the computer apart by removing the back of the computer and the keyboard to help expose the internal components to air and clean the inside so the machine can dry quicker.
  • Depending on the liquid, damage will be exposed as it dries.  Water usually is the most ‘gentile’ on a machine, while acidic orange juice and sugary coffee drinks can often cause issues like sticky keys or a jammed mouse as it dries.  Sometimes, a computer might work fine after a spill, but sticky keys might start to develop down the road.  Even laptop keyboards and mice can be fairly inexpensively replaced, so you want the damage to be contained in them.
  • Canned air dusters are a great thing to have, not only to remove dust in-between the keys or by the fan vent, but to dry spills inside the machine if it happens.  Use it sparingly!
  • Consider purchasing a keyboard cover for your computer.  While they’re sometimes obnoxious to use for frequent typing, they can help prevent a problem before it happens.  For less than $10 it’s a steal: