For those of us whose job and lives rely on our computer, it may seem like the end of the world when you accidentally tip your drink onto it. Don’t panic! Water + electronics doesn’t always have to equal doom. Luckily, there are a few things that will help. But the most important thing is you have to act fast. Familiarize yourself with this to-do list when the worst happens and bookmark it for *if* that day ever comes (fingers crossed it doesn’t!).

Stressed businesswoman working on computer in office.


1. Cut ALL power to the laptop. This means unplugging your power cord and turning the laptop completely off. You should also unplug any peripherals you have plugged in (e.g., a second monitor, a mouse, etc.).

2. If you can easily do it, remove the battery. If you can’t do this, it’s okay; the goal is to get your laptop as dry as possible as quickly as possible (without breaking anything).

3. Open the laptop wide and turn it upside down. This prevents the liquid from getting further down into the laptop and potentially causing more damage. You want to have it open wide so that the liquid doesn’t drip onto the screen as it drains out.

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4.Take a clean, lint-free cloth and wipe down the keyboard and any other wet areas. If all you spilled was water, this should be sufficient. If you spilled something else, like coffee or soda (basically anything that will dry sticky), you should get the cloth slightly wet and wipe your laptop down before hitting it with the dry side of the cloth. No one likes gross residue (and this should keep the ants at bay too).

5. Don’t turn your computer on for at least 48 hours. The drier your laptop is when you turn it on, the less likely its circuits are to short. To get your computer extra dry, you can even rig a fan to blow into the keyboard (editor’s note: This has worked for me!).

6. To be extra safe, take your laptop into a professional repair company. Let the pros handle it; they can open up your computer to remove the battery and make sure everything is dry in there. If you’re going to go this route, don’t turn your laptop on prior to taking it in. Better safe than sorry!

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1. Dunk it in rice or cat litter. Seriously, this probably won’t do anything for a laptop. And the cleanup will be kinda ridiculous.

2. Keep it on. This might seem like a no-brainer, but if you’re going to ignore any of the “DO” steps on here, “turn your laptop off” isn’t the one you want to ignore. We can’t stress this one enough.

In most cases, a spilled glass of something isn’t going to ruin your laptop — as long as you handle it QUICKLY. And maybe invest in a water bottle or thermos? Anything with a lid. Prevention is easier than management, after all.

How do you protect your gadgets? Tell us @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)