If you spill the smallest amount of liquid on the keyboard or touch pad of your laptop, you must turn the computer off immediately and disconnect the battery if you can. The results of liquid damage may not be immediate, but it will be catastrophic, as we can see here:
This is a picture taken of the bottom side of the board of a component that exploded in contact with the liquid, it destroyed the stick of memory directly over the top in the explosion.
Tell-tale white marks
Tell-tale white marks or blooming occurs when liquids dry on the surface of a board.
Some liquids are also corrosive, causing damage to components long after they have dried.
On this board, a lot of control circuits have been damaged along with some more expensive components. A replacement board would be needed that is often more than the laptop is worth.
Protecting your computer
The biggest thing you can do to protect your computer is not have liquids anywhere near it. Move the laptop to a table while you drink. Even if you are on a conference call, think how expensive your computer is and a few drops makes all the difference.
Don’t bother with membranes that are supposed to prevent liquids from affecting your keyboard, they make it harder to type as well as often being ineffective at preventing a spillage.
You can take out specialist device cover, where you pay an excess if anything happens to your devices. This type of cover protects your devices from accidental damage as well as mechanical breakdown along with malicious, loss or theft and often offer worldwide cover for a limited number of days.
Home and contents insurance may cover you for accidental damage when the accident happens inside your home. Note that portable devices are not covered by the contents insurance, nor is damage caused by animals.