What to Do When You Spill Liquid on Your Computer

Step by step
What to Do When You Spill Liquid on Your Computer

Don’t worry, we’ve all been there and it’s happened to practically everyone. Spilling liquid on your phone or laptop is extremely common. Hundreds if not thousands of people experience it on a daily or even hourly basis, so you’re neither the first nor the last to spill liquid on an electronic device.

In order to save your device though, as well as prevent further damage, you have to act rather quickly. Here’s what to do when you spill liquid on your laptop or phone.

Turn the Device Off

laptop wordpress coffee

Before you do anything else, turn the device off as a first response. Unplug the laptop/phone from the charger and shut them off. You can do this by holding the lock button on the phone and selecting turn off or simply holding the power button on the laptop for several seconds.

Remove Residual Liquid

laptop macbook glowing

Get a clean towel and wipe residual liquid from the device’s surface. If you don’t have a towel, feel free to use a napkin or anything that can absorb liquid effectively. You’ll want to do this fairly quickly so as to prevent the liquid getting inside the device and ruining the internal circuits.

Remove the Battery

phone laptop

Flip the laptop upside down and remove the battery. You can do this by pushing the panel off (in some cases sliding it off) and gently pulling on the battery. If it’s a phone, remove the back case and pull the battery right off. (Note: to remove a MacBook’s battery you have to unscrew the bottom of the laptop)

Unplug the Accessories

laptop crafts table tablet tea

Remove everything that doesn’t have to be on the laptop. This includes USB devices such as flash drives, wireless adapters and chargers. If you have a memory card inside, don’t hesitate to pull it out. The same goes for controllers, regardless if it’s a mouse or a secondary external keyboard.


stack of towels

Set a large towel on a flat surface and let the laptop/phone dry for a day or two. The best way to get water out of a laptop is to open it as wide as possible and place it upside down on the towel. This way most of the liquid from the keyboard and the screen will naturally exit the internals.

Wiping it Down

hipster computer graphic design typography

If possible, remove the laptop’s hardware (HDD, RAM, etc.) and wipe the entire device down thoroughly. Try to get as much of the residual liquid as possible. The phone should be good to go, but let the laptop dry for an extra day or two.

Reassemble the laptop and you should be good to go. In most cases, liquids don’t cause permanent damage, especially if it’s water. Hot coffee is another story, but even then you should be able to save your device if you act quickly.

Related articles