Liquid Logic: What to Do When Your Phone Takes a Plunge

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All of a sudden everything’s in slow motion. You reach out, but your hands aren’t moving. You watch in horror as your beloved cellphone hits the water with a SPLASH.

It happens. We know. As experts in cellphone repair, we’ve seen it all.  

As soon as you’re done freaking out, you’ll panic about what to do. If your phone is one of the new water-resistant models, chances are you may not have to do anything but gently wipe it down. Let’s dive into the truth and consequences of when your phone meets liquid.

Don’t panic!

If you can, pry open the phone and remove the battery. If you can’t, power down the phone as quickly as possible. Removing power decreases the chance of a short circuit, which is what causes a phone to go on the fritz. If you can power down and dry out the phone within 48 hours, your chances of recovery are highest.

Beat the heat

Don’t use heat, the oven, or a blow dryer to try and dry it out. Excessive heat can damage the tiny electronics within. Instead, gently dry everything with a clean, low-lint towel. Be sure to look for tiny traces of water in cracks and crevices. You can use compressed air to blow out minuscule water droplets, being cautious not to drive the water to other parts of the phone. Let the phone completely dry out before reassembling and powering on.

Save the rice for dinner

You’ve most likely heard that putting a dunked cellphone in rice will help absorb and dry out the device. You may have even tried it yourself. We’re sorry to tell you the only thing this does is waste a bag of rice. Rice isn’t an effective drying agent, and is even less effective than letting the phone dry naturally.

Use desiccant packets

You know those little packets that come with practically everything from footwear to beef jerky? They’re designed to keep moisture at bay. You can wrap your phone gently in a paper towel and place in a sealed container with packets, or something similar such as a Bheestie Bag or DampRid pouches. Never use loose powder or crystals; it can get in the openings of your phone.

What about saltwater, mud, or soda?

Saltwater can corrode your phone inside and out, and mud can clog up phone parts and ports. Soda or milk can leave a sticky residue and really gunk up the internal workings. Instead, quickly rinse your phone under running water. Don’t dunk it. Then follow the steps above to dry it out.

If your phone went for a swim and isn’t fixable, we can retrieve all your data, pictures, texts, videos, and more. Learn more about the Phone Love way of device repair: honesty, efficiency and affordability. Come by or connect with us directly; you can also hit us up on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.