What You Should Do If You Drop Your Smartphone in Water

Last Edited: January 14, 2017 | Published: January 14, 2017 by

What You Should Do If You Drop Your Smartphone in Water

Dropping your smartphone in water is one of the biggest fears of every smartphone owner. Today, smartphone manufacturers are finally starting to build phones that are water resistant. However, not every smartphone is water resistant, and even the phones that are can only handle so much water. If your phone gets dropped into water, what do you do?

Believe it or not, you can still save your smartphone if you drop it in water. But you need to know exactly what to do if it happens. Today, let’s explore what you need to do in order to save your phone from water and dry it out properly so you don’t have to buy a replacement.

Is Water the Enemy?

Many people think that water and a smartphone are mortal enemies, and for good reason. But you see, water isn’t really an enemy of smartphones. Water mixed with the power in smartphones is what does the damage. Remember, you have a battery in your smartphone providing it with electricity. When water meets this electricity, it can short out one or more components on your smartphone.

Now I’m not encouraging you to give your smartphone that is powered off a bath, in fact don’t do that. But I just wanted you all to understand what actually causes the damage to your smartphone when it gets wet.

What Not To Do

Before we talk about what you need to do, let’s first take a look at what you don’t need to do if you drop it in water.

Don’t Use a Hairdryer

Many people seem to think that if they use a hair dryer on their smartphone, they can dry it out faster. While that is true, the warm air from the hair dryer can actually heat up the components of your smartphone and damage them. Remember, your smartphone only likes to get so hot, and if the sensitive electronics inside your smartphone get too hot, they can be damaged. You can even melt them. Sure, you may dry it out faster, but if the water didn’t damage your smartphone, that hot air probably will.

The Microwave

A fake video went around that showed someone microwaving a smartphone in order to dry it out very quickly. This video proved very popular and fooled many people. The results were people microwaving their smartphones to dry them out. The results weren’t good. In many cases, the phones melted or exploded and some even destroyed their microwaves and their phones in the process. I don’t care what the Internet says, DON’T DO IT! I promise that you will regret it and you could even set your house on fire in the process when your microwave and/or phone explodes.

Don’t Turn It On Too Quickly

One of the biggest mistakes people make is turning it on too quickly after it has gotten wet. They dry it off and for the most part it looks completely dry. However, that doesn’t mean that water hasn’t gotten trapped inside your smartphone where you can’t see it. It can take several days for your smartphone to dry completely, especially inside. I know you need your smartphone, but unless you want to replace it, you need to try and live without it for a few days or maybe even a week.

Steps You Should Take If You Drop Your Smartphone in Water

Now that we know what not to do if you drop your smartphone in water, let’s talk about what you should do if the unthinkable happens.

Don’t Panic, Act Fast

Our first reaction when we drop a smartphone in water is to panic and freeze. We just stand in there in disbelief as our smartphone takes a bath. This is one of the worst things you can do. It’s important if you drop it in water to not panic and act fast. Time is not on your side when you drop your smartphone in water, but if you move quickly you could save it. Pull it from the water as quickly as you can and get ready to follow the rest of the steps below. Whatever you do, don’t just sit there and stare at it.

Turn It Off

Remember how I mentioned that it is electricity mixed with water that does most of the damage to your smartphone? Once you pull it out of the water, you want to remove the power as fast as possible. Quickly power off your smartphone before you do anything else. If you kill the power to your smartphone, you could prevent the water and electricity from doing damage to the components inside your smartphone. Don’t just leave it on and don’t delay in this step. How fast you do this is the key to whether or not your smartphone will survive it’s unexpected swim.

Dry the Outside

Once you get it out of the water and powered off, you need to start the drying process. While you can’t get to the inside of your smartphone, you can remove all the water from outside the device. This is the first step of the process and will prevent any more water from making its way inside your device. I recommend grabbing a very soft towel so you don’t damage the surfaces of your smartphone, but make sure it will soak up the water quite well.

Grab Some Rice

Rice is great at absorbing water, and it can even pull the water out of your smartphone so it dries much more quickly. Grab a large bowl and fill it with rice, then place your smartphone inside the bowl and make sure it is completely covered and surrounded by the rice. Once it is inside the rice, give it at least one full day and maybe even two days before you pull it from the rice. When you pull it out, go ahead and wipe away any leftover water and dust from the rice.

Give It Time

Even after you pull it from the rice, I would still give it a little bit of time before you try it. Personally, I recommend leaving it off for at least a week before you give it a try. This will give any water that could have been trapped inside and not absorbed by the rice a chance to dry. Keep it in a room temperature and dry environment during this time to give the water plenty of time to evaporate. Avoid humidity at all costs, as it can prevent the water from evaporating.

Turn It On and Test

And now, the moment of truth. Turn it on and give it a try. If it won’t turn on, then you know you have to proceed to the steps below. If it does turn on, make sure you test everything on your smartphone. That includes every button, the touchscreen, sound and anything else you can think of. If everything seems to be working, then give it a charge and see how well the battery holds up with use. Sometimes, the battery could have been damaged. While it may still work, it may not hold a charge as well. In this case, a replacement battery is all you will need to get it back into shape. If you notice anything not working as it should, you could have to have a few components replaced.

Take It for Repair

In many cases, only part of your phone is damaged by the water. This could even prevent it from turning on. If this is the case, I recommend taking it in for service before you go out and buy a new one. Check with your carrier or see if you can send it back to the smartphone maker to have it repaired. This means you will have to live without your smartphone for a couple of weeks, but it could save you a lot of money in the long run. While it won’t be covered under warranty, you may only have to pay for the parts that need to be replaced. In the end, you will get your original smartphone back with replaced parts and it will cost you much less in the long run.

Replace Your Smartphone

Sometimes, no matter how well you follow the steps above, you could still end up with a smartphone that has become a glorified paperweight. First, I’m sorry that has happened, but trust me you are not alone. It has happened to almost everyone. Heck, it’s happened to my wife twice.

If your phone won’t turn on and repair isn’t an option, you may just have to have it replaced. Check with your manufacturer’s website or give them to call to see if you can get a used replacement or remanufactured smartphone at a cheaper price. If not, check with your carrier to see if you can get a new one with a new contract to save some money. If you can’t, you could end up paying full price for a smartphone.

Final Thoughts

Getting your smartphone wet is one of the biggest fears of all smartphone owners. However, if you take the right steps and act fast, you could save it from damage. I must stress that this won’t work every time, and even if you do everything right, you could still end up with a smartphone that needs repair or replacement. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. After all, smartphones are expensive. So if you can save your smartphone from water damage, don’t you think it is worth trying?

Have you ever dropped your smartphone in water? If so, were you able to save it or did you have to replace it? Let me know your experiences in the comments below. I would love to hear both your successes and failures with water and your smartphone.

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