Almost a third of consumers will drop their phones into water or other liquids at some point. Common culprits are beach waves and—you guessed it—toilets.
Wondering what to do if you drop your phone in water?
The longer your phone sits in the water, the more time water has to creep and seep into your phone through any cracks or open ports. This means fast action is the key to solving your technology woes.
Read on for a few fast tips that will increase the chances of saving your phone!
Grab Your Phone (Quickly)
Our first piece of advice on what to do when you drop your phone in water: retrieve it as quickly as possible.
While most phones are water-resistant, few are actually waterproof. Once you’ve dropped the phone in water, you’ll need to act quickly.
Modern smartphones have fewer cracks and crevices. There may still be enough openings to allow for some (potentially permanent) water damage.
If you are on a moving boat or vehicle, do not risk your safety to grab the phone. Only grab the device if you know you can get it.
Don’t shake it when you first get your phone out of the water—this can actually help water get closer to the inner parts of the phone, which are much more vulnerable to damage than the exterior.
What to Do If You Drop Your Phone in Water: Turn It Off
If your phone is plugged into a charger, unplug it immediately. If you dropped a phone in the ocean, stop whatever activities you’re doing and give the phone some attention.
Phones don’t typically die because of exposure to water. The big problem comes when the wiring inside the phone is exposed to water, causing it to short-circuit.
Fortunately, it’s less likely that your phone will have time to short out if you turn it off immediately.
Once you power the phone off, the chances of saving your phone are much greater. Not only that, but the wiring has time to dry before the water can conduct harmful electricity to it.
Remove Any Detachable Parts
If you’ve dropped your cell phone in water, you need to remove any parts that come off. You shouldn’t need any tools for this. In fact, if you use a tool without knowing what you’re doing, you could do more damage than good.
You can tell pretty quickly which parts are meant to come out. Your case should come off if it helps to hold in water.
If your phone has an SD card, that’s one other thing you can take out. You may still be able to use the card even if the phone loses functionality. This also allows that part of the phone to “breathe” and dry out faster.
You might be able to remove the battery, but in most cases, this isn’t possible. If you aren’t sure, you can call us and we’ll check the phone’s parts out for you.
Wash Your Phone Carefully
If your phone was submerged in saltwater, beer, or another damaging liquid, you may need to clean it off. Saltwater corrodes the parts that make your phone work, and other liquids can become sticky when they dry up.
Once you are sure you’ve removed every detachable part, gently run a small stream of clean water over the phone. You won’t need much. Avoid submerging the device in a bowl or sink—this could allow more water to seep in.
If you don’t have immediate access to clean water, consider bottled water. You mainly want to get rid of any other liquid.
Carefully Pat Dry With a Soft Towel
This part is pretty self-explanatory. Avoid applying too much pressure on any part of the device. Use a soft, absorbent towel to remove as much moisture as possible.
Don’t insert anything into the ports or any crevices. The towel’s fibers will get any moisture residing there, moisture any deeper will take time to dry out.
Another don’t: avoid pointing a hairdryer at your device. Some people have used this method along with the rice method with disappointing results.
Place Phone Somewhere Safe and Dry
The next step: letting your phone dry out. A phone in water will have drawn in moisture.
You might be tempted to try some more quick fixes here. The best thing you can do for your phone is to wait patiently while it dries out.
When letting your phone dry, do not try to power it on. It may take a day or two for the phone to completely dry, and you don’t want to power it on while there is still moisture present.
Keep your phone at room temperature, if possible. Laying it out to dry in the sun can lead to other problems, as phones don’t typically handle extreme heat well.
A cool, but not cold, flat surface is best. Keep it far away from any water sources, especially if you’re feeling superstitious. You may want to put it in a locked drawer or cabinet, away from curious hands.
Monitor for Performance Issues
If your phone dries out completely, you can now try turning your device on. Make note of what your phone does, including anything out of the norm.
Some phones power on and then display unusual quirks. You might notice display or touch problems with your screen. Others show progressively-worse performance over time.
Sadly, some phones never turn on. If your phone was submerged in water for a long time, this is the most likely scenario.
When Nothing Else Works, We’re Here to Help
Still not sure what to do if you drop your phone in water? If you don’t want to risk making things worse, it’s best to call a professional. You could end up saving your phone, and your wallet, too!
Someone who has dealt with a lot of broken or water-damaged devices will know what signs to look for. They may also have other unusual tips that only work for your type of device.
Don’t wait. Contact us for a quick-and-easy consultation. We’ll get your phone back in good shape and ready for your next outing!