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Ways to Handle Water Damaged Phones

Dropping your phone accidentally into the ocean, or having it in your pocket when you get sprayed by a squirt gun, getting caught out in the rain, or any number of other water-based disasters can be a real downer when it comes to your phone’s functioning. Fortunately, there are some real solutions to fixing your phone available these days that could work depending on your situation.

Turn Off Phone Immediately

Electricity and water are not friends. If the phone was substantially dunked and doesn’t have any kind of water resistance rating that’s good enough for what happened to it, then you need to remove it from the water, power it down, and take it apart. This is largely because water could further damage the phone if you don’t. If you get the battery out and dry it, then you could prevent further damage. It’s good to start with a towel and to hold up the phone and let a lot of the water leak out of it first.

Dry with Compressed Air

Anything you can do to speed up the drying of the phone is going to be a great help. Every second it stays wet is a second where something can go wrong. So, run to your phone’s rescue and shoot it with a bunch of compressed air from a can of air like what you’d use to clear out dust from your computer.

You don’t want to use a hair dryer or anything else that uses heat because this could damage the phone all by itself. Instead, hold your phone parts level next to the compressed air, and really give it some air. Make sure you don’t tip it too much because this can often cause the compressed air to leak. You want to evaporate the water in your phone, and in the battery and cover, as quick as you can.

The Rice Trick

The idea with this one is that your phone may not be working because moisture got into the battery and it’s preventing it from functioning. So, if you take out the battery and put a pile of raw rice on top of it, then the hope is that the dry rice will soak up the moisture, even if there’s just a tiny amount of it.

Then, if moisture was the problem, you can replace the battery back in the phone and it will activate again, thus solving the problem. If it doesn’t, you may have to try something else, of course. And obviously, this is only going to apply to phones that have a removable battery. In other words, don’t try jamming rice into a phone that doesn’t work because you got it wet. You’ll likely only compound your problems. You can also use silicone packets for this as well. You’ll want to put it in a plastic bag or other container and completely cover the affected parts. It also helps to put the phone in the bag somewhere a bit warm. One common place to try this is the top of a refrigerator.

Then, you wait about 12 hours or so. A full day if you want to be thorough. At this point, put the phone back together, and if it works, well then good. If not, then you’ll have to try something else.

Freeze It Up

If the rice doesn’t do the trick, then it’s time to try and freeze the phone into submission.  First, make sure the battery is removed. Then, you get a couple sheets of paper towel and put the phone on top of it. You don’t want the bottom of the phone to become damaged from frost, after all. Next, set the timer for around 20 minutes, and then pop it in the freezer.

After your timer goes off, bring the phone out, put the battery back in, and see if it works. If you’re still striking out, you can wait about 10 minutes and then put it back in the freezer again for another attempt of about 20 minutes, removing the battery again first, of course. Electrical components are generally totally fine when it comes to the cold, but the screen can sometimes be an issue. You may want to double-check that your particular phone screen is tolerant to colder temperatures before trying this, certainly.

The idea here is that freezing the phone will make tiny bits of water inside the phone turn into ice. Then, when you turn the phone on, the ice won’t short out the phone the way liquid water did previously. The problem with this approach is that when the phone thaws, the water could become an issue again, depending on where it goes. It could cause a short, it could even cause further problems through melting and freezing due to the contracting and expanding properties of water during a freeze.

But, if your phone is totally dead anyway, it’s often worth a shot.

Other Options

There are also professional options for drying out the phone too, including special materials that are designed specifically for that purpose. Generally, you should buy these things ahead of time, though, if you’re at all worried about tripping and chucking your phone into your pool, or if you just know that your accident prone in this way.

Professional phone techs may have their own options as well. For more information about how to repair your phone in a number of different situations, as well as what to do if you spill water on a laptop, you should contact us today.