What to do if you spill liquid on your laptop?

Laptops can be convenient in an age of working and studying at home, but they are prone to a lot of damage. Most of this damage is due to us letting our guard down in front of these devices. Spills, in particular, are common, as it can be difficult to juggle a device and a drink without succumbing to a liquid incident. Unfortunately, even a small splash can wreak havoc on your laptop, rendering an otherwise functional device. How you respond to a spill can make all the difference. Take the following steps to minimize the damage:

1. Disconnect your laptop immediately

As soon as you realize the spill, turn off your laptop and unplug it from its power source. Be sure to hold down the power button for at least five seconds or your computer may not shut down completely. It is essential that you perform this step as soon as possible. Otherwise, you risk short-circuiting your laptop, making it much more difficult to ensure a full recovery. Don't waste your time following the usual steps for a complete shutdown. The sooner your computer is turned off, the better - even if it means going against your instincts and hitting the power button. In the case of a major spill that leaves you soaked, prioritize safety. This may mean abandoning your laptop for a moment and using the circuit breaker to turn off the power. Don't handle your computer if you feel heat coming off it or if you see smoke, steam or bubbles.

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2. Remove the battery from the laptop

After making sure that you have turned off your laptop properly, remove the Asus battery if possible. This step will be much easier for some devices than for others. Some older models allow you to remove the battery by simply undoing a latch. Others will require you to unscrew the back plate.

3. Double check all power sources

In addition to disconnecting your laptop from its power source, remove any USB drives or other components attached to your device. Anything that can draw power from the system is a potential hazard.

4. Empty the unit

After you've turned off your laptop, removed all power sources, and made sure the area is safe, you can finally begin damage control. Start by using a dry cloth to wipe up any liquid that collects near the keyboard, ports or vents. Next, open the computer's lid as wide as possible. Turn the entire unit over and place it on another dry cloth. Let it sit in this position for at least 24 hours to allow the water to drain out. Do not stop draining the laptop just because it looks dry. Its parts may have absorbed some water, even if it is not immediately visible. In the event of a business or other emergency, it is possible to use your laptop before the 24 hours have passed. In this case, allow at least four hours to dry before attempting to use your laptop again.

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5. Don't fall into the rice trap

When their smartphones are exposed to water, many people place these devices in rice to limit the damage. However, you shouldn't rely on this trick for soaked laptops. In fact, this approach can cause more damage, as the rice can get stuck inside the device and you risk damaging components while cleaning the grains.

6. Call in a professional

Once you have completely gutted your laptop, consider visiting a repair shop for further assistance. Even if your computer can boot up normally, underlying damage probably exists. If you don't address these issues early on, you may have bigger problems later - and perhaps at the most inopportune time.

Professional assistance is especially recommended if you have spilled anything other than water. Coffee and soda, for example, can cause significant damage that you'll likely have trouble fixing on your own. The few extra minutes you take to get to a repair shop can pay off, as it will allow you to continue using your laptop much longer than if you ignore the underlying liquid damage. If you value your device, you'll never regret leaving it in the hands of a technician.

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