Accidents are inevitable, and so are those involving your laptop. You may knock over a glass of water on your table when reaching out for something across your table at work, spilling it on your laptop.
Perhaps you’ve just been served your favorite cup of coffee or a glass of milk at a local café, only for you to slip, spilling the drink on your laptop. It doesn’t take a big spill to damage your computer – even a small spill can cause your PC to malfunction.
But, with the right precautionary measures, you can protect your laptop from damage. Whereas teas and water are easier to clean, sugary beverages (denser) like soda and milk leave tougher stains on your PC.
Milk and sugary drinks dry slowly, leaving behind a residue that can easily damage your laptop. Liquid spills on your laptop can cause both electrical and physical damage, including corrosion of components and short-circuiting.
Apart from spilled milk on a laptop, the following liquid spillages can also damage your computer if no quick action is taken:
- Spilled chocolate milk on a laptop
- Spilled water on a laptop
- Spilled coffee on a laptop
- Spilled alcohol on a laptop keyboard
- Spilled yogurt on a laptop
The extent of Laptop Damage
The amount of the spill, including the duration or time the laptop stays wet, and the location of the spill affect the level of computer damage.
Time Duration Between Spillage and Cleaning
The longer the liquid stays on your computer, the higher the risk of damage. Clean your laptop as soon as the milk spillage occurs. Letting the liquid stay on your computer increases the risk of damaging the circuits and battery in your laptop.
The whey proteins in milk can easily corrode metals and steel if they stay in contact longer. For example, structural support screws and other metal laptop components corrode easily when in contact with milk.
As soon as you spill milk or any other liquid on your laptop, clean and dry it. With immediate action, you can easily protect your computer from irreversible damage or costly repairs.
Where Milk Spills on Your Laptop (Location)
The extent of damage on your laptop depends on the part where milk spills. If you spill milk, for example, on the surface of your machine, it won’t be affected. Wipe the liquid off to keep your computer safe.
Spilled Milk on Laptop Touchpad
Milk spillage on your laptop touchpad won’t damage it – simply wipe it out dry. However, if the liquid seeps into the touchpad via the edges, you can expect some level of damage.
Spilled Milk Near/ on the Speaker
If the liquid doesn’t reach the amplifier chip, your laptop speaker will continue to work. On the converse, the spilled milk can block sound or damage the sound chip. You can easily replace the chip in the latter case or fix the sound issue once the spilled liquid dries up.
Spilled Milk Seeps into the Laptop Battery
You may have to replace your battery if milk spills on it, causing damage. The liquid can result in battery swelling, posing a fire hazard. This means that even if your computer battery works well after milk spilling on it, it’ll be a safety hazard.
Spilled Milk on Computer Screen
Liquids rarely spill on the screen unless they splash on it. Milk and other heavy liquids dry out, leaving behind residues and stains. It can damage your LED or LCD monitor screen.
Hot milk removes your PC screen’s anti-glare coating on the outside, causing more damage (cracks) to your laptop monitor.
Spilled Alcohol on Laptop Keyboard
When alcohol or milk spills on your laptop keyboard, the liquid seeps beneath the keys and reaches your computer’s core parts. Therefore, turn off your laptop immediately after spilling the liquid on your keyboard – if possible, within 30 seconds of spillage.
The Amount of Milk Spillage on Your Laptop
Wipe out small amounts of milk that spills on your computer – there’ll be no damage. However, spilling a full glass of milk on your laptop can cause damage. The liquid quickly seeps into your laptop’s internal components, causing even more damage.
I Spilled Milk on My Laptop, and It Doesn’t Turn On – What Can I do?
Don’t panic after spilling milk on your laptop. Instead, take the necessary steps to uphold your safety and that of your computer. Wipe out the milk first, and then assess your laptop for damage.
Dry Your Hands With a Clean Towel
When you spill milk on your laptop, your hands are likely to get wet from the liquid. Touching the power cables and outlets with your wet hands can harm your life. The low electric short voltage can cause a current leak or shock you easily if your laptop is wet.
A 17-year-old Romanian female, for example, died while attempting to plug her computer with wet hands while using the bath.
Use a clean towel to wipe your hands dry before touching your laptop.
Turn Off Your Computer
Turn off your computer immediately after the spillage. The milk can easily seep through the keys on your keyboard into the internal parts of your PC. If the liquids get to your laptop’s electrical circuits, they can be short-circuited.
Long-press the power button to turn off your computer, cutting off the power supply.
Detach Plug-ins and Remove the Battery
Ground yourself to remove static charges (for your safety) before removing plug-ins and the battery. Remove all static clothing on you and stand barefoot on the floor to ground yourself.
Overturn your computer and remove the bottom panel to get the battery out. With a Mac laptop, unscrew the casing to remove the battery.
Finally, detach all the external devices plugged into your laptop, including keyboards, USBs, mice, etc.
Keep the Laptop Upside Down
Flip your laptop and keep it in that position to prevent the milk from reaching the internal parts of your machine. Shake the PC gently to get the milk off your computer. Place the laptop (upside down) on a towel in a tent shape and use objects to support it for stabilization.
Clean the Spilled Milk on Mechanical Keyboard and Screen
Use 99% isopropyl alcohol (for milk stains), a compressed air can (removes extra liquid), a microfiber cloth (absorbent and soaks spilled milk), alcohol wipes (for the screen and casing), and a screen cleaner like Bryson’s (for stains on the screen), to clean your laptop.
- With the absorbent microfiber cloth, blot out milk residues from the surface or keyboard of your laptop. Don’t rub or apply excess force on sensitive components of your machine.
- Dampen the cloth in warm water to wipe off stubborn stains and milk residues. Clean the PC in its upside-down position.
- Remove your keyboard keys for spot cleaning.
- Use compressed air cans, a desiccant, a dehumidifier, or a hairdryer in a cold setting to dry your laptop after wiping it with a damp cloth. Blow out any remaining residues with compressed air.
- Don’t use the laptop (keep it turned off) for 24 to 48 hours to make sure it dries completely. You can supplement the drying process with a small fan.
- If your laptop fails to turn on after taking it through this process, visit a local computer repair shop for assistance.
Spilled milk on a laptop can cause permanent damage if you don’t take the necessary precautions. Immediately turn off your computer after milk spills on it and keep it in an upside position to protect internal components from damage. Clean your laptop with the right cleaning agents and keep it turned off for about two days, ensuring it dries completely.