It happens. You drop your phone in the bathtub while scrubbing your kids. You knock over a glass of water. You somehow leave your phone on the patio when a rainstorm hits. At one time or another, thousands of people have watched as their phones have fallen prey to H2O. "Handheld electronics have become such an integral part for everyone," said Felipe Pimineto of Drywired, the nano-coating technology that protects mobile devices from accidents and spills.
However, there are a few things you can do to prevent permanent damage.
You may have heard that you need to dry out your phone as quickly as possible when it gets wet. The quickest road to that solution is to dismantle the entire device, but you may risk voiding your warranty if you do so. Additionally, if you do not know much about the intricacies of how a phone works, you will probably end up doing more damage than the water would. Instead, try this:
• Get your phone out of the dangerous situation as quickly as possible.
• Do not push buttons or swipe a screen, because even the slightest movement could force water into places it shouldn’t be.
• Take out the battery as soon as you can, which removes the power source and reduces the chances that the phone will short circuit.
• If your phone does not have a battery, you have permission to press the few buttons you need to in order to power down.
Ventilate and Dry
Once your phone is off, you need to remove any “extras,” such as a headset or case. If you use a SIM card or other memory device, remove it. Taking these steps opens up the phone, allowing for ventilation. Use a towel to dry off the exterior, taking care not to let water seep into any parts of the phone as you are doing so.
To ensure the phone completely dries, put it in a bowl of dry rice. The rice will actually attract water left inside the phone. If you have recently bought new shoes, grab the silica gel packs out of the box, as they also serve this purpose. Whichever you use, allow the device to sit in an airtight space for as long as two days. Once the phone is totally dry, go ahead and try to power on the device again.
Just as there are things you should do when your phone gets wet, there are several things you should take care to avoid, such as:
• Using a blow dryer: This creates excessive heat and can actually damage parts.
• Putting your phone in the freezer: Some people wrap their wet phones in paper towel and stuff them between the peas and frozen steaks. Big mistake. The water in the phone will become ice, which will eventually melt and cause damage, not to mention the freezing temperatures are not good for a sensitive touch screen.
• Using a toothpick to dry entry points: Jamming a toothpick with a paper towel on the tip into the headset hole, for example, may seem like an effective way to soak up water, but the paper could become jammed and cause even bigger problems.
Even if you get your phone up and running again, the water that eked inside may cause corrosion. Sometimes, a phone repair specialist can remove the damage. Your best bet may be to check your warranty. If you make a claim and the liquid contact indicator on the phone has not been triggered, you may be able to fix or replace your device on the manufacturer’s dime.
Since everyday electronics have become so prevalent in today’s society, manufacturers of durable devices are standing out from the crowd.