You dropped your phone in water. Maybe your smartphone fell down the toilet. Perhaps you forgot it isn’t the waterproof iPhone 7 when you jumped into the pool. There are indeed hundreds of ways where your phone could come meet a watery death—pardon the hyperbole.
So what do you do when your mobile device receives an impromptu water burial? Before you start mourning your phone’s untimely demise, remember that a wet cell phone can be resuscitated. Here’s what you should do if you accidentally dropped your phone in water:
1. Take it out ASAP.
The longer your phone stays in the water, the more likely that it will be destroyed. So if you dropped your phone in water, get it out right away. If you’re lucky, it’ll be just fine.
2. Keep it turned off for now.
Keeping your mobile phone on when it just got wet will short the circuit board and ensure that it’s broken. It goes without saying that you have to turn it off right when you get it out of the water.
If your phone’s screen was off prior to it taking a dip, quickly press the power button to check if the device “wakes” up. This will confirm whether the screen just turned blank or the device powered off upon contact with water. In case your phone luckily wakes up, shut it down ASAP. Keep it off when it doesn’t, though.
3. Wipe it clean and dry.
After you dropped your phone in water, you should do everything in your power to dry it up. In case your smartphone has a removable battery and microSD card, take them out and dry them up. Leave the back panel open to air-dry the handset once you’ve taken out the removable components.
Friendly reminder: Don’t be tempted to use a hair dryer on your smartphone. Exposing it to that kind of heat can damage its internal components. Forget about putting your phone in the freezer or in an oven, too. While rumor has it that these methods can fix a wet phone, they actually do more harm than good.
4. Bury your phone in rice or silica packets.
Your device may look and feel dry by now but, this doesn’t mean it’s totally dry on the inside. You have to eliminate the moisture stuck within your gadget. To do this, bury your phone in a bowl full of uncooked rice. The reason for this is that rice wicks away the moisture inside your phone.
An alternative to this is putting your smartphone in a plastic bag full of silica packets. Take a peek inside all the shoe boxes you own if you don’t have a clue what this cleverly useful gel looks like. We’re pretty sure you’ll find one or two silica packs in them. The silica in those packets will suck up any nearby water moisture so it’s great for drying up wet gadgetry.
Remember to keep your phone buried for a minimum of 3 days, regardless of whichever method you go for. This is to ensure that all moisture trapped in will be removed totally.
5. Test if your device turns on.
Take your gadget out and see if it turns on when it’s nice and dry. If it does, thank your lucky stars. If it doesn’t, try charging it first then try turning it on again. You may have to get it repaired or replaced, sadly, if it still doesn’t turn on.
Friendly reminder: Even if your phone turns on, keep in mind the possibility that water may have corroded a few internal components. Don’t be surprised if it starts to malfunction sooner or later.
6. In case your smartphone got soaked in seawater…
Once saltwater evaporates, the crystal it leaves can severely harm your handset’s fragile internal parts. So if your phone got wet in the ocean, we recommend flushing it with tap water before drying it up. Be sure to remove the battery before doing so, too.
7. Think about getting a phone insurance.
We’re sure the entire experience has left a bad taste in your mouth. So when you replace or trade in your irreparable phone for a new handset, perhaps you might want to invest in insurance for the new device. Doing so will definitely give you peace of mind, especially when the same accident happens to you next time. We’re not wishing for it to happen but even if it does, your insurance will make sure you get a new one for free.
The tips we just gave you may give your wet mobile phone a fighting chance to survive its nasty spill. While they’re not guaranteed to save every handset that took an untimely plunge, it’ll be wise to take your chances and try to resuscitate your phone while you still can.