Can Shower Steam Kill Your Laptop?

Can Shower Steam Kill Your Laptop?

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Taryn Williford
Aug 2, 2010

Let me get personal with you, blogger to reader. Sometimes I shower for maintenance. Other times, I shower for therapy—water bill be damned! Nothing feels better after a long day than a hot shower with Pandora blazing from my laptop speakers on the counter across the room. But I should really take pause and think—is the shower steam killing my laptop? The answer is under the jump.

I keep my laptop far away from any splashing. Plus I keep the bathroom door open when I mood shower as an added defense against any damage. But is there damage?

It's a bad idea, to be sure. Electronics are rated for the maximum humidity they should be operated. Most fall in the 80 percent to 85 percent range. A shower-fogged bathroom is usually around 100 percent humidity.

The worst case scenario is that water vapor from your shower settles inside your machine and causes a short, effectively killing your laptop.

But even in a "best case" scenario, humidity from a steamy shower is likely to end up on your laptop's internal components, speeding up corrosion and decreasing your computer's lifespan. Electronic companies tend to run "end of life" tests that include humidity tests (similar to taking a hot shower with the door closed) that always end the same way.

So how can you protect your expensive toy?

If you're not willing to give up your occasional shower tunes, at least get rid of the "hot box." Open the door, crack a window and turn on your bathroom fan (also good advice for avoiding mold!).

If you're a die-hard bath time jammer and don't want to give up web-streamed tunes (like me!), invest in some wireless waterproof speakers. Here are two great options:

  • Splash-proof Mini-Bullets ($99.99) can be powered with batteries and connect via transmitter to your MP3 Player, computer or TV.
  • The waterproof and floatable iDuck (about $40 USD) is designed for bath time tunes. A wireless transmitter connects to your laptop's (or MP3 player's) headphone port and beams tunes to the rubber-duck-styled speaker.

(Top Image: Flickr user ttstam under license from Creative Commons. Inside Image: Flickr user Fuschia Foot under license from Creative Commons.)

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