The world suddenly stops when you see your phone dropped into the water, screams of terror: “I dropped my phone in the water!” Whether it’s a swimming pool or a bathroom, you know that nothing good will happen in the next few seconds.
After all, it’s a high-tech device that’s probably worth more than 200$, and the chances of that money going up in smoke are very high. That is, unless you have one of those awesome waterproof smartphones, like the LG G6 or the Samsung Galaxy S8.
It is true that more and more mobile phone manufacturers are opting for waterproof designs, and this trend seems to proceed without slowing down. However, not everyone can afford a waterproof phone and this means we have to resort to other methods.
The best way to prevent water damage is to take precautions, using something like waterproof cases for situations where you know you may be in contact or close to water for a long time.
And if it was already too late? if your phone has made an unexpected dive into the water? Let’s start by saying that saving a phone from damage by water is equivalent to a coin toss. Nothing can guarantee that the device can be actually saved. But it may happen that the stars of luck align themselves and you end up saving that precious technology that contains all your important data and that allows you to connect with the world.
With the help of the following tips, we aim to increase the likelihood that your phone will overcome such a disaster. So let’s try to solve this problem.
See your phone dropped into the water? Take it off and make sure it is off!
I know it’s hard to react quickly when such a devastating event occurs, but you must be very fast! The longer your device stays underwater, the lower its chances of survival. You must be very quick and immediately remove that phone from the water. Yes… even if it’s in the bathroom!
Once the phone is out of the water, make sure it is turned off and stay that way. Even if everything seems fine, it’s important to turn it off just in case. If the phone is still on, turn it off or remove the battery, if possible. Then store it in a safe place, preferably on a flat surface on some pieces of absorbent paper.
The good news is that even non-waterproof phones these days are generally at least a little more water-resistant than the phones of last year and so there are some things you can do, and that you should not do, repair the phone without too much damage.
What not to do after your phone has fallen into the water
The following actions can make the difference between a totaled phone or a survival story. You’d better watch out for what you do. Before going looking for a solution, let’s try to prevent the main mistakes you could cause.
- Do not switch the phone on, as we have already said. The electrical components do not go too well with the water during operation.
- Do not connect it to anything! For the same reason.
- Do not press any buttons. This can further push the water into the phone.
- Do not shake or blow into the device. This could push water into deeper areas of the phone. Above all try to avoid the hair dryer, not only for the blowing part, but also for the following point.
- Do not apply heat to the phone. Remember that excessive heat can damage your phone. Better not to add more damage!
- Do not move the phone too much. Same error; you do not want the water to move inside the phone.
Remove the damaged phone from the water
You have to remove everything that is removable. If the back cover is removable, remove it. Likewise, try removing the battery (if possible), the SIM card and the SD card. Stretch it all on absorbent paper.
Now, if you’re a technology specialist and you know the details of a phone and you do not care about invalidating the warranty, you can go ahead and take down the whole phone. Just be careful, if you do not know what you are doing this could cause more harm than good.
Try to dry the outside with a paper towel
First we must try to eliminate all the excess water found on the outside of the phone. Use the absorbent paper to dry each component. Just make sure you do not make the phone dirty. Gently dry everything without making too much pressure and movements.
You could try with a vacuum cleaner
Of course, there are areas where the absorbent paper can not arrive. And while we told you not to blow into the phone, we did not tell you not to suck up the water. In fact, a vacuum cleaner can remove drops of water from the phone without too much risk. Try to use one as big as the one in the picture!
It’s time to dry it
The hardest part is coming because it implies the need to leave the phone intact over a long period of time. This means I did not want to use your smartphone! If you have another phone, make sure the SIM card is completely dry before inserting it into the other spare phone. Otherwise, just use smoke signals, public telephones and all that archaic stuff.
So how do you dry the phone? You could leave the phone on the counter or inside a drawer, but someone likes to use a little help. The idea is to put it in an environment that will facilitate its drying process. A very common practice is to put the phone in a bag full of rice and let it rest there for about 2-3 days.
But why the rice? Mainly because it is something that is easily found in most homes. Rice is very effective in absorbing moisture in the air, making the phone environment drier and therefore helping to dry the device. But there are alternatives that could be better.
Among the best options are silica gel packets, which are those small packages that you often find in shoes or electronic boxes. The silica gel is a desiccant: it absorbs and retains water vapor, each sachet will absorb water vapor up to one third of its weight.
The moment of truth
So you did everything possible and a few days have passed. It is time to see if all your efforts have been repaid. Resume the phone and insert the SIM card. Then connect the phone to the charger and try turning it on. If it works, you did it!
But it remains on guard for any strange behavior. At least for a few days, because something could still happen. Try all the components. Make a call to see if the microphone and headset work, test all other functions, etc.
Now, if the phone does not work, it’s time to accept defeat and take it to a professional to see if it can be recovered. Very probably he can do very little, and after this last attempt we have really done everything possible. Unfortunately, sometimes you just have to let go of your phone and get ready to buy a new one.
Write in the comments below and tell us about your experiences! Did any of you try these methods? What other advice would you give to those who dropped a phone in the water?