Obviously, you should first remove the phone from the water as quickly as possible. The longer it stays there, the more water or liquid will seep through the cracks and openings. Once it’s out, there are certain things you need to do right away, and others you should absolutely avoid doing, in order to prevent water damage.
What not to do
- Do not turn it on
- Do not plug it in/try to charge it
- Do not press any buttons or keys
- Do not shake, tap or bang the phone
- Do not blow on it. This could send water into other internal parts of the phone that it hadn’t already reached, causing more damage in the process
- Do not use a blow dryer – it can have the same effect as described above. Heat could also cause further damage.
10 steps to saving your water damaged phone
1. Turn it off if, it isn’t already, and hold it upright.
2. Remove your SIM and microSD cards from their slots.
3. If you have an older phone, you might be able to open up the back and remove the battery. However, since most current smartphones do not have removable batteries and are hard to disassemble, the best step would be to take it to a phone repair shop before attempting to take it apart yourself. There are DIY repair kits and YouTube tutorials you could follow, however, if you are not tech-savvy, taking it to a professional is always better.
4. Use a cloth, sleeve or paper towel to dab your phone dry. Avoid spreading the liquid around, because that could push it into more of the phone’s openings. Just soak up as much as possible.
5. If the water damage is more extensive, you can use a vacuum to carefully suck out water stuck in the cracks that are harder to get to. Make sure any small parts, such as the microSD card, SIM card, and battery, are out of the way before attempting this.
6. Bury the phone in a ziplock bag full of uncooked rice. Rice is great for absorbing liquid and this is actually a common method for drying smartphones and tablets. You can also buy dedicated phone drying pouches, which are worth having at home if you’re the clumsy type. If you don’t have them already, don’t bother going out to buy one. Time is of the essence, so get your phone into rice as soon as possible.
7. Let your phone dry for a day or two. Do not be tempted to switch it on to see if it still works. Put your SIM card in an old phone, or ask a friend or relative if they have a spare device you can borrow.
8. After a couple of days, you can remove the phone from the rice, insert the battery and switch it on.
9. If your phone doesn’t turn on, try charging it. If that doesn’t work, the battery may be damaged. You could try a replacement battery, or consider taking your smartphone to a repair shop to be checked by a professional.
10. If your smartphone has turned on and it is running as it should, you should still keep a close eye on it for the next few days, to see if you notice anything out of the ordinary. Play some music to check the speakers and ensure the touch screen still responds as it should.
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