The Only Thing Worse Than a Wet Dog…

Getting your cell phone wet doesn’t need to mark the end of its life. Of course, it’s not exactly optimal to have the cell phone anywhere but a dry place, but these things do happen and there are often ways to salvage the phone. Also, bear in mind that many cell phones these days comes with a plastic protective cover – that already gives an extra layer of “hope” in the restoration of a soggy cell phone. It probably takes at least 15 seconds for the water to seep in past the cover, so the quicker it is retrieved, the greater chance it has of not encountering any major damage.

There are a few other practical tips to remember once your phone has either fallen down the toilet or gotten stuck in the washing machine. Do not turn it on. Let it dry out first. If you turn it on when it’s still wet, you are likely to cause it to short circuit. In addition, if you are unable to pull it out of the water immediately but are able to access the battery, remove the battery while the phone is still submerged in the water.

Once the phone is out of the water, take out the battery – water and electricity is an inherently bad mix. Phone circuits can survive if they remain detached from a power source during submersion. Next, remove the SIM card (for the GSM carrier phones) since even if the cell phone doesn’t survive, at least the object with the important data has a fighting chance. As well, SIM cards tend to be able to cope with moisture pretty well – so they are likely to survive getting wet more than a phone is.

Next, take off any other layers on the phone – extra covers, connectors etc., allowing the cell phone to “breathe” through all its slots and holes. This is a good time to dry the phone as much as possible, with a towel, padding gently. It is ill-advised to move the phone even a little bit while you’re drying it since the more it stays in one place, the greater chance it has of not pushing even a few drops of water deeper into the phone. Sometimes a vacuum cleaner (not a hairdryer) can work well at sucking out any excess liquid if used carefully.

Another little-known tip is to leave the phone in a bowl of uncooked rice overnight since these small grains are able to absorb any remaining liquid. Then, the next morning – or at least 24 hours after you have completed these processes – put the battery back in and test your phone.

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