Spilled Milk On Laptop: What To Do Next?

Most of us like to have a little snack while watching movies on our Laptops or eat our breakfast, perhaps some cereal and milk, while we work on our Laptops.

While you do so, it’s pretty easy to knock over your cups and spill milk on the Laptop or any other liquid.

Users can fix milk spills on their Laptops by turning the Laptop off, flipping it over, removing battery and plugs, and cleaning the Laptop with safe to use products like compressed air, water, etc.

Milk spilled (Source: Pixabay)

I have once knocked an entire glass of milk over my Laptop, but I just soaked up the liquid and immediately checked to see if my Laptop was working.

Unfortunately, this damaged the electrical circuits on my Laptop and permanently damaged it.

So, to prevent such errors, this article will guide you on the ways to help if you have spilled milk on the Laptop.

Can a Laptop be Fixed After Milk Spilled on it?

Liquid spills on a Laptop can damage the Laptop and its components. Moreover, denser liquids like milk can leave stains and dry out slower, so it can damage your Laptop even more.

The damage to the Laptop can be physical or electrical. Milk spill can cause short circuits and even corrosion if not fixed on time.

Time, amount, and the location of the spill all determine the extent of Laptop damage.

1. Duration of Laptop Left Wet

The longer your Laptop is left wet more the chances of damage. You have to clean up the spill as soon as possible; even an hour of soaking your Laptop in liquids can damage its battery and circuits.

Milk contains whey proteins, which can cause steel and metals to corrode over time.

According to research done on the corrosive properties of milk on metals, it was found that milk can corrode metals when left in contact for a long time.

Since Laptop components like structural support components and screws are made of metal, they can corrode when left in contact with milk.

Therefore, you must clean your Laptop and dry it as soon as possible. Quick action can save your Laptop from permanent damage.

2. Location of Spill

The severity of the damage depends on where you spill the milk.

For instance, if you have spilled the milk only on the surface of the Laptop, then it won’t damage your Laptop. A quick wipe will keep your Laptop safe.

Spill on Touchpad

A little spill on the touchpad will not harm it, so you can just blot up the milk.

However, if you spill too much and get inside the touchpad through the edges, it might be damaged.

Spill Near Speaker

The speaker can still work if the amplifier chip is not damaged.
The milk can simply be blocking the sound, which can be fixed once it dries up. But, it can damage the sound chip, which needs to be replaced.

Milk Spill Seeped into the Battery

If the spillage has made its way toward the battery, you need to replace it.

Even if your battery works fine, it is now unsafe to use. The water damage can cause your battery to swell; this increases the chances of fire.

Read about; What are the Chances of Laptop Catching on a Fire?

Spill on Screen

It is unlikely that you will spill anything on the screen while the liquid splashes might get into it.

The milk can leave stains on your screen and damage your LCD or LED screen. If your milk is hot, it can cause more damage.

Hot milk can crack your screen. Hot liquid can damage the Laptop screen by removing its outer anti-glare coating.

Spill on Keyboard

The spillage can quickly reach the core areas below the keys.

So, you need to power off your Laptop within 30 seconds if the spillage is on the keyboard. Otherwise, it can cause a short circuit.

Milk spill on the Laptop
Milk spilled on the Laptop (Source: Quora)

3. Amount of Spillage

If only a small amount of milk is spilled on your Laptop, you can just blot it off without much damage.

However, if you spill an entire glass of milk over your Laptop, it spreads quickly to internal components causing more damage.

spilled milk on laptop
Milk spill (Source: Pxhere)

What to do Immediately When you Spill Milk on the Laptop?

The first step to taking care of a milk-spilled Laptop is not to panic and think rationally for both your safety and your Laptop’s.

Logically, you should first get the milk out as soon as possible, then clean and check your Laptop.

1. Make Sure your Hands are Dry

Your Laptop can be precious but always put your safety first.

When you spill your glass of milk over, there’s a high chance you spilled it over your hands.

While panicking by the spill, you might touch the power outlets or cables to plug in a rush.

Electric shock voltage in a Laptop is low; however, when the Laptop is wet, it can cause a current leak and easily shock you.

Dry your hands (Source: Pixabay)

For instance, a seventeen-year-old female from Romania lost her life while trying to plug her Laptop with wet hands while in the bath.

So, quickly dry your hands with a towel before touching your Laptop.

2. Turn the Laptop Off

Immediately turn your Laptop off. The milk can seep inside your keyboard and reach the electrical circuits causing it to short circuit.

So, you need to cut off the power supply as soon as possible. Simple, press the power button off as a primary safety measure.

spilled milk on laptop
Power off (Source: Pixabay)

3. Remove the Battery and Plug-ins

The next step is to remove the external plug-ins and battery.

But, before you remove them, you need to ground yourself. Grounding will remove any static electricity and keep you safe.

You can do so by standing barefoot on the ground, removing static clothing, etc.

You can remove the battery by flipping your Laptop and removing the bottom panel. However, if you are a Mac user, you will need to unscrew the housing to remove the battery.

Next, you can remove mice, keyboards, USBs, etc., anything plugged into your Laptop.

4. Turn the Laptop Over

You need to ensure that the spilled milk does not seep into the internal components. Flip the Laptop over to prevent the problem.

Place your Laptop in a tent shape, lay a towel below to collect the liquid, and stabilize your Laptop by using books or boxes.

If you have spilled a lot, you can gently shake your Laptop to get the milk out.

spilled milk on laptop
Laptop flipped (Source: Ctrl Blog)

Products to Use to Clean Milk Spills on a Laptop

You need specific products to clean your Laptops as they are delicate and can be damaged by using harsh cleaning equipment.

Cleaning productPurposeProduct Image
99% isopropyl alcoholWiping off the milk stains
Microfiber cleaning clothLint free absorbent cleaning option to soak spilled milk
Compressed air canBlows aways the excess liquid
Bryson screen cleanerCleans stains from the screen
Alcohol wipesCleans stains from screen and laptop casing.

Do not use alcohol or water to clean spills on the screen.

How to Clean Milk Spill on Your Laptop?

After you make sure the Laptop is safe to clean and remove excess milk, you can then clean the Laptop to remove any stains and milk inside the components.

1. Blot the Laptop Clean

You need to find a clean piece of absorbent cloth to blot the milk out of your Laptop.

Avoid using tissue or newspapers, which can leave further residue inside the keys or the ports. If possible, also avoid using cloths that leave lint residue.

Microfiber cloths are best for cleaning purposes. Keep in mind not to rub or use excessive force while cleaning the delicate Laptop components.

Cleaning laptop
Cleaning laptop (Source: Unsplash)

2. Wipe Down with a Damp Cloth

Milk, unlike water, can leave stains and residues, so you need to use a damp cloth to wipe off the spilled area.

In addition, if there is sugar in your milk or other additives, it can leave a stubborn sticky residue.

You can use lukewarm water to dampen a cleaning cloth and wipe the area down.

Cleaning screen (Source: Pexels)
Cleaning screen (Source: Pexels)

Keep your Laptop flipped while carrying out this step so any drips will fall down instead of going inside the Laptop.

Read about; How Often should you Clean your Computer?

3. Remove the Keys to Clean Spots

If the spill was over your keyboard, then you need to remove the keys to get any milk that had gone inside the keys before it reached the internal components.

You can easily remove the keys of a keyboard. However, if you are using a mac, you can use a probe tool to remove keys off a mac Laptop.

You can use a fan to make sure the liquid has dried off your keyboard by pointing it towards keyboards for hours.

After dismantling the Laptop, make sure not to lose any of the screws to put it back together.

4. Dry Your Laptop

After cleaning the Laptop with a damp cloth, you need to use a dry cloth to ensure your Laptop is dry.

Using hairdryers might seem like a quicker way. However, plastics used on keyboard keys have a very low melting point.

Whereas hairdryers can get as hot as 205 degrees Fahrenheit.  Such a high temperature can melt your keycaps within 30 seconds.

So, if you must use hairdryers, use them in a cold setting. Other alternatives for drying your Laptop are mentioned below.

  • Use a dehumidifier to help remove moisture faster. You can use a small dehumidifier to remove the moisture from a particular area.
  • Use a desiccant like silica gel packets sealed in a bag with the Laptop.
  • Use compressed air cans to blow the milk out of vents and keyboards.

Read about; How to Clean PC and Laptop Without Compressed Air?

Dehumidifier (Source: Amazon)

5. Remove Dry Residue

There can be lint pieces or residues left behind during the cleaning and drying stage, which should be removed to avoid obstructions.

You can use compressed air to blow those residues out.

How Long to Leave Laptop Turned Off After the Spill?

The spill incident might leave you in panic, so your first instinct would probably be to turn the Laptop back on to see if it’s working.

But, that’s a big mistake because it could lead to a short circuit if the liquid is still present inside the Laptop.

You need to keep the Laptop turned off for 24 hours minimum or even longer for two days or so until it fully dries up.

You can use a small fan to speed up the drying process.

What to do if the Laptop is not Working Properly After the Spill?

Your Laptop might not open, or your display or keys might be damaged due to the milk spill.

In such cases, you need to test your components and take them to repair shops for permanent damage.

1. Test the Components Out

You are basically using a hit or miss trick with this method, but, as long as you figure out the faulty component, consider your work half done.

You need to test each component out. For example, check your trackpad, speaker, charging slot, etc., to ensure everything is fine.

After you find the faulty part, you can take it to the repair shop to get it fixed.

2. Check for Permanent Damages

Overexposure to moisture can also cause permanent damage to your Laptops, like water inside the battery and damaged speakers.

If there is temporary damage to your Laptop, like the keyboard being blocked due to sticky milk residue, you can easily clean it up with some Q tips and water.

However, you might need to replace your battery and other parts for permanent damage.

If your Laptop works after the spill, it does not mean there are no damages to the Laptop.

So, if these signs appear on your Laptop, get them checked by a repair shop to fix your Laptop completely.

  • The Laptop won’t open
  • Your screen is cracked.
  • The battery won’t charge.
  • Internal circuits are burned.
Cracked Laptop Screen
Cracked Laptop Screen (Source: Flickr)

3. Take the Laptop to a Professional Repair Shop

If your Laptop won’t turn on, won’t charge, or the display is damaged, you will need to get professional help.

Please take it to a repair shop and get the faulty parts changed.

Tips to Prevent Milk Spills on a Laptop

It is better to prevent the spillage itself rather than fix the problem. While spillage is not our fault, we can take some measures to avoid it.

  • Try not to eat or drink around your Laptop.
  • If you do have to drink, try to keep your glass of milk or liquid as far away from your Laptop as possible.
  • You can use a Laptop riser or stand to make sure not to get any liquid on a Laptop, even if you spill it by accident.
  • Lids are available for cups and glasses, you can keep the lid on to prevent spillage.
  • Use keyboard covers to prevent the milk from moving in, even if it spills over your Laptop.
VIGLT foldable laptop stand
VIGLT foldable laptop stand (Source: Amazon)

Read about; How to Use a Laptop Stand Ergonomically?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Milk Spill Worse Than any Other Liquid Spill?

All kinds of liquid spills are harmful to Laptops. You might spill water, alcohol, coffee, wine, milk, etc anything on the Laptop.

So, what makes milk spillage different from water spillage or any other liquid?

Milk leaves stains on your Laptop while water does not. But, any other sugary liquids can also cause sticky residue.

Can we Use Rice to Dry Laptops After the Spill?

Rice is a desiccant, so, it can dry your Laptop. However, doing so would bring forward more problems that are not worth the effort.

For instance, the rice grains can be stuck on your keyboard keys; they can wedge themselves inside the charging and USB ports.

Also, the powdered or small rice grains are very difficult to remove from tiny ports. It can interfere with charging, audio, and even typing.

Rice (Source: Unsplash)

Can we use Soap and Water to Clean Milk Spill Stains Off the Laptop?

You can use soap and water on the casing of your Laptop to clean the spills.

However, avoid using soaps on LCD or LED Laptop screens, it can harmful ingredients like; alcohol, benzene, ammonia which can damage your display.

You can use diluted soap and water mixture even on the screen if you are a Mac user. In addition, you should only use distilled water on LCD or LED screens.

Read about; What to Use to Clean Laptop/Computer Screen?

The Bottom Line

Any liquid spill can easily damage your Laptop if it reaches the internal components.

So, you must turn the Laptop off first; then, you can clean the Laptop by blotting off the spilled milk and cleaning the stains.

However, get the Laptop checked in a repair shop if the spill amount was high.

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