Anyone who’s dropped their phone in water will know the panic and worry that immediately hits afterwards. Luckily, there are many techniques for bringing your water damaged device back to life, saving you an insurance claim or a pricey trip to a phone shop.
What not to do
In the immediate aftermath, it can be tempting to try anything to force your phone back to life, but actions like shaking your device can make the situation worse.
Here’s what not to do when your phone has become water damaged:
Don't turn it on
If your phone is still on, immediately turn it off. If it’s off, keep it that way until you’ve gone through the steps below. Turning on the power can cause major issues, as electronic components and water don’t mix.
Don't charge it
Quite an obvious one, but don’t attempt to charge your phone, either. Plugging a water damaged phone into the mains while it is still wet is extremely dangerous and should be avoided.
Don't shake it
Shaking or banging your device can cause water to enter new areas of the phone, causing further damage, so try to avoid this.
Don't expose it to heat
Smartphones are just as susceptible to damage from high temperatures as water, so using a blow dryer to dry it out could create new issues.
What you should do
To begin saving your soggy mobile, the first stage is turning it off, then – if possible – removing the back casing, which should help your phone dry out quicker. On newer smartphone models, this may not be possible.
The next stage is to remove everything you can, whether that’s the battery, SIM card, headphones, accessories, or case.
Only remove parts of the phone that you’re able to – don’t attempt to remove screws or take apart sections that you wouldn’t usually access.
Dab the water away
Try to dab away the water methodically with a cloth or tissue, being careful to absorb any moisture from the holes in the device.
Be very careful not to cause any scratches or damage to these sensitive areas. You could use a cotton bud for those smaller gaps.
Put your phone in rice
Putting a mobile phone in rice does seem like a strange idea, but the absorbent qualities of the grains will draw out the moisture from inside the phone.
To help dry your phone out, place it in a sealed container or zip lock bag filled with rice, being careful not to allow any grains into the headphone or charging port, then keep it in a warm and dry place.
Play the waiting game
Once you’ve placed your phone in a sealed container containing rice, all you have to do is wait. It’s recommended to leave your phone for a day or two to ensure that all of the moisture has been absorbed before it’s safe to turn it on again.
Test your phone
Once you’ve been through these steps and left your phone alone for a day or so, try to turn it on. If it does fire up, then you should check the headphone port, microphone, and receiver still work.
Change the battery
Sudden contact with water can cause the battery inside a smartphone to corrode and stop working.
If you’re using an Android device, try to borrow a working battery from a friend first to try it out, and ensure that this is the only issue your phone has. If you’re using an iPhone, you’ll have to go to an Apple store.
Contact an expert
If the tips above don’t help, then it may be time to get in touch with a professional. Be careful, however, as using a third-party repair service will almost always void the manufacturer’s warranty of your device.
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