What To Do If You Drop Your Phone In Water
Whether you’ve dropped your phone in the sink or gotten it soaked through while looking for directions in the rain, it’s always worth acting fast and trying to salvage your mobile. Even if you’ve got a “dropped phone in toilet” situation, the following tips on how to fix water damaged phone and mobile devices can be put to immediate use. There are a lot of hacks and tricks out there – with everything from using a blow dryer to dumping your phone in rice – but not all of them hold up to real testing. In this article we cut through the myth and rumours and give you real, concrete steps you can take to preserve your phone when disaster strikes.
Your phone has been submerged, and your first reaction is to panic. Then you’ve probably googled ‘dropped phone in water,’ and now you’re here. Welcome. The first step is to consider how you’ve dropped your phone in water, so you can make an assessment of how severe the damage is. Did you leave it in your pocket and run it through a washing machine? Or did you accidentally drop it in a puddle before you scooped it up a few moments later? The difference is important. The more time your phone has spent submerged in water, and how deep that water is, has a significant impact on whether or not you’ll be able to recover full functionality and rescue your mobile. Either way, it’s still worth following some basic steps to help save your phone.
If your mobile is plugged in to its charger at the same time that it is in liquid, it’s vital that you do not try to remove it from the water. Electricity and water are a dangerous combination, and mishandling this situation could lead to an electric shock – as you’re plugged into mains power.
On the other hand, if the phone is not plugged into a power source, do your best to remove it as quickly as possible from the water. The less time your android or iPhone is left submerged, the better.
Even if your phone has been dubbed ‘waterproof,’ consider time to be of the essence. Your phone definitely has ports for Bluetooth equipment, small holes for microphones and speakers, charging ports and a headphone jack. These holes are all passageways for water to enter the casing and affect the circuitry in your mobile phone. The quicker it’s out of the water, the less time the water has to seep through to delicate electrical components.
Once out of the water, immediately turn off your phone, even if it is still working. Don’t check a thing. Leaving the mobile on while it is wet means that electricity runs through its circuitry, and combined with water, this leaves your phone open to short circuiting.
Disrobe Your Phone
If you have dropped your iPhone in water, it’s important to that you take any case or external accessories off of the phone immediately. If you have a smartphone where it’s possible to remove the battery, such as the majority of android phones, now is the time to remove the battery cover and the battery and SIM card. If it’s dry, this is a good way to save everything stored on it. If it’s wet, pat it dry with a porous cloth and put it to one side.
In Android phones, you can now check to see whether the water damage has had an impact. Once you’ve removed the battery, look for a small white square or circle along the bottom of the battery tray. Some may have a series of red crosses upon the square or circle. If the phone has received water damage, this will turn pink or red.
Begin The Drying Process
You may be tempted to shake off the phone – but actually this is dangerous, as it helps move the water move through the device. Instead, do your best not to move the phone about too much, and gently wipe off as much water as possible. Use a dry towel or paper towels, but ensure that none of the paper gets lodged in any of the open gaps in the phone. These need to remain unclogged so that air can move through it.
If you’ve removed the visible excess water by wiping the parts down, the next step, should you have access to one, is to use your vacuum. This should draw the liquid out of the inner, delicate parts of the phone. When you carry out this step, it’s vital that you do not hold the vacuum too close to the phone, as this can create static electricity, which will damage the phone. Using a vacuum is a relatively quick way of drying out your phone (you could be done in 20 minutes,) but we don’t recommend turning on your phone to check so soon after it was submerged. Patience is key.
Do Not Use A Hair Dryer
A lot of articles and phone hacking tip sites will recommend using a hair dryer to help dry out your phone. It dries hair, so why not your phone too? The problem with this logic is that your phone is a relatively enclosed space. In effect, using a hair dryer on your phone can push water and moisture deeper into the phone’s crevices, so that it reaches internal components and circuitry quicker. That’s why we recommend using a vacuum, instead.
Another method you could use, is to leave the components laid out flat in front of a source of air-flow, such as a fan. That’s because the air moves across the phone’s openings, and “The Bernoulli principle states that as the warm, dry air moves fast over the phone, the decreased air pressure will gently pull or suck moisture out of the phone.”
Use A Drying Agent
Everyone’s heard of the rice trick – putting a wet phone in rice to soak up the excess moisture. While in theory this is a clever way to dry out your phone, it’s not necessarily the most efficient way. Being prepared and having a synthetic desiccant on hand can make all the difference. Silica gel is a kind of desiccant that comes with a new pair of shoes or a purse can be very absorbent and when put into a seal able plastic bag with your phone overnight can absorb any remaining moisture.
Hopefully, these tips and tricks will go some way to saving your smartphone from water damage, but there’s always the chance that the damage is irreparable. Mobile phone insurance is the best way to cover yourself against such accidents and will put those panic inducing moments to bed!