Saving a Wet Laptop

Category Computers
Spilled liquids can be the death knell for electronics such as laptops and phones. Should a spill occur it is best to take your laptop to a professional if possible. If not you can try the tips noted in this page. In addition is it important to remove the battery and all external hardware and dry the unit thoroughly before booting back up.


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Did you know that uncooked, dry rice can save wet electronics, including a laptop? I was on a plane that ran into a major air pocket and terrible turbulence that caused drinks, snacks, small electronics, and books to fly off the tray tables and out of hands as we bounced around for a few seconds. Once we leveled out, many passengers realized that their phones, tablets, readers, and laptops were wet from their spilled drinks. My club soda had spilled all over my 5 month new mini-PC. I immediately shut it down and wiped it as dry as I could with the paper towels handed out by the flight attendants. When I landed and called my sister, she told me to try rice!

So once I arrived at my destination, I stopped at a grocery store and bought an enormous bag of rice (not the fast cooking kind) and a huge plastic container with an air tight lid. I again wiped any moisture I could off the laptop, but I could tell the inside and screen were damp. I placed the laptop in the container, making sure the cover of the laptop was open so the rice was not only on the bottom and top of the PC, but also completely covering the keyboard and the inside of the screen.


I ensured that the lid of the container was on tight so no air could get in. 24 hours later I opened the container, turned on my laptop - and it worked!

The laptop was very dusty, so I shook out any grains of rice that were in the cracks and crevices, used compressed air to blow dust out of every inch of the device, and carefully dusted it off. On hindsight, I probably should have immediately removed the battery from the laptop while drying it off and not replaced it until both had dried out in the rice. As it was, the laptop dried out with the battery in place. I am typing this on my newly saved and restored laptop!

Tonight I am going to plug the laptop into an outlet and leave it on all night so the warmth will dry out any possible remaining moisture. $16 for a plastic container and rice saved me hundreds of dollars for a replacement PC. Oh, on my next plane trip, I will either use my PC or enjoy my beverage, but not both at the same time!


By Fran from Dallas, TX

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