Solved Spilled e-liquid on laptop keyboard acting weird?

May 4, 2014 at 09:58:34
Specs: Windows 7
I spilled what must have been at the most a ml or two of e-liquid on my laptop keyboard last night, I mopped it up in seconds and though I was okay because I got it so quick, it was so little and it's fairly thick. It was working fine, absolutely no issues whatsoever afterwards.

Today I powered on the laptop and the keyboard was acting odd, keys not working, when they did inputting characters from all over the keyboard, an m might get you an m, a plus sign and a zero. You get the picture. I powered it off, took out the battery and put it upside down in the airing cupboard. I know I'm probably looking at a replacement keyboard here but I'm freaking out in case anything else might be or could be damaged, I won't be able to get it to the computer repair store until Tuesday because it's a bank holiday here, I'm debating opening it up myself and trying to clean it off, wouldn't have a massive amount of experience but it might be better than leaving it sit. So annoyed right now, can anyone advise me on what to do? It's a Samsung 5v511

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May 4, 2014 at 10:05:11
E- liquid is the stuff that you put into an electronic cigarette or personal vaporiser.

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May 4, 2014 at 15:17:19
✔ Best Answer
mmm opening up a laptop needs to be approached carefully; especially when dealing with the keyboard assembly...

Likely the stuff you spilled into the laptop is of an oil based nature... and that will have "clotted" or coagulated to some degree. It will be pain to remove... but can be done; and yes the keyboard assembly may well need to be accessed/removed in order to do it.

If it's just one or two keys that appear to be a problem - and you seem to imply that is the case - you may be able to remove the individual key caps and clean out some (hopefully most/all) of the guck that is around each of those particular keys?

Isopropyl alchohol may may be decent and safe solvent. Apply with a Q-tip (ensure the tip is not shedding fibres); and/or a small paint brush (think of an artist's water colour or oil paint brush) - possibly use both Q-tip and paint brush.

Some of the oil may have penetrate deeper into the system innards; but I'm not inclined to think that at this juncture. My own experience with users spilling liquids into a keyboard (tea/coffee/water etc. - and it happens way too often in broadcasting environments...) is that generally it only gets into the immediate area around the keys... Each key is usually in its own mini well as it were... which to some extent limits to the chances of liquids getting further into the innards; and if the liquid is of more viscous/thicker than water etc. by nature, then likely it will be even less inclined to get there?

You have nothing to lose if you feel up to removing the indivudual key caps and cleaning out as above?

Ensure there is absolutely "no power" of any sort going into the laptop; mains or battery. Remove both completely and wait a minute or two before proceeding with cleaning efforts.

What make and model laptop is this?

And of course... in future keep all such liquids - in fact any liquid - well clear of any keyboard and computer in general... And maybe even use this experience as a good time to start cutting down on e-cigarrettes etc. if that is what was actually happening at the time of the spilage? Besides the health benefits, think of the cash you'll save - for other more useful "toys etc..."?

message edited by trvlr

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May 4, 2014 at 16:11:01
I favor opening the laptop, removing the keyboard, and then cleaning with a high quality rubbing alcohol, leaving it to dry and reassembling. When you open up, you will be able to tell if the liquid has gotten anywhere else and clean those areas also. Do NOT put power back into the laptop until it is clean and dry. If you decide it is beyond your ability, leaving it without the battery will not cause any further damage, but it might make the liquid thicker or stickier. I knoe that HP has full disassembly and part replacement instructions available for download on their website, but I do not know if Samsung is as smart, though you might actually find You-Tube videos on nearly anything these days so that may offer more options.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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