18th 2007f March, 2007

Wine in Laptop

by @ 17:03. Filed under
Wine, lemonade and laptop

The bad thing about a laptop is that you tend to sit down with it at places where a computer actually doesn’t belong. Like the livingroom, the garden, the kitchen or even in bed. That’s the whole point with a laptop, that you can move around with, but unfortunatley we also very often present our preasiuos black boxes for uneccesary risks like enjoying a glass of wine in its precense.

Accidents with beverages and laptops are more common then I though and this became apparent after I wrote the article Salvage your device after liquid spill which was about a router that got water into it. 
The amount of emails that I’ve gotten since then from people that spilled both wine and other things into their laptops made me do this experiment / tutorial where I will pour one glass of wine and one of lemonade into my laptop and then recover it.

Don’t even think about doing this as an experiment unless you’re 110% sure about what you’re doing!! Not only can you ruin your laptop beyond repair but you can also get to see other unwanted effects like electrocution, fire or even explosion caused by the shortcut the liquid causes. You’ve been warned.

For this experiment I used an old Dell Latitude CSx 500Mhz that was donated to me after my former boss managed to crack the screen on it after passing an x-ray machine while travelling. Except for the screen that has a crack in it; it’s a perfectly fine laptop. As liquids I used a glass of a Kroon van Oranje Pinotage from South africa as well as a glass of lemonade (for the sugar :)).

Have a look at the video to get you started with what the effect the wine and lemonade had on the laptop. It’s less dramatic then you’d think. (Thank god for that!)

Wine damaged laptop
So now you have a laptop which has suffered from alcohol and sugar poisoning and the absolute first thing you need to think about is to disconnect all power sources to not make things worse. E.g. unplug any AC adapters and take the battery out of the laptop.
The second thing you need to keep in mind is that time is not your friend. Many people that have this happening to their laptop will try to ‘dry it out’ and this is one of worst things you can do. All liquids contain minerals which lead electricity and many liquids contain sugars and other interesting ingredients which of many are corrosive.

You need to get this out of your laptop as soon as possible.

Actually it’s quiet simple. Take the laptop apart, which can be a challenge in itself, and rinse the parts affected (no more no less) in tap water and when it’s clean rinse it again with distilled water to make sure that the tap water in gone as it contains minerals, chlor and calcium. Let it dry and then assemble it again.

Wine on curcuit board in laptop

As it is to see in the video I poured more liquids over my poor laptop then it would normally be facing, but I’m trying to simulate a worst case scenario here. On this particular model of laptop the keyboard is perforated for air circulation which of course means that the liquids got straight through. I literally had two glasses of not very good liquids in my laptop and it was soaked through pretty good.

The hard drive managed not to get any on it so this was just to be removed to be left outside this project. If your hard drive has been drenched then there is one thing you shouldn’t do with it – rinse it in water. You can rinse the backside where the circuit board is located but beware of the ventilation holes as these provide a passage from the outside world to the inside of the hard drive. Even if you see that there is liquid in there you shouldn’t rinse it as you will only make things worse. You can however take some kitchen paper and dry it off carefully.

If you have a ‘normal’ keyboard and you spilled ‘a bit of wine’ on it then it’s of course unnecessary to completely disassemble your laptop but just follow the below instructions and only apply it to you keyboard.

Here are some more ‘wet’ pictures: 1 2

It’s surprising how difficult it is to capture the wetness on a picture…

Wet laptop inside
While you start wondering on how to get your laptop apart it’s a good idea to send a family member down to the local gas station to get some distilled water or as most people know it; battery water. The reason for using this in the second rinse is that even though it is not true distilled water it is clean enough and it doesn’t contain any minerals or corrosive materials. So if you rinse electronics in this and then let it dry then you get a result without residues.

ESD is not your friend. What it comes down to is that you should handle all parts in
the computer with outmost care and you should preferrably be grounded while doing
this to avoid zapping your laptop.

On the other hand – I didn’t! But don’t come and say that I didn’t warn you.

A couple of tips in disassembling your laptop.

  • Start with the laptop upside down and locate all screws that hold it together. Keep track of what screw goes where as they can look very much alike in the first place but in the end won’t fit as they’re slightly different.
  • When you think you got all screws out then it’s time to find the ones you didn’t know about. Try to pry the upper and lower part of your laptop apart and see where it still holds together. Then think about it and try to figure out why it doesn’t come apart. It’s not unusual for some extra screws to be located under the rubber feet.
  • A bit of force is almost always necessary to get it apart. If you can’t get it apart you can try to insert a screwdriver between the two halves where it seems to hold together and see if you can pry them apart. There might be a plastic snap lock hidden inside. Needless to say, by doing this you will most probably damage the plastic visually where you inserted the screw driver.
  • It’s very often necessary to get the screen off before you can get the top piece off completely.
  • You will have to play detective. Every laptop is designed uniquely and they were never meant to be opened by anyone else then service personnel.

  • If you look at the above picture and the previous one then you’ll see that there’s a big metal box in the first picture but not in the second. This is the shielding and cooling box for the processor and it will have to be removed as well. Be careful when removing this as there’s a heat plastic or paste on at least one place. The function of this is to improve the transfer of heat from the processor to the heat sink and you should make sure that it stays intact during the whole process of cleaning away the liquid.

    Laptop in bathtub

    When you’ve gotten the wine-o parts out of the laptop it’s time to take a bath. Or rather take a shower in the bathtub. You don’t want to submerge these thingies under water.. Trust me.

    Rinse the parts that have become wined under luke warm water richly. A word of warning here; If only a piece of the laptop has been wined then only rinse that part. It’s an unnecessary risk to rinse more then necessary as ‘you never know.
    I on the other hand drenched my motherboard completely as I wanted to see if it really survived.

    More shower pictures: 1 2

    Destilled water rinsing motherboard
    When you rinse the wined parts you should let the water do the work for you. Meaning, do not rub the areas with your fingers, use a tooth brush or anything else.
    I even had wine and lemonade inside the processor cooling fan and this really worried me. After all, moving parts usually don’t like water. Unless they’re build for it of course, but that’s not the case for a fan inside a computer.
    None the less it went through the process of taking a shower.

    When everything is clean then rinse it well under the distilled water. The theory is at least that the ‘dirty’ water will be replaced with the ‘clean’ water as it’s rinsed off.

    Processor socket

    It’s good to pay attention and this is something I didn’t do. I most laptops the processor (cpu) is soldered directly to the motherboard but not in this case, it was mounted on a socket. This meant that I also had to remove the processor to make sure that the underside of it and the socket could be rinsed properly.
    Here’s a picture of it removed: 1

    Now when everything is clean clean clean we need to dry it.

    Your first friend here is the centrifugal force. Simply hold the pieces and rotate your arms like a fool because that’s what you’re going to look like.

    Hanging the laptop out to dry. So to speak.

    Your second friend here is your mouth. Make sure you have a dry mouth (!) and blow inside the connectors (and in my case the processor socket) to force the last water out of them. If you have compressed air or air on can then you can use that of course, but be careful that the force of the air is not to strong.

    Then peg the parts to the washing line and leave them to dry for at lease 24 hours.
    Pegging the processor was of course not really an option so there I used piece of sticky tape to make it hang to the washing line.

    On this picture you can also see the inside of the cooling heat sink. The pink square is the piece that attaches to the processor while the white is the one that attaches to one of the bridges. Can never remember which one it is but I believe it’s the north bridge that is the one that needs cooling.
    The copper pipe is the pipe that contains the coolant that transports the heat to the heat sink down in the right corner of the metal piece.

    Assemble laptop

    Exciting! Time to assemble the laptop again.
    Put back all the parts that are necessary for the laptop to operate and wait with closing it up.
    It is vital that you mount the cooling for the processor before trying to turn the power on. The cpu can over heat in a matter of seconds without cooling and then your laptop will be ruined beyond repair.

    One thing that I noticed when I put the processor back in its socket was that it (the socket) hadn’t had enough time to dry. On this picture
    you can see the druplets of water that was present after placing the processor in
    the socket and removing it again. I simply had to leave it to dry some more.

    Testing if everything works is best done with the AC adapter. This is with two reasons. The first is that the AC adapter can’t leave as much power as the battery can and the second is that if something goes wrong then you can unplug the power faster then if you need to remove the battery.


    Don’t bend over the laptop when connecting the power as ‘you never know’! What if it blows up? Then you don’t want to have your face there.

    I ran my first test without the keyboard connected but you can of course connect this if you want to. When you are satisfied that it’s working then put everything back together and that’s about it.

    But what if it doesn’t work?
    Well, there can be three reasons.

  • The most possible is that there’s still water somewhere on the motherboard and all you need to do then is to wait another couple of days and then try again. Leave it assembled as on the above picture so that air has free access to it.
  • Something broke as a result of the initial spillage. Tough luck. That’s life.
  • Something broke as a result of the cleaning. Again tough luck. At least you gave it a try.

    As you’ve already seen the video I don’t have to tell you that this actually worked in the end. One thing that I found very surprising was that the speaker in the chassis (which I also cleaned) sounded normal. The fan made some strange noise for the first couple of minutes but after that it sounded ok. I guess that was because there as some moist inside it and that it dried up after these minutes.

    The key to success on doing this whole process is time. Clean the laptop as soon as possible so that nothing is allowed to dry up. If it already has then that’s how it is and you can still clean it but it’s definitely better to clean it while the liquid is liquid so to speak.

    And leave it to dry for as long as you can. If you can wait more then 24 hours then do so. It can never dry too much as I myself noticed.

    Good luck!

  • 64 Responses to “Wine in Laptop”

    1. Laptop Repair Guy Says:

      This is the most tech-savvy guide about recovering a laptop from
      a spilling accident I have ever seen. Great! I have made a link to it at Repair4Laptop ( ).

    2. frank Says:

      “Let it dry” might need some clarification. When I was a repair tech, we’d let wet components dry for at least a week before re-assembling. Just a note to your readers — letting it dry for just a few hours won’t cut it, there are too many surfaces that need to dry.

    3. Wontoncookie Says:

      ALL that disassembling and still a broken screen ,

    4. Hack a Wii Admin Says:

      Nice job, but I am thinking that most people that spill something in there do a few things that you didn’t. Leaving the power on for a long duration once the fluid has leaked inside and letting it sit allowing the fluid to get into things like the hard drive.

    5. Bill Olen Says:

      Very nice job!

    6. Hoog Says:

      Fast clean out without dissassembly.
      1. Unplug the computer & remove the battery.
      2. Drain and blow out the computer with compressed air to remove large puddles of fluid.
      3. Followed by pouring rubbing alcohol through the computer will rapidly evaporate any residual water based liquids left in nooks and crannies.
      4. Again blow the computer out with compressed air and allow to dry for 4+ hours.
      5. Reinstall battery when the strong smell of alcohol has dissapated.

    7. Stuart McGuinness Says:

      I have done exactly this; the laptop motherboard got hosed by my nice red and I had to buy a new one on the road.

      The time & power comments are crucial. You must power off immediately. MUST. It matters not if it dries out or not, because the next step – taking it apart – is almost impossible without a whole plethora of various-sized cross-head screwdrivers (tiny ones with big handles/super strength) and maybe a torq or 2. If you can’t do it immediately then don’t even think about giving it a try after shaking off the excess. Wait until you have the tools and read on…..

      I have repaired many bits of kit – even when immersed in salt water – the key is you must wash off any residues. Initially you can use soapy water to get rid of greasy and sugary stuff, then copious rinsing with fresh or distilled water. If you have commercial spray that leaves no residue, use it. I have used WD40 but it does leave a mineral oil behind and is not optimal.

      Next – hairdryer or long wait. I have actually hung bits on a line like so many socks before.

      Finally re-assemble and power on.

    8. Phil Ershler Says:

      I would hazard a guess that if the laptop had been running and warm, the “patient” may not have survived. And the comment about salt water dead on. If the offending liquid is salt water and the power is left on for any length of time at all, it is almost certain that the patient will be DOA at the surgical suite.

    9. Tom Says:

      It’s not true that the drying out idea won’t work due to the ‘minerals’ in water/whatever. The ionic compounds contained in, for instance, tap water will only conduct electricity when dissolved in water. Once dried, even if the compounds remain on the components, they will not conduct electricity.

    10. Adam Masri Says:

      I thought you should never use water on these surfaces, because some of the metals might rust. I thought there are special electrical component chemical cleaners that you are supposed to use, or possibly a chemical flux remover?

      Also, what is the recommended method to clean a CD/DVD drive after an episode like this? Or do you just buy a new one?

      – Adam

    11. Adam F Says:

      I accidentally managed to spill I would estimate 2-4 teaspoons of 2% milk onto my Very Understanding girlfriend’s Acer travelmate laptop this morning. Unfortunately all that was done was leave it turned upside down for several hours (6 and counting now) removed the battery and the AC, even though it was off at the time of the spill, as we didn’t have time or definite knowledge what to do for repairs. After about two hours, against my advice, she connected the AC and tried to turn it on. Tried. The usual power light came on for maybe half a second, and that’s it. It was unplugged again and turned back upside down.

      If it was my own desktop I would probably attempt what is said on this page, but I don’t have the same experience disassembling laptops. Are we better off taking it to a repair shop? It doesn’t help that we are both leaving town in four days and that the warranty is long past if that would even help.

      I am somewhat lucky she was thinking about getting a new computer this summer, though a desktop, not to replace the laptop.

    12. anna Says:

      please help me!! I spilled beer over my laptop yesterday, and the store was not open so I could not buy the tools I need to open it.. I just let it dry over a towel. do you think I should clean it, or just let it dry? or is it TOO LATE????? Do you think the pc will be fucked if I turn it on? It is beer,,so maybe all the things inside the Pc are sticky.. i have no clue about computers, Im just a norwegian blonde girl who need to get my laptop on as soon as possible:) I would not like to spend my last money I’ve got to let someone else repair it, I would like to do it on my own..

    13. Irritated Says:

      Excellent article as always from Grynx!

      Anna, have some self respect for gods sakes. Doing the whole damsel in distress routine gives the rest of us girls a bad name. Let people help you or not, but don’t have it swing on your being “a norwegian blonde girl”. Dayum….

    14. Uhh... Derrrrr..... Says:

      I don’t think Any “Sweet Little Norwegian Blonde Girl” Says: I quote

      “Do you think the pc will be fucked if I turn it on?”


      Please…. Get a brain guy…. That won’t help you here…

    15. d Says:

      An entire can of coke! that’s what my dun sister spilled on my acer ferrari laptop. Let it dried out but no go, sent it for repairs, warranty doesn’t cover spillage, bill came up to exactly half the price of the laptop. Items quoted didn’t make sense, how can coke damage the casing?!?! Took it home and carefully disassembled it, pumped in an entire can of contact cleaner, repair centre actually labled the parts which i assumed were “damaged” with white stickers, so paid particular attention to them, left it to dry for 24hrs, switched it back on and it works perfectly, been using it for 3 months now and still aok.

    16. John Doe Says:

      If you spill some liquid shit on the computer, just kick the piece of shit!

    17. Mr. McGoo Says:

      I cant see this at work – know of anywhere else this vid is at that may not be blocked here. Like a direct download link or the like??? They block the stupidest stuff here

    18. Marcus Says:

      I’ve cleaned out PC keyboards with similar problems a few times – this isn’t worthwhile for the usual cheapo keyboards that come free with most PCs, and I have a stack of four or five spares, but I really like the old-style clunky IBM keyboards which are no longer made, and only have two, so I have to try to fix them if they go wrong. I’ve found that washing them under a shower works quite well for getting rid of most things, followed by a rinse with industrial alcohol – not the purple sort, that has mineral additives. Surgical spirit (a mixture of ethanol and methanol) should also work pretty well.

    19. Ken Says:

      The best liquid for cleaning is 99% pure Isopropyl alcohol. Rubbing alcohol won’t do (it’s usually 70% Isopropyl/30% water) – I get 99% pure at drugstores (you may have to ask for it – it’s apparently a ‘precursor drug’ to manufacture some illegal drugs). BE AWARE that 99% Isopropyl is explosive and evaporates rapidly at room temperature – no smoking/flame/heat in the room is CRITICAL when using Isopropyl!

      I’ve rescued hundreds of pagers/cellphones/radios by washing with Isopropyl, which actually displaces water. In a production repair environment that saves time over lengthy drying out processes.

      Standard instructions to users are: (1) if dropped in fresh water (or toilet!) remove the battery and bring it to me as soon as possible. (2) if dropped in salt water, remove the battery, place the unit in a bucket of salt water and bring it to me ASAP. Salt corrosion starts instantly once any water dries – let the technician remove it from saltwater under controlled conditions, but get it to me fast! Pure Isopropyl and a toothbrush or artist’s paintbrush can usually clean anything I’ve encountered so far from electronic gear – soft drinks, gasoline/petrol, even the LC from LCDs in some cases (that’s a warning – try it first on an unimportant bit of the questionable device.

    20. Keith Says:

      Well my acer has alot of important info on it and just plain water was dumped on it will drying it just work. Because it just seems dead i took the battery out and i am letting it dry.

    21. hpnotebooks Says:

      GOOD TIP ABOUT THE ISOPROPYL I checked some alcohol prep pads /swabs the type used in hospitals and for tattoos yep only 70% feel free to email for hp compaq keyboards etc.

    22. Matt Says:

      Just had a call from a mate, who woke up this morning after a heavy night on the booze and had mistaken his laptop for the toilet in the night. After i picked myself off the floor and the hysterics stopped, i thought i would find some advice. It was was switched on at the time and remained on for the rest of the night. Is ther any hope of salvage? He has dried out with hairdryer and still no go. Insurance company will think hes taking thepiss. Pun intended

    23. KK Says:

      I spilled pure water onto my Dell CSx laptop. The computer was on, I turned it upside down immediately and turned it off. I removed the battery too. I then took it apart, but left the motherboard in the bottom case, I put it up to a fan for three days. It powers up, but when it trys to load windows, it freezes and I get the blue screen warning “stop c000021a”. Special Note*** the hard drive works fine in my other Dell laptop-I have two hard drives that have Windows XP Pro on them and they both work in my Dell Latitude, but not in the laptop that had the water spilled on it. Any advice? Thank you in advance. KK

    24. JK Says:

      I spilt unsweetened tea on my mac ibook. Drained it. Didn’t take the battery out right away. Everything works except the 1, q, a and delete keys. I have taken out the battery, flipped open the keyboard (didn’t see any liquid) and turned it upside down. what else should I actually do?

    25. SSA Says:

      In my entire life I never thought this would happen to me… I spilled Orange Juice over my wifes Acer Ferrari 4000 – Immediately pulled the power cord and usb mouse out
      and held the laptop upside down seeing an orange waterfall I thought of the recent memory upgrade I just put in was gone to waste.
      The laptop now has been dried where possible from the outside and general screwplates (memory/hardrive/battery were actually not wet luckily). Does anyone have any idea
      or manual that can help me open up the keyboard from the top so I can troubleshoot further ? Laptop hardrive lights up and fan makes the usual noise when turned on but
      screen remains black. while I await a response I will put the (PATA 100GB) drive into an external IDE HDD-Case 2.5 to recover as much data as I can… the wife doesn’t
      get the concept of backing up her pictures/phone txts/emails …
      Thanks for whomever can give me some clues on opening up my Acer Ferrari 4000 without too many scarring?! SSA.

    26. Jake Says:

      You would want to use DEIONIZED water, not distilled water. Distilled water contans ions that can short out the board.

    27. Natasha Says:

      wow everyone is writing about spills as if its nothing and can be dealt
      with quite easily. I spilt water onto my HP which i’ve had under a year.
      OF course i turned it off and blow dried it then foolishly tried turning
      it back on that same day – and it worked! However the next day it didn’t.
      So i took it to repair and am currently getting the motherboard fixed.
      However the guy said that there’s a chance there will be problems later
      on, and that spillage is one of the WORST problems you can have.
      Currently im paying $500 but theres a chance other parts will need to be
      fixed :/ After i get the comp back im selling it and getting a new one.

    28. Deven Ghelani Says:

      If you don’t want to fix it yourself; try as they offer a nationwide laptop repair service and fixed this problem today!

    29. Richard Stull Says:

      Lots of good comments, I just did the beer thing and it was very little, maybe a tablespoon. Will start disasssembly soon. I also left it on like a fool, but then thought about and turned it off and removed the battery. Wish me luck.

      A note on the comment that was made by Jake. He is wrong. I am a licensed industrial water engineer. Distilled water and Deionized water are two different processes that get the same result: which is pure water with no other dissolved mineral salts. A another note, pure water does not carry a current. It must have a salt in it to do so and then it is called an electrolite. Alcohol does carry current, therefore I will be using distilled or Deionized water and not alcohal to clean with. Last note, a salt is the compond of a metal and a nonmetal…which is just about anything dirty and includes coke, beer, orange juice, wine, pond water, and even hard water is full of a salt called calcium carbonate. Hope this helps your decisions as to what to clean with.

    30. Richard Stull Says:

      Ok Chris, you did a good job on this experiment. 100% success story for me and I did everything wrong. I did not take the battery out immediately, I did leave the unit on to dry out, I did not disassemble immediately as I should have, and I was impatient to begin with….and I had a good ole german dark beer spill to beat.

      I did everything to the letter afterward. I did use a warm shower for the motherboard, assorted pieces and , ect., and keyboard, then rinsed with distilled water and dryed for two days. I have obsolutely 0 problems.

      By the way, when I tried the “drying” trick, it made things worse, not better, so don’t even go there.

      Thanks again.

    31. Tom P Says:

      Hi all,
      looks like you’re all pretty clued up about this sort of thing.
      I got a little amount of wine on a laptop. I turned it off and removed the power but unfortunately I let it dry. The laptop worked a few hours later absolutely fine. The next day it just won’t turn on.
      Is it safe to say that this laptop is dead?

      By the way I know I did everything wrong, I hadn’t read any advice at that time.

    32. GDog Says:

      I recently spilled a glass of iced tea on my laptop, I didn’t quite know what to do, but I did power down right away and wiped all exposed surfaces. After powering up again, listening to a lot of chirps and squeaks and things, the first thing I noticed was that the keyboard didn’t work. I powered down and attached an old ps/2 keyboard I had and powered up, installed the new keyboard, which surprisingly worked. A few days later while powering up, I got really sick of the stupid noises, but there was no way of aborting the power/boot up process, so I just pulled the battery (while having it plugged in to AC) and lo and behold it works like before the fatefull spill. I’m not sure if there is residue on the battery that causes the problem or what, but as long as I power it via AC, I’m fine. Go figure. I still may try the clean out process to see if it will take a battery, but it might be a lot of trouble just to make it work with a battery.

    33. George Says:

      Um, I spilled a bowl of wet coleslaw onto the back of my closed laptop, which was nestled vertically (back to the top and exposed); the vinegar ran in through the vents and down onto and through the keyboard.

      I took it to my office and turned it on; didn’t work but I let the fan run for a long time (apparently that was not wise).

      I’m inclined to give it a 99% isopropyl bath, but is that likely to help at this point?

    34. Allen Says:

      A friend spilled beer on my Compaq laptop. Immediately unplugged it from the AC outlet, took out the battery, turned it upside down over a towel then used a blower to dry out the surface moisture. I didn’t open it because I don’t know how and I wasn’t sure if it is a wise thing to do so. After about an hour or so, i replaced the battery, plugged it (not very wise as I learned from the posts here) then turned it on. It worked as if nothing happened and continues to work until now (the accident happened over a month ago). My question is: Is it ok to assume that everything is ok? I’m thinking that little or no moisture has gone inside the laptop. Or is it advisable to dissamble the laptop even if nothing is wrong? Is it possible that I’ll encounter problems in the future? Your replies will be greatly appreciated.Thanks.

    35. Diamon Says:

      my girlfriend knocked over a whole glass full of one of those flavored water drinks right into the keyboard of my Dell Latitude D600 Laptop.
      by some strange instinct I immediately picked up the laptop and turned it upside down, pouring the drink out the left side of the keyboard
      while murmering disturbing things like “if I lose my data !”. some hissing of liquid on hot surface and even electrical shorting sounds
      followed and the system shut itself down. After a short bit of draining upside down, I got out the vacuum cleaner and held the hose end
      directly over the keys, touching them actually and went over the whole keyboard several times. this actually sucked liquid up out of the
      keyboard. I also removed the battery before I started this. I also sucked air through the ventilation duct on the back, watching the fan
      spin for quite a while and then the reverse, sucking air through the fan. Then I pressed the ON button and watched a normal startup.
      Today, five days later, the laptop is still working fine except for some stickiness in some of the left side keys. I consider it a miracle.

    36. Gisele (Diamon's girlfriend) Says:

      ok already….let’s get over it. I said I was sorry…this is the third time I did it, after practicing twice on my own machine. Live and Learn.

    37. Sigg3 Says:

      Not sure if this test is anything close to reality.
      I had a user spill a cup of coffee, and it immediately turned off (like yours). She then waited 5 minutes and tried turning it on again. THEN she called me.

      I opened it up, dismounted most of the innards and put it out to dry for 2 days.
      When I turned it back on again I smelled that ol’ “burning battery” and there was a flash. I pulled everything out of it quickly and closed down the table it was lying on so that no one would touch it. I was able to salvage the HDD and by use of forensic software under linux I dd’d most of the files on there. But I’m still not sure what to do with the remains. I’ve chucked the battery just to be safe.

    38. Kim Says:

      I also spilled wine next to (underneath) on my 2 month old Lenovo R61i

      Freaked, it was working but my duma$$ turned it over to wipe it BEFORE I unplugged it and it shorted and went off(REMEMBER, ALWAYS UNPLUG RIGHT AWAY)

      So I unplugged, removed battery, wiped.

      Then I unscrewed it all and removed the back enough to use air compressed cleaner to dry.

      Finally powered up 24 hours later.


      The thought of trying to return the damn thing… 😉

    39. Jesse Says:

      I just recently had beer spilled on my computer and in my drunken state I didn’t immediately turn it off. It worked all night and I shut it down before i went to bed…i thought everything was alright. When i woke up in the morning my computer would not turn on at all. I blew dry the keyboard and the back of the computer. It now turns on but the screen is black and sometimes (once) the screen just flickered. I can sign onto my operating system and there still is noise…just no screen it remains black. Any idea fellas?

    40. Mathias Says:

      oh no… all these comments from people, explaining how the machine worked fine in the beginning and then later started to show huge problems, are freaking me out.

      My Thinkpad X60s has a so-called “spill-safe” keyboard, and after unintentionally pouring about 3oz of limonade into it, I quickly turned it of and removed battery. It dried out for the day and I tried it later with no problems except for the keyboard being sticky and less satisfying to type on. I can buy a new keyboard, no problem… I just really hope that the “spill-safe” will actually keep my computer running tomorrow as well.

      We’ll see in a few days.

    41. Tony Says:

      Hello All,
      After some foolish horsing around, a glass of white wine spilled all over my girlfriends year old ibook. We turned it off and it is currently sitting on its side as suggested here and else where. I have blown it out with hair dryer on cold and condensed air. I am not savvy at all with computers so taking it apart is likely out of the question. I have bought 99% alcohol and saw on here you can just pour it over the computer without disassembly. Is this true?

      The biggest (visible) problem is that the LCD screen got dashed and it seems wine is inside the screen making for some sort of wet spots. I assume this is unrepairable.

      Please…… Any suggestions.

    42. natalie Says:

      hello my silly friend has just spilled beer ALL OVERA my laptop and i dont know what to do :( iv removed the battry and all leads,but im scared to take it appart incase i cannot put it back together :(
      any ideas on how much this would cost to get fixed anybody please?

      natalie x

    43. natalie Says:

      hello my silly friend has just spilled beer ALL OVERA my laptop and i dont know what to do :( iv removed the battry and all leads,but im scared to take it appart incase i cannot put it back together :(
      any ideas on how much this would cost to get fixed anybody please?

      natalie x

    44. courtney Says:

      24 ounces of Iced Coffee. It was my boyfriend’s sisters laptop. The machine was already off. Disassembled it and dried it out a few hours – no go. I never cleaned the parts with water or alcohol nor did I blow dry. About 2 days later, charged it fully and it turned on, but I had the blue screen. By this time, the sister had told me, forget it. She didn’t want it even if I could fix it. I figured I could get a cheap laptop out of the accident if it worked! I had to hook up a USB keyboard and reformat the hard drive then load Windows. I was able to order a new keyboard for about $50 online and install it myself. Not difficult at all. The computer repair shop had estimated $500 for parts and labor. All in all, turned out to be a pretty good deal!

    45. Dimitri Says:

      PLEASE HELP!!! Today is the first day i came across this article and my laptop has been damaged for over a month. when it got wet i tried to dry it myself not knowing all that i had to do from this article. will i still be able to fix my laptop? even though alll of this time has passed, can my laptop still come back to life? please email me asap.

    46. kim Says:

      !!! so yesterday about a half a glass of water got spilled next to my boyfriends dell laptop, getting into the keys/usb/cd thing/ all the little pluggy-in things on the right side… he immediately unplugged it (it shut off on its own) and took the battery out, wiping that and the computer dry, and set it open and on it’s right side for the water to drain out. When it shut off on its own it made some sketchy noises… :( Is there any hope?? Unfortunately we had to leave town yesterday and so it’s still drying on it’s right side. We havn’t tried to turn it on at all. What are the chances we can get data off the hard drive??


    47. jason Says:

      I just revived an IBM thinkpad from a white wine spill (~4oz)directly onto keyboard. Didn’t do a complete disassemble but took drives and battery out and undid all screws on bottom to open up for aeration. Then gave the whole machine a heavy dose of 91% Isopropyl, spayed with canned air in every crevice I could reach and then repeated the Isopropyl dose. Left to dry overnight and now, today it’s running like new. Oh and my girlfriend did attack it with a hair dryer before I got to it so while that didn’t help, it didn’t appear to do the damage implied by all the comments warning against. If this fix is temporary and the whole thing melts down in a few days/weeks I’ll re-post.

    48. mary Says:

      i dont know what to do…i’ve read all of your comments but im wondering whether i should try to turn my laptop on or not…it was my friends who spilled water on it and she didnt unplug it straight away…she left it until the laptop turned off itself…its been lying upside down now for about a day and a half and i dont know if i should try to see if it works now…i also have the warranty if that helps…CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP?!?!

    49. mary Says:

      ^^^p.s i dont wanna take it apart or anything…thanks for helping (forgot to add)

    50. helena Says:

      i dont know what to do my 3 year old daughter spilt coke in my laptop by the time i discovered it it was nearly dry i pull the battery out straight away. Icould not get the right tools to pull it apart. Have i lost every thing off it cause all i am worried about are my photos will i still be able to get them off?

    51. Kakarot Says:

      Hello dere…..sum gud stuff dere…..
      I own a lenovo 3000 y500 series laptop…last night a friend of mine vomited over the key board(cn u just believe it)….is dere any means to get alrite…..the lap is still functionin but many keys are not working…..n i’m nt able to open up the key board….
      Please help me…’s gonna crack at me….

    52. Moira Says:

      This site is amazing. I spilled half a glass of red wine into my Toshiba Satellite, back in September. Tried to dry it out… it would never start up. It’s been sitting on a table waiting to go to Best Buy so that they can save the info on the hard drive. Today, I said, what the hell, before we take it to Best Buy, let’s see if it will boot up. (Hahaha). It did. Then I heard the rapid beeping that I had heard several times in the weeks that followed the mishap. I thought that the motherboard must be shot, but if so why would it boot up. I went to the office supply store and bought a $12 plug n play keyboard. I was first off able to salvage all the info off the hard drive. I was able to shut down and reboot repeatedly. I do get the rapid beeping, so I hit escape and start it from the menu, then wait for it to recognize the usb keyboard. It runs without any problems. Ran all the diagnostic checks, all indications are that nothing is wrong. Dare I think that I might be able to replace the keyboard and all will be well? (I have already replaced the laptop with an HP desktop and ASUS notebook. If I can salvage this laptop, my plan is to replace Vista with XP). I’m still concerned that the rapid beeps indicate that the motherboard is getting ready to go. Any thoughts?

    53. Jeremiah Says:

      IT WORKS! For Christmas (last Thursday) I bought my girlfriend a new Dell Studio laptop. I never buy additional insurance since I am so careful with my things. About 30 minutes after opening it (and oh was she excited about her first brand new laptop), grandma teetered and spilled an entire glass of white wine in the grill above the keyboard. The laptop was on. As I consoled a teary eyed grandma who kept repeating “I did a boo boo” my girlfriend took the laptop. It shut off. She then dried it with a hair dryer and tipped it to it’s side (by chance away from the hard drive). I now know you’re not supposed to dry it out so quickly. After a while we tried to boot it up (also something you shouldn’t do) and it did but cut off after about 10 minutes. We never took the battery out either which we should have. We put it away. Saturday 12.27.08 I turned it on and again it stayed on for about 10-15minutes and then cut off, then I found this site and researched a few others as well. Sunday I went to FRY’S and bought MG Chemicals Safety Wash II Cleaner Degreaser. Monday evening (it’s been sitting with dry wine and battery still in it)I took the back panel off, removed the top grill cover and keyboard (leaving them attached) taped some plastic over the monitor to protect it, and sprayed the cleaner degreaser inside over the motherboard and misc. I let it dry for a couple hours and washed it again. I did this again on Tuesday and Wednesday, spraying the innards twice a day. It sat in my cold but dry garage through Thursday till last night (Friday night) when I put it all back together. It fired right up with no errors and is working great. I had it on for a few hours last night and every thing seems to be working perfectly. I now know you should take the battery out and clean it sooner but this is my experience and hopefully it helps someone. Cheers.

    54. Manu Says:

      Chris, you are a genius. Recently I was celebrating School-out with some friend. At some point she spilled a glass of red wine on my macbook. It stopped working instantaneously. I pulled out the battery and power cord. Wine was flowing out of every USB port.

      The next day I took it apart and went for a shower with the logic board. Then let it soak in tap water for a night. I couldn’t get distilled water here in Shanghai, but only isopropyl alcohol. Washed all the parts with 3 l of it. Let it dry for 2 days and assembled it again. Guess what: Everything works. Except for one of the RAM modules. Bought a new one for 10 usd. That’s brilliant. I love you Chris.

    55. karen brewer Says:

      i’ve noticed that no one seems to answering any of the queries that are being posted here. I spilled a 24oz. cup of iced tea into my laptop a few weeks ago. When I realized that I had done this I immediately poured the tea to the left bottom corner (where the keyboard is) and could have filled another glass of tea with what came out of the laptop. I am despairing right now, but refuse to give up that the computer is ruined. I’ve been given lots of advice about this problem, from blow-drying to turning it upside down on a towel and taking the battery out. Someone help, PLEASE!!!!!

    56. Jimmy Thew Says:

      Well this is the secound time in 6 months that my laptops drank a pint of beer.
      I think its becoming an alchol.
      The first time i did out of my own drunkness. however last night i was djing and someone else did it.

      It ran all night without me noticing till the end.
      It wouldnt load past the bios and the disk drive was having a fit. I took the laptop appart today.
      Cleaned up most of the damage to last time i did it, did it with a damp kitchen towel. I’ve taken the disk drive apart to discover that it has pooled in there.
      I dont think the mobos in that bad condion however the disk drive is soacked in sticky resiude and now the computer wont recognize it.
      I’m going to clean it tomorrow with some IPA (alchol) and see if it works.
      Can you just confirm that im okay to bath it in it?
      Or do i need to rub it down with a cloth?


    57. Gisela Says:

      I spilled some wine in my laptop… immediatly turned it upside down .. did not unplug it or took the battery aout fiugures .. laugh I am blonde.. but all seems to be in working order after all , the only thing now is my keys on the left side are sticky how should I clean them so they don’t stick… Thanks for any advise

    58. Steven Says:

      Hey, I was wondering if you guys could help me out. In Jan. I was partying with some friends whne one of them spilled wine on my laptop. We quickly wiped and turned it off, and I booted up the next day with no problem. Early this May I had some water drip into it again. I wiped it out several times but never disasembled it. At first it gave me keyboard problems, but it corrected itself a few days later and I continued to use it. To cap it off, I was driving one night with my Acer Aspire One netbook in an open bookbag. Suddenly it started raining and after a minute or two I looked over to find my laptop in the bag. Instead of disasembling it, I threw the bag in the back and went to work for about 4 hours. When I got home and opened up the laptop, it wouldn’t come on at all. I took the battery our and laid the computer on a towel like in the video. I tried to let it dry for nearly two weeks before sending it back to ACER. They then sent it back and told me that they couldn’t fix it because it had liquid damage, which was not covered under warranty. So now it’s been a month and a half and it won’t power uyp or even charge. Is there any hope for it, or is it too late?

    59. Sue Says:

      Lot´s of good advice, but I wonder if anyone heard about this one yet. I´m at a loss. Can a laptop be switched on if the power switch doesn’t work?

      Here’s the story. 8 days ago I spilled quite a bit of tea on my laptop keyboard(no piss, no vomit, just pure, unsugared tea, not even on my boyfriends laptop but my own, lucky me!). I turned it off and removed the battery pretty fast – though not immediately. Then I put it on its side and let it dry. A couple of days later, I tried to disassemble it, but didn’t manage to take it apart fully (afraid to break something). Anyway, I created some airing space between the parts and left it out to dry for another couple of days.

      Today, I reassembled it and pushed the power button. Nothing. Then I thought maybe the battery is low, I remember I was reloading it when I spilled my tea. So I connected it to the adapter. This did make the indicator lamp light up. However, nothing could get the laptop started. So I wondered: could it be that it´s just the power button that´s disfunctional? And if that be the case, is there any other way to switch it on?

      No idea how much time it takes for a laptop to short circuit and whether this happened before I took the power off (no weird noises though, like other unlucky ones reported). Thanks for your insights!

    60. Peter Says:

      I recently had my laptop flooded with salt water when my berthing on board a US Navy Ship flooded thanks to a broken gage. The laptop was completely submerged, and even after the water was down to a mopping up level, I still wasn’t allowed down until 2 hours later. I took it apart, used the alcahol mentioned, but it so far appears to be a total loss, it had battery power to it, so my motherboard is done, the hard drive is now a solid chunk of rusted metal, and the screen has a nice crystalline pattern through it when i attempted to turn it on after packing it in dessicant for a week(for any moisture i missed). Sadly i now have to pay some guy $70 bucks to say “yep it’s completely broke” before my insurance will pay for it.

    61. Ron Says:

      If anyone cares what I spilled, it’s lemonade a big boys drink.
      And yes turned it upside down got the battery out turned it off 0.0045 seconds after the spill. I whas like HOLY FUCKING SHIIIT!!
      This better work…My life is stored in there.

    62. Shower Enclosures Says:

      Great comment, love the design of the site too.

    63. Tessa Says:

      I sprayed glass cleaner over my Inspiron mini and it somehow soaked beneath the screen, discolouring parts. Any suggestions on fixing this problem?

    64. Doug Says:

      about 2 or 3 oz of a liquid blend of 60% grain /magnesium chloride and spring water 5:1 . the laptop a acer extensa will not power up at all., the power adapter light is steady green but starts to blink when attached to laptop. tried anti- corrosive Lubricant spray along with compressed air and vaccum . laptop still does not power up waiting to try water to clean let dry
      any ideas

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