Did you get soaked in the rain and the rainwater somehow penetrated into your iPhone? Did your Samsung Galaxy get left in your jeans and got a spin in the washing machine? Surprisingly you are not alone. If phones come in contact with water or moisture they need to be saved from water damage. Below are some of the thing you can do to save your phone.
As soon as the phone comes in contact with water you need move to a clean dry place. The longer the phone stays in contact with water or even stays immersed in it, the more likely it won’t be recovered and be permanently damaged. Isolate it from any contact of water!
Like all electronic devices there are chances that your phone could short circuit so switch it off as soon as possible. A short circuit could also lead to fire so make sure your phone is away formed inflammable substance like petrol, gas etc.
- iPhone: Hold the Lock button and the Home button simultaneously for 5 seconds for a hard shutdown.
- Android: Remove the battery (if accessible) to shut down instantly.
Water can quickly move into place within your phone but at the same time can come out quickly too if held in the correct position. Make way for the water to get out by opening or removing all obstructions.
- Remove the battery (if possible)
- Remove any headphones
- Remove the SIM card
- Remove the memory card
Force out all water out of the phone. Shake it, tilt it, clean it with a tissue, blow air through it, or use a vacuum cleaner to suck out the liquid (be careful not to damage the phone due to excessive succession).
The best thing to do is to open the case so air can get in and water can evaporate. You can visit how-to videos on YouTube or informative websites like iFixit.com to open your phone. Most of the phone manufacturers don’t honour the warranty for water damaged phones. All phones have a water damage indicator which tells that the phone has been water damaged.
If your phone is still wet from inside, to speed up the drying process you could try some of the methods mentioned below:
- Aerate it: During summer and when the sun is out, good air circulation may be all you need. Try using a fan which will improve airflow through difficult to reach places.
- Evenly warm it: If you can evenly warm the phone to 37 degrees Centigrade in a controlled fashion you will speed up evaporation. Apple lists the maximum tolerable temperature as 45 degrees Centigrade, so be careful!
- Soak out: If there is humidity in the air, you may want to use a drying agent to soak out the moisture. Don’t bother with the “rice trick.” We tested it, and uncooked white rice is the least effective for absorbing liquids. Instead, try the following:
- Silica Gel. The best common drying agent is silica gel, which can be found in the pet aisle of your grocery store as “crystal” style cat litter.
- Couscous. Instant couscous or instant rice are acceptable substitutes for silica. In our tests, these absorbed water much faster than conventional rice. Instant oatmeal works too, but makes a mess of your phone.
- Open Air. We compared the water absorption of eight different materials (including silica gel and rice.) None of these materials was as effective as leaving the device in an open space (such as a counter top) with good air circulation.
Don’t turn it on or charge it
Give your phone a few days to dry before you turn it on or charge it. Water may be trapped in parts of your phone or absorbed into your phone’s circuitry.
Give it a try
Once your phone is dry and reassembled, it may turn right on. If not, there are a few things you can try:
- Charge it: A few hours of charging may get it going.
- Swap the battery: Since the battery holds the charge it might be the first one not to function. Try swapping out the battery.
- Sync it: The Phone might appear dead but you could still sync it so you can at least recover the data.
- SIM & SD: Your SIM and SD cards also contain your data so try removing them and copy the data.
If your phone truly takes the deep dive, check out AthCom’s Certified Phones for a replacement, a low-cost solution for smartphones and tablets. Your drowned phone may also be worth extra cash through trade-in.