Water Damage Survival Guide: What To Do When Your Phone Takes A Dive

If you’ve dropped your phone in water, it’s possible to save it. Here’s how:

How To Save a Wet Phone

Step 1: Retrieve your phone from the water.

Step 2: Turn off your phone immediately.

Step 3:  If your phone has a removable battery, remove it. Remove any other removable parts and accessories, like your SIM card and SD card. 

Step 4: Dry the surface of your phone with a soft cloth or paper towel; this can help prevent water from getting behind the camera or screen.

Step 5: Gently shake the phone to remove any water from your phone’s charging port, headphone port, and speakers. Do not shake the phone vigorously.

Step 6: Place the phone in silica gel packets (the packets that say “DO NOT EAT” on them and are used to keep things dry) if you have them. Keep your phone in a warm, dry place, away from any direct sunlight or other direct heat. Leave your phone until it is completely dry—this can take 48 hours or more.

Step 7: Try to turn on your phone 5 hours after it is completely dry. If your phone does not power on, attempt to charge it. If your phone does not charge, take it for cell phone repair in Winnipeg.

Ingress Protection: Do You Really Have a Waterproof Phone?

Most modern phones have an Ingress Protection (IP) rating of 67 or 68; this means, in theory, that they have significant protection against both dust and liquid.

As many of us have experienced, however, dropping one of these phones in the bathtub can still damage it. Even if your phone has an IP rating of 68, we recommend following the steps below to limit the chances of short circuit or other damage to your phone’s components: 

Can Rice Save My Phone From Water Damage?

The old “throw it in rice” trick is pretty well known—in this trick, you replace the silica gel packets in Step 6 with a container full of uncooked rice. There’s a good reason this trick has become very common practice—rice absorbs water, and no one has a container full of silica gel packets lying around. 

There’s a whole Wikipedia article on phone repair with rice, and there’s also official guidance from Apple on its liquid detection alert page. In both cases, the advice is clear: Sticking your phone in rice is not shown to protect it from water damage, and the starch from the rice can end up damaging your phone.

Instead, buy a bunch of silica gel packs—or, if you have a cat, try using cat litter, which can absorb water without the risk of starch getting into your phone. 

Act Quickly, Then Wait Patiently

When your phone takes the plunge, your goal is to prevent major failures by acting as quickly as possible. The longer your device stays underwater, the greater the risk of water damage, and the lower its chances of recovering from the event. Remove your phone from the water immediately, power it off right away, and follow all the steps we laid out above to protect your phone.

Once all of the emergency work has been done and the phone is safely nestled in silica packs, you need to wait patiently. The urge to act after such a devastating event is understandable—we’ve all screamed after dropping our phone in water—but when you do things like expose your phone to excessive heat from a hair dryer or shake it too violently, you risk damaging it. 

Water-Damaged Phone? Visit the Cell Mechanics

Many wet phones have been saved by using the silica pack drying process we described above—but your phone is a high-tech device, and even if you follow all the steps above, you might still find that your phone isn’t working properly.

When that happens, bring it to an experienced tech specialist here at Cell Mechanics. We’ll be able to open your phone, take a look at what damage has been done, and make any repairs where possible. 

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