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Help! Soda Spill In Laptop

Posted By cynthia On February 13, 2013 @ 3:00 PM In Hardware & Peripherals | 9 Comments

Help! I spilled a soda on my laptop keyboard. Now some of the keys won’t work at all. Is there a way to get it clean? I’m not very good with computers, so I need a simple explanation.

Please sit down. The prognosis is not good. I’m sure your computer led a full and active life until this happened.  If this were a desktop keyboard, I’d tell you to run out and buy another one. Or if you had time and weren’t intimidated by the idea of taking apart a keyboard, you could attempt to clean it.

A laptop is a different story. You’ve got a sticky mess gumming up the works and there’s no way to clean it without disassembling your computer. If your computer is still under a warranty, the spill likely invalidates that warranty.  Some premium plans do offer spill coverage, so if you have a warranty or insurance, make sure to check.

I’ve known brave tech-savvy souls who disassembled their laptops and cleaned them successfully. But this is a pretty complicated process and I wouldn’t suggest it for a novice.  I’d suggest taking it to a computer repair shop with a good reputation to see what they can do. I’ll warn you, this could be expensive.

Situations like this are why it’s important to regularly back up your important files to an external drive or a cloud service.  If at all possible, get your files off your laptop before sending it out for repair. Hopefully the soda mess did not get to your hard drive and if the computer is not salvageable, you can transfer its contents to your next computer. 

Technology has become such a part of our everyday life that we often eat or drink with it at our fingertips and forget that it can be pretty fragile. Keep liquids away from computers,or at least in cups with lids, to reduce the chance of spillage. This is one of those cases where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

- Cynthia


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