How to save a wet phone!
Washing machines, toilets, cups of tea, foggy weather…these are a few of our favorite things. That is, until they fill the lungs of our cherished cell phone, leaving us weeping over a soggy, lifeless metal carcass.
Dropped your handset in the bath? Fumbled your phone and plopped it in the loo? Don’t panic — just follow these steps and you’ll have a good chance of breathing life back into your drowned smartphone. Just be sure to check out our list below of what not to do for some useful mythbusting.
What to do
While dismantling your phone completely would help it to dry out more effectively, doing so will void your warranty. It usually requires specialist tools and may jeopardize your phone if you’re not careful, so I don’t recommend it. Instead, follow these steps:
1. Firstly, retrieve your handset from the drink right away. A prolonged plunge will increase the risk of damage.
2. Resist the urge to check if it still works or press any buttons, since putting pressure on the keys could shift liquid further into the device.
3. In all cases, the best thing to do is immediately pull out the battery, thus minimizing power to the device that may cause it to short circuit.
4. If you own a handset with a non-replaceable battery, like an iPhone or Nokia Lumia, then pulling the battery isn’t an option. You’ll have to risk pressing a few buttons to check if it’s still on and to swiftly turn it off if it is. Take care when handling the phone in this case.
5. Remove any peripherals and attachments on your phone, such as cases.
6. Extract the SIM card and any SD cards it carries, leaving ports or covers on your handset open to aid ventilation.
7. Dry off everything with a towel, including the exterior of your handset, being careful not to let any water drain into openings on the phone.
8. Even when everything’s dry, it’s very likely there’s latent moisture within the device that you’ll want to get out before turning it on. The most oft-reported fix for a sodden phone is to bury the handset in a bowl of dry rice. Desiccant materials, such as rice, have hygroscopic properties that can attract and absorb moisture. You can also use silica gel packs — the kind used in shoeboxes — to greater effect. If you don’t have any lying around, uncooked rice will do nicely.
9. When you’re confident it’s dried out, replace the battery and try switching it on. Good luck!
What not to do
A purported fast-track method of drying out a wet phone is to use a hairdryer, or applying heat to the device in other ways. While this would successfully evaporate all the moisture still sitting within the handset, it risks becoming too hot and causing damage to the components.