Whether you’ve dropped your smartphone in the drink, or your drink on your smartphone, this helpful guide will show you how to recover maximum operability of your laptop, computer, or smartphone after a spill.
Firstly, prevention is better than cure. The best way to solve the liquid-damage problem is to keep liquids away! But when the temptation to have a coffee while you work is too much, fear not: there are steps you can take to minimise/eliminate any possible damage.
When electronic devices come into contact with liquids, it is almost a certainty that they will suffer permanent damage unless you act fast. When moisture interacts with electronic contacts when the power is on, there is the risk of burning out whatever circuit is involved. Simple water spills are bad enough, but liquids, such as soda or coffee, dry sticky and are more destructive in terms of corrosion to the internal circuits.
What to do when you spill:
1. Immediately remove the battery, A/C adapter, and unplug the device.
This will prevent the device from shorting out. If you have dropped your laptop or smartphone into salt or chlorinated water, remove the battery and rinse the body of the device with fresh water. It may seem counter-intuitive to dunk it in more water, but it is essential to remove as much of the corrosive salt or chlorine as possible, to prevent further damage.
2. Disconnect and remove any and all external devices.
USBs, external hard-drives, cables, connections: everything must come off.
3. Turn the device upside down.
This will stop liquid from travelling further into the machine and damaging internal components.
4. Clean up as much of the spill as you can reach.
Use paper towels or any absorbent material that is lint-free.
5. Wipe up anything sticky.
Use a clean, slightly damp, lint-free cloth to wipe down the screen, keyboard, and buttons.
6. Insulate yourself from static discharge.
Static discharged from your hands or body can destroy even a dry computer, as it can contain a high voltage. Wear rubber gloves.
7. Disassemble the case.
Often it will be necessary to dive into the internal components if the spill is serious enough. It is important to do, especially if the substance spilled is corrosive. With computers it is advised that you remove the hard-drive to protect your data, and any cards or drives you can.
8. Remove dry residue.
Use a lint-free cloth to remove any dry residue from non-water spills, such as coffee or soda. Use a can of compressed air, or a gentle vacuum cleaner to remove any powdered residue.
9. Rinse off the residue.
Use distilled or deionised water to remove general spills, but for oily or sticky substances, use a high-percentage isopropyl alcohol first, then rinse with distilled water.
10. Let it dry.
Gently blow warm air into the device with a hairdryer, or place it near a heater (not too close!). Then put your device into a bag of desiccate, such as rice or silica gel, to soak up any moisture you can’t reach. This will take several days.
The most important thing to remember after spilling something on your device is not to turn it on. If it was already powered up, turn it off, unplug it, and remove the battery. Ensure that every last trace of moisture is gone before turning it back on again.
If the do-it-yourself approach is not your cup of tea, Advanced Computers can help!
We are experts in all computer, laptop, and smartphone repair and data recovery. If your device suffers damage, we can fix it with efficient service and minimal hassle. Advanced Computers is also an authorised repairer for most leading insurance companies, so you’re well taken care of in our hands.
Furthermore, our repairs are 100% guaranteed! If your device fails within 3 months of the repair being undertaken, we will fix the problem for free!