[SOLVED] Cleaned PC with wet cloth

Jan 15, 2021
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I tried to clean my computer for the first time, did one of the worst mistakes in my life. Cleaned it with a wet cloth. Tried to boot it up 3-4 times before realizing that the RAM wasn't faulty but this might be the problem. Did I completely ruin my computer? I unplugged it and turned the power off about 10 minutes after realizing and power was off for most of the time but it was on for maybe 35 seconds in these 10 minutes. When I did try to boot it up, it made several beeps in a row. Will I need to buy a when new computer?
 

Krotow

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Oct 2, 2019
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If computer collected some dust, suck it out with vacuum cleaner and/or blow away with compressed air. NEVER use water in circuit board cleaning. And any other liquid if possible. Also alcohol (drinkable and isopropyl) and special circuit board cleaning liquids like PRF-6-68 are for special cases - to remove flux remains and old thermal paste. Or to clean circuit boards from grease and tobacco residues (laptop in kitchen with chain smoking owner for 2 years). Also disconnect computer from everything BEFORE cleaning.

Computer above probably is recoverable. But OP must disconnect everything, remove RAM and M.2 drives and then put all things in dry and warm place for a day or two to dry out. On assembling back turn it on without drives to see if motherboard and RAM is working. If yes, then he can put drives back too.
 
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assasin32

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You might have fried something, leave it be for now unplugged. Isopropyl alcohol 99% will help clean and dry up any residue left, I would pick that up and put it in a spray bottle. You may have to buy it online with how global events are going. After that you may have to do some trouble shooting if it doesn't work to see what salvageable and what's fried. Next time compressed air is your friend.

You can do some further research on the subjects of isopropyl alcohol and electronics and how the alcohol helps dry up water, I actually recommend it before you take someone else advice on subjects like these with such risks.

EDITED IN:
Though when you test it you might want to test it without any HDD or SSD in there to be on the safe side until you verify it's working correctly and you can get into BIOS.
 
Jan 15, 2021
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To clarify, the fans still worked when I tried to boot it up, the motherboard had its LED on but nothing on my screen and the computer made these multiple beeps before I shut the power off.
 

assasin32

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Yeah I wouldn't use it for now till you can further clean it to be on the safe side. But those beeps are something to help troubleshoot by telling what is wrong, they do short and long beeps just count them and look up what that means.
 
Jan 15, 2021
13
2
15
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You might have fried something, leave it be for now unplugged. Isopropyl alcohol 99% will help clean and dry up any residue left, I would pick that up and put it in a spray bottle. You may have to buy it online with how global events are going. After that you may have to do some trouble shooting if it doesn't work to see what salvageable and what's fried. Next time compressed air is your friend.

You can do some further research on the subjects of isopropyl alcohol and electronics and how the alcohol helps dry up water, I actually recommend it before you take someone else advice on subjects like these with such risks.

EDITED IN:
Though when you test it you might want to test it without any HDD or SSD in there to be on the safe side until you verify it's working correctly and you can get into BIOS.
Thanks for your answer, I'll make some researches about Isopropyl Alcohol. Since I'd have to purchase it online, does it matter if I apply it a few days after the damage without turning my PC on? And of course, next time I'll know better than to use a cloth to clean my PC. Thanks a lot for the help once more.
 
Jan 15, 2021
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Look up BIOS beep codes, the codes are not universal just a heads up.
Yeah, looked it up for my Z170-K motherboard and it seems like infinite bleepings isn't a possible scenario so it would most likely have stopped but I heard minimum 6-7 short beeps before shutting it down. Not willing to do it again, I guess I'll do with the Isopropyl Alcohol and if that doesn't work I'll look into the beep codes.
 

DSzymborski

Polypheme
Moderator
Alcohol would be good to have on-hand, but you should be dry by a few days in any case. It won't fix a problem.

Best you can do is wait till everything's dry. You may need to take the PC out of the case and try to see if you can get it to post with a minimum of components (motherboard, CPU, one stick of RAM).
 
Reactions: Krotow

Krotow

Notable
Oct 2, 2019
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If computer collected some dust, suck it out with vacuum cleaner and/or blow away with compressed air. NEVER use water in circuit board cleaning. And any other liquid if possible. Also alcohol (drinkable and isopropyl) and special circuit board cleaning liquids like PRF-6-68 are for special cases - to remove flux remains and old thermal paste. Or to clean circuit boards from grease and tobacco residues (laptop in kitchen with chain smoking owner for 2 years). Also disconnect computer from everything BEFORE cleaning.

Computer above probably is recoverable. But OP must disconnect everything, remove RAM and M.2 drives and then put all things in dry and warm place for a day or two to dry out. On assembling back turn it on without drives to see if motherboard and RAM is working. If yes, then he can put drives back too.
 
Reactions: Jeremyjf

Endymio

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Aug 3, 2020
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If you're comfortable doing so, unslot your RAM and add-in boards (video card, etc), and any cables from the mobo as well. This will allow any trapped water in those little crevices to evaporate faster and prevent any further oxidation (water in an expansion slot can survive weeks under the right conditions -- don't ask me how I know.)
 
Reactions: Krotow
Jan 15, 2021
13
2
15
0
If you're comfortable doing so, unslot your RAM and add-in boards (video card, etc), and any cables from the mobo as well. This will allow any trapped water in those little crevices to evaporate faster and prevent any further oxidation (water in an expansion slot can survive weeks under the right conditions -- don't ask me how I know.)
Thanks for the advice, I'll do that right now.
 
Jan 15, 2021
13
2
15
0
If computer collected some dust, suck it out with vacuum cleaner and/or blow away with compressed air. NEVER use water in circuit board cleaning. And any other liquid if possible. Also alcohol (drinkable and isopropyl) and special circuit board cleaning liquids like PRF-6-68 are for special cases - to remove flux remains and old thermal paste. Or to clean circuit boards from grease and tobacco residues (laptop in kitchen with chain smoking owner for 2 years). Also disconnect computer from everything BEFORE cleaning.

Computer above probably is recoverable. But OP must disconnect everything, remove RAM and M.2 drives and then put all things in dry and warm place for a day or two to dry out. On assembling back turn it on without drives to see if motherboard and RAM is working. If yes, then he can put drives back too.
Yeah, learned that the hard way. Thanks for the advice, I'll let it dry for the weekend, should I consider putting the components in rice to suck out the humidity?
 

Endymio

Upstanding
Aug 3, 2020
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Thanks for the advice, I took my GPU, SSD, HDD, RAM and WiFi/Bluetooth card off as you can see in the picture above. Any recommendations as to where to put all of that to make sure they're efficiently dried after this weekend?
Anywhere dry and warm should be fine. Unless you're in a tropical zone with 90% + relative humidity, or somewhere below normal room temperature, it should be fine.

As another posted pointed out, when you restore the components to your system, try for a minimum boot first -- see if it will boot without POST beeps with just the ram installed, then add the rest of the components one by one.
 
Reactions: Krotow
Jan 15, 2021
13
2
15
0
Anywhere dry and warm should be fine. Unless you're in a tropical zone with 90% + relative humidity, or somewhere below normal room temperature, it should be fine.

As another posted pointed out, when you restore the components to your system, try for a minimum boot first -- see if it will boot without POST beeps with just the ram installed, then add the rest of the components one by one.
Excellent, I'll let it sit until Sunday evening or Monday and get back to this thread, when I do the manipulations you suggested. Thanks for everyone's help :)
 
Jan 15, 2021
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Alright so I put back the RAM alone at first, which was a success, no beeps. Then put the HDD and SSD back in, once again, no beeps. Then I put the GPU but no signal. The fan on the GPU spins for about 3 seconds, then stops.
 
Jan 15, 2021
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Alright so I put back the RAM alone at first, which was a success, no beeps. Then put the HDD and SSD back in, once again, no beeps. Then I put the GPU but no signal. The fan on the GPU spins for about 3 seconds, then stops.
Put my RAM in another slot, computer works, thanks for everyone's help. Will not make the same mistake again.
 

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