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.
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!)
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.
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