When You’re Laptop Gets Wet: The Do’s and the Dont’s

Photo credit: http://guardian.co.uk

Spilling liquid on your laptop is probably one of the worst things that can happen. It’s very upsetting because you can’t blame anyone for your laptop’s doom. You can’t blame Microsoft, Steve Jobs, or the manufacturers in China. In my case, I blame our air conditioner (AC). The story of how our MacBook Pro (MBP) reached its sad end involved a misplaced laptop table, leaking AC, and a few missing brain cells.

 

Here’s how it happened:

  • After doing my sweeping duties, I placed the laptop table directly under the AC. I totally forgot that it sometimes leaks from the inside.
  • Before I went to bed, I placed the MBP on the table like I always do.
  • When I woke up, MBP didn’t turn on. I didn’t panic. I thought it ran out of battery.
  • So I went ahead and charged it. There was still no sign of life.
  • I noticed that the area near the top of the keyboard and the LCD screen was moist. The wall near the AC was also moist.
  • It didn’t take a Sherlock Holmes to solve the mystery. The MBP spent the night soaked in AC water! And then panic started…
  • And when something in the house is broken, I turn to Google. As it turned out, it was a big mistake!
So, I’m writing this post, to share with you my experience and hope that you may find it useful.

The Don’ts

Do NOT turn on the power on. Turning on the power right after it got wet can cause a short circuit.

Do not disassemble parts.Luckily, this is impossible to do on Apple devices. So I didn’t even try to take off the battery.

However, for some laptops the batteries can be removed. Some people would say to remove it, and let it dry. But this may actually do more harm than good. So, if you don’t have any experience, it’s best not to tinker with it. So what can you actually do in the event you accidentally spill beverage on your laptop?

The Do’s

Remove all power cords. If you’re charging your laptop, remove the charger right away. Don’t forget to disconnect all connected devices as well such as flash drives and HDMI cables.

Dry external or visible parts. When water spills, you must act quickly and pat the visible parts dry with a towel. If you’re at a coffee shop, use tissue, your hanky, or even your shirt. Use anything that can absorb water! πŸ™‚

Bring it to authorized repair/service centers.

If you’re like me who turns to Google in the event of technological emergencies, don’t believe everything you read in forums. The best thing you can do is to bring the laptop to a service center right away. With their expertise and the right tools, they will have the ability to rescue your laptop and control the damage.

Here’s another reason why you should trust real experts instead of Google searches:

(But I would just like to note that turning to Google in solving other technological problems have helped me out a lot as well. I guess it depends on the grativity of the situation.)

When the MacBook got wet, I read many forums to see what other people did. And most of them said this: Let it dry! And so I did. I set it aside. People said to let it dry for a week and try to turn it on again. After a week, it was supposed to work. But it didn’t. I actually waited a few more days to let it dry. I was also relying on my technopathic abilities to fix it. But still, it didn’t turn on.

With all my hopes gone, I finally decided to bring it to the Apple service center. After a week, we got a message that it wouldn’t be practical to fix the MBP. The total amount of repair cost is going to be more than the original price of the MBP. Upon learning this, I felt like I lost a limb. πŸ™

This is the MBP now:

MBP’s remains. I was planning to cremate it and scatter its ashes in Power Mac. πŸ˜‰
Luckily, the hard drive is safe! πŸ™‚ I can still use this as an external hard drive. I already bought an enclosure, which will allow me to do just that!

What’s Next

Since I obviously don’t have technopathic abilities, I have to move on and let MBP go. I am hoping that within the next few months, I can replace it with the latest MacBook Air. And I promise… over my dead MacBook Pro’s “body” that I will do everything I can to protect it this time. πŸ™‚

Irene Chan

Irene Chan

Irene Chan loves two things: communication and technology. With this tech blog and her role as Head of Communications at Veems,Β she believes she has the best job in the world. πŸ™‚ Besides those two things, she's also crazy for coffee, dogs, and zombies.Follow her on Veems to get tips and fun updates from her geeky life.
Irene Chan


  • Oh noooo! That’s such a huge loss πŸ™ It would have devastated me πŸ™ Too bad you didn’t notice right away what the problem was. I heard that putting something in a vaculock container (think lock & lock) filled with bigas helps as well. It worked for a phone I had that dropped into some water. But with phones, you have to be quick with removing the battery and powering it off!

    • Irene Enriquez

      I know! I was like depressed for a couple of weeks. πŸ™ If we had noticed it right away, it could have been saved. I’ve read about the rice thing, but it was already too late. I should have brought it to the service center right away. Hopefully, I can get a MacBook Air by the end of the year. Thanks for dropping by Chrissy! I appreciate it. πŸ™‚ Have a great day!

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