What to do when you spill water on your laptop: Use rice

I’m pretty klutzy, so it wasn’t very surprising when I recently missed the seat I was trying to sit on, fell to the ground, and spilled orange juice on my laptop. Luckily our web designer friend, Art, was there to the rescue.  He caught my cup before all of the liquid spilled on the laptop, and gave me some wise (and, might I say, quite fobby) advice.

First, I gotta turn off my computer immediately for a day, which is quite hard as I can’t survive without the internet. Next, I need to bury my laptop in a sack of rice. Yup, I had the same reaction, too. Rice?! You mean my precious white rice that I eat every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Art said that it apparently soaks up some of the moisture from the computer. OK, it kinda made sense to me. But, my biggest issue with it was that it’s such a waste of rice. I asked Art if I could reuse the rice and cook it later, but he said he’s never heard of anyone doing that.

My question to you readers is: would you cook the rice that you used to soak up stuff from your computer?

Like this article? Then read all about fobby rice bowls and the coolest bento boxes.

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  • Never had to do it, so I don’t know… but I’d imagine if the water on your laptop could pick up chemicals or the rice could also absorb chemicals from your laptop, it’d be best not to eat the rice

  • Michelle

    I agree. I wouldn’t want to throw the rice out, either (it’s rice!) but laptops and all electronics contain toxins and are made of toxic stuff. Don’t eat the rice after it’s soaked up all that nastiness.


  • Emily Co

    @FB Very valid point!

  • Suzanne Leung

    Darnit, I hate wasting food!

  • cj

    Your picture shows a MBP. I work at an Apple certified repair center, and I can tell you from personal experience removing rice from a machine someone did this on that it will almost certainly do more harm than good. Flip the laptop by all means. Put it some place warm and dry. ( I used to use CRT monitors for this, but that ship has sailed.) and leave it for quite some time. (for bad spills, a week or two isn’t unreasonable) Get the battery out of it, if you are able to.

    The bad news is: the fate of the laptop is usually decided in the first few milliseconds. When water comes in contact with electronics, all of a sudden it’s 12volts chasing a rabbit around inside your laptop. I have disassembled & rinsed the entire components in clean hot water quite a few times now and the result is almost always woe. Keep food away from your computers, folks!

  • Sujan

    Buy a PC and it will be easier to open and shake and all that stuff…lol..

  • Heather

    You could sew a couple squares of durable fabric together and fill it with the used rice. This would make an excellent microwavable heating bag to use on sore muscles!

  • Jason Atkin

    I agree with cj’s comments below. As a tech at an Apple-authorized service provider, I couldn’t disagree more with your uncooked rice method more. Rice won’t help if electricity in a circuit flows through water or coke or coffee which is shorting out other areas of a circuit board. The best thing to do is to remove all sources of power…ac adapter and battery…and get the thing to a competent technician ASAP. Powering it up is about the worst thing you could do post-liquid spill, without having the insides properly cleaned by a professional. Waiting a day isn’t a good idea either, as a chemical reaction begins as soon as the liquid comes into contact with the metal components on the logic board.