Spilled Drinks on my Tablet...What can I do?
There is always a risk that at some point, the combination of a leisurely drink whilst browsing or tinkering on your tablet will end up with the two combining. If spilling a drink on your tablet is unavoidable or at least a distinct possibility it should come as some relief to learn that there are steps you can take to prevent your spilled drink from damaging the tablet beyond repair.
Firstly switch the device off if it is on. This advice is generally offered up for other wet electronic equipment such as mobile phones or laptops. Restarting the device may cause short circuits that could cause further damage to the tablet. Also be aware that switching it on at this point will not give you an indication of how well it will function in the future. The main goal at this point is to return it to the condition it was in prior to your beverage meeting it.
This takes you to the second point which is to assess whether you need to rinse the tablet. If the drink spilled on the device was in any way sticky, salty or likely to leave a deposit of some kind when dried then it needs to be removed. In most cases everything other than water will be included in this category and the preferred media for rinsing is distilled water. This is because this form of water leaves no deposit whereas even plain tap water is likely to leave some residue. Nonetheless you may wish to exercise your own judgement as to whether rinsing water with distilled water is something you want to do, particularly if you risk taking the water deeper into the device.
Salty liquids such as seawater but even fizzy soft drinks will contain significant levels of corrosive chemicals and it is very important to rinse these off before taking steps to dry the device. If not then these residues may adversely affect the device, if not immediately, then gradually.
In any case rinse the device sparingly and make sure that it is at an angle to draw the water away from the device.
After rinsing it is important to thoroughly dry the device as far as possible and get it in a warm place. Do not, whatever you do, be tempted to apply excessive heat to the tablet as this may cause further irreparable damage. Forget hair dryers and blazing sunshine and think instead of places designed to dry things out, like airing cupboards.
Dry the tablet with some clean absorbent cloth afterwards making sure to avoid any fabrics that may leave lint. If possible try to avoid fabrics that have microfibers attached directly after purchasing (as many tea towels will do before they have been through the wash for example).
Next you need to keep the device in a warm and dry (but never hot*) place for the next day or so depending on how wet it became in the first place. If you suspect that it has a large amount of fluid inside then make sure that it rests at an angle so that the fluid can escape. If the device is particularly wet then do this and place it in a drying agent without delay.
The most common drying agents come in the form of silica gel sachets that can be placed around the tablet to draw the moisture out. Make sure you have enough of these agents to get the job done and preferably insert the tablet into a suitable bag or sealable box so that it is completely surrounded by them. If you do not have these sachets to hand then you can improvise by using dry rice instead. As with the silica gel sachets try to make sure that the device is completely surrounded so that moisture can be extracted from all potentially moist areas.
Leave the device in this environment for 24-48 hours and resist the temptation to turn it on before that. Also instruct others not to turn it on as an inquisitive or impatient person (adults as much as children!) may short circuit the device before it has had a chance to recover.
If after 48 hours the device is still not working correctly, replace the drying agents and leave it for a further day or so. In many cases the tablet will continue to work perfectly well if these steps are followed so there may be less need to check whether your insurance policy covers you for water damage.