Each generation of smartphones seems to be more sturdy than the last. But despite the advances in durability, there is one issue that is generally regarded as a death sentence for smartphones: water damage. Even the most conscientious of smartphone owners have accidents from time to time, and dropping the device in water is one of the worst-case scenarios.
This is due to a number of reasons, not the least of which is that, obviously, electronics and water aren’t the best of friends. But more than that, those who drop their smartphones in the ocean or a pool face the added damage of quick corrosion due to the salt or chlorine. Indeed, many people simply write off a submerged smartphone as an instant loss and look to total replacement of the device. But those who act fast may just be able to save their water-logged handheld. Here’s how.
Do not turn the phone on
Doing so will result in the damage circulating through the smartphone’s circuits, and this will likely spell certain death for the unit. Instead, it is recommended that smartphone users remove the battery as quickly as possible after the damage occurs. This is the only foolproof way to make sure no additional damage to the circuits is done.
Allow the phone to dry
This is crucial, as trying to use the smartphone before it fully has a chance to dry (including the internal circuit board) can render the unit useless. Also, it is important to remove the SIM and memory cards and allow them to dry separately along with the battery. Smartphone owners can use a cool-air fan to facilitate the process, but warm air, such as that of a hair dryer, should never be used because hot air damages electronics. A can of compressed air also works well for this task.
Absorb the moisture
There is only so much that air drying can do to remove moisture from a phone. After all, a fan or can of compressed air can’t get into every internal nook and cranny of most smartphones. To ensure maximum moisture removal it is necessary to draw it out. This can be done a couple of ways. There are a number of expensive products, such as Bheestie Bag, on the market designed specifically for this purpose.
However, one inexpensive home remedy involves the use of rice. Rice is a natural absorber of moisture, and it can be very effective in drawing out the remaining wetness in the phone. To achieve this, simply place the phone and battery in a zip lock bag filled with rice and leave it overnight.
Wait and test
After allowing the device to air dry, and then allowing it to sit over night with a moisture absorber, it is time to test the smartphone. Replace the battery and data cards and turn the phone on. If the phone does indeed turn on, it is then necessary to test out the major functions of the phone to see if they are operational as well.
It’s true that some water damage will be to extreme to fix at home. If this is the case, the best bet is to send the handheld to the manufacture for repair or replacement. That said, for more minor water damage, the tips above should be sufficient to give the smartphone in question a fighting chance at survival.