If you’ve ever spilled a drink on your laptop, you know how devastating it can be. Even if your device survives the initial incident unscathed, moisture can lead to problems with your laptop down the road. You may find that the lettering or keys on your laptop keyboard don’t work after a spill. Unfortunately, water and other liquids can have a long-lasting impact on your laptop as most of these devices are not waterproof. Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate the damage caused by liquid and get your keyboard working again. Read on for more information about how to fix a laptop keyboard that doesn’t work after a spill and how to prevent it from happening again.

Immediately After a Water Spill

The longer you wait to address a water spill, the more damage it will do to your laptop. Ideally, you should take the following steps immediately after a water spill to mitigate damage to your laptop and its keyboard. First, unplug your laptop and turn it off immediately. If your laptop is still plugged in, the current can flow into your computer, causing even more damage that you’ll have to pay to repair or replace. Next, use a paper towel or other soft cloth to remove as much water as you can from the laptop. Be gentle as you do not want to cause more damage by rubbing or scrubbing the water against the keyboard or other sensitive parts of the laptop. Let the laptop air dry. If you can, prop it up somewhere where water can drain away from it. Avoid propping the laptop on fabric or other materials that could retain moisture.

Dry Out Your Laptop and Clean It

If your laptop is wet, there’s a good chance that it’s not working properly. In some cases, it might just need to dry out. The best way to do that is to remove the battery and let it sit undisturbed for a few days. If you don’t have that kind of time, leave it plugged in and turn it on to let the fan run. You’re looking for the laptop to warm up so that the internal components start to dry out. Once you’ve waited long enough that the internal parts are dry, plug the battery back in and see if the laptop boots up. If it doesn’t, you may need to replace the motherboard. If your laptop is wet, you’ll also want to clean it out. This includes removing the keyboard and other components where water has a high chance of collecting and creating a new home. We recommend a mixture of water and white vinegar as it helps cut through any dirt or grime while also being gentle on the laptop’s electronics.

Check Your Keyboard’s Cable

If you’ve managed to survive a spill to your laptop without the keyboard getting wet, there’s still a chance that liquid managed to seep into your device’s circuitry. The best way to check for this is by inspecting the cable between your keyboard and laptop. Look for any split ends or signs of rust on the inside of the cable. If you see any, you may want to call a professional to check for damage and determine if it is safe to use your computer as normal or if you should replace the keyboard. If the cable looks fine, you can also check the functionality of your keyboard. Try typing on it and pressing all the special buttons to make sure they’re all working properly. If they are, you can move on to the next section to dry the inside of your laptop.

Pull Apart Your Laptop and Dry the Inside

If your laptop is still wet, you may need to completely disassemble it to dry out the inside. You’ll find the various screws holding your laptop together in the manual that came with it when you purchased your computer. Be careful as you disassemble your laptop so that you don’t bend any of the internal pieces or wires. Once you’ve removed your laptop’s interior pieces, place them in a dry, dark space. You may also want to put them in a bowl of rice or silica gel to ensure that they dry out effectively. Leave them in this space for several days, and your laptop will be as good as new. You may want to go even further and clean the interior of your laptop with the vinegar and water mixture discussed above.

Buy a New Keyboard and Repair It Yourself

If your laptop is still under warranty and you’ve sunk money into fixing it, you may want to consider buying a new keyboard. It’s typically cheaper than getting it repaired, and you won’t have to be as careful with it. You’ll want to make sure that your laptop’s model number matches the one listed on the keyboard’s box or on the manufacturer’s website. You can also buy a keyboard repair kit to fix the keyboard yourself. You may be able to find a DIY keyboard repair kit online, or you can go to your local electronics store and ask if they carry a kit. You may also find that some of the big retailers like Amazon sell the kits online.

Conclusion

As you can see, water damage can be devastating to a laptop. If you catch it early, there may be things you can do to help mitigate the damage. However, if it’s too late and your laptop isn’t working after a water spill, you may need to replace it. It’s always a good idea to have an extra computer around in case something like this happens. Most laptops run on a variety of operating systems — like Windows, MacOS, and Chrome OS — so even if your computer dies, you can switch to a different system.

FAQs

Can a laptop keyboard that has been flooded be repaired?

The good news is that your water-damaged keyboard can be rectified, unlike other aspects of water damage on computer components.

Can a laptop be repaired after a spill?

It’s conceivable that a laptop will sustain significant harm if water splashes on it. However, if help is provided right away, the laptop can be spared from water damage. Repairing liquid damage to a laptop can not be as simple as it first appears and involve some complicated electronic disassembly.

 

Can I use a hair dryer to dry my laptop?

Invert the container to let any extra liquid that you couldn’t reach to drain. To get into those crevices, if you have access to one, use a blow dryer set to the coldest setting or a can of compressed air. While it’s still upside down, gently dry the laptop with the cool air to let the liquid drain.

If a laptop gets wet, is it destroyed?

Shut off your laptop as soon as the liquid touches the keyboard. The longer your laptop is powered on, the more harm could be done as the liquid penetrates into the circuitry. Time is of the importance. Shut off as soon as possible; don’t bother to save progress or close files.

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