What to do when a smartphone gets wet

smartphone gets wet

Ever dropped the smartphone in a pool of water, sink, got rained on, or even forgot it in the pocket and ran through the washing machine? It is a very bad feeling. But, the most paramount thing is to understand what to do next. Though the wetness can damage the smartphone, well, it might not be damaged yet. In this post, we take a comprehensive look at what you should do to save your wet phone.

Get the phone from water immediately!

Because water is a good conductor, it can cause damage when charges move from one terminal of the smartphone circuit to another. Therefore, you must grab it out of the water as immediately as possible. If the phone is on, turn it off immediately. The chances are that the phone is waterlogged and at a great risk of getting damaged from short circuiting.

If the phone fell into a pool of water when it is still connected to the charging terminal; do not attempt to remove it because there is the risk of electric shock. Turn off the power at the main switch before grabbing it from the water. You can also contact a professional for assistance if unsure of where the main switch is.

Being able to retrieve the phone from the water promptly can make the difference between complete damage and recovery. However, you must maintain a level head when working under this pressure.

Place the phone on a dry towel and remove its battery 

After successfully getting the phone out of the water, place it on a dry piece of towel to clear excess water on the outer part of the casing. Then, remove the cover and the phone battery. Many smartphones are carefully designed with separate sections of the circuit that make it difficult for water to get through. To check whether the smartphone is really damaged, carefully check the corner section near the battery (usually circular or square). If this part is pink, the phone has been damaged by water. If you are finding it difficult to remove the battery, consider reading through the manual.

Remove the smartphone SIM card and all peripherals

In many instances, a lot of valuable data is stored in the smartphone’s SIM. Some people consider this to be among the most crucial thing for their phone. Some argue it is more important than even the phone itself. Though you might have a backup for the contacts, it is still important to remove the SIM card because the recently added contacts could still be at risk.

Though SIM card will not get damaged by water, getting out is prudent to avoid harm from the phone in case of short-circuit. Dry it completely with a dry towel and allow it to dry completely before reconnecting. Remember that you can still use the SIM card with a different phone. For those phones that are sold without a SIM card, this step will not be necessary.

After removing the SIM, it is time also to remove other peripherals attached to the phone. These include memory cards, protective covers, smartphone casing, and ear buds. This will expose all the slots, gaps, and crevices while exposing them to faster drying.

Dry every section of the phone with a dry and soft towel

Note that water does not just cause a short circuit to the smartphone; it also risks corroding various parts. Therefore, you need to clear as much of it and as quickly as possible. You achieve this through;

  • Holding the phone firmly on a towel, wipe every section of the inner parts with a dry towel. Make sure to avoid moving or holding the phone in a reclining position because water can move to other sections.
  • While wiping between gaps, do not clog crevices and ports because they can malfunction. Try to reach even the hidden sections such as charging points.
  • After drying as much water as you can, consider wiping with some alcohol because it displaces the water and dries immediately.

Suck out more water with a vacuum cleaner

If you have a vacuum cleaner, it is advisable to use it and suck all the remaining water. If the exposure to water was short, this could be enough to get the phone back to operation. Hold the vacuum cleaner on the targeted section for about 20 minutes to get out as much water as possible. Note that holding it too close can cause static electricity that could risk damaging the smartphone completely. Remember that you should only use the vacuum cleaner and, not the hair drier.

Place the smartphone in a bag of rice overnight

While you have cleaned the phone with a dry towel, alcohol, and even vacuum cleaner, there is a risk that some drops of water are still sitting inside. Here you should consider using a material with a high affinity for moisture. The simplest option for this is rice. Place the phone between two sheets of tissue paper and immerse it in a bag of rice. You could also use a desiccant that has higher water absorbing capacity than rice. Make sure to rotate the phone for even drying.

Allow the phone to sun dry for several hours

After drying the phone on the rice or desiccant overnight, allow it to dry even more under the sun for a couple of hours. The target is ensuring to evacuate as much water as possible. Then, place the phone on a clean absorbent paper and keep checking whether it gets wet. If any sign of water is noted, repeat the drying process in the rice/desiccant.

Test the phone

After about 24 hours, it is time to check whether the phone will roar back to life. Without the battery, plug the phone into the mains to see if it displays anything on the screen. If this works, return the battery and see whether it will charge. However, if the phone does not work after all the drying process, you should seek THE assistance of an authorized dealer. Depending on the problem, the dealer might be able to fix it for you. Make sure to tell the dealer that the phone was wet so that he/she can use the right procedures to revive it.


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