- If the device is freestanding – like a laptop or phone – turn it off and remove the battery, the plug, and any peripherals. This will hopefully prevent the spilled liquid from short-circuiting something important.
- Turn the device upside down and give it a gentle shake. This will allow most of the liquid to run out.
- If you have them to hand, use appropriate tools to begin disassembling the device, separating out wet from dry components.
- Put the wet components in bowls of dry rice or place packs of silica gel on top. These will help quickly wick up the moisture. For a smartphone or other device that is difficult or impossible to disassemble, place the whole item in the bowl of dry rice or silica gel.
- Once you are absolutely sure all the components are dry, wipe them off gently with a microfibre cloth moistened with some electronic circuit cleaner. This will remove stains, and will not adversely affect the components. Alternatively, use distilled water, but use nothing else on internal parts.
- When everything is completely clean and dry, reassemble.
The whole process may take as much as two days, especially for severe spills. However, it’s worth giving it a go, if only to try to save an expensive device from the scrapheap. More general surface spills can be wiped gently with a microfibre cloth lightly moistened with distilled water and left to air dry.
- If in doubt, first seek out professional help.
- Be aware that you may invalidate the manufacturer’s warranty if you dismantle your device.
- Never dismantle an electrical device with the power connected.
Never use a hairdryer or any other devices to speed up the drying process. This could result in warped or damaged components and is potentially dangerous.