Given the hundreds of ways your phone can get wet, it’s good to know what to do to get water out of your phone safely and effectively. It was in your pocket when someone pushed you in the pool. Your phone fell in the toilet. You spilled coffee or beer on your phone. These are just some of the ways our customers tell us their phone has liquid damage.
Troubleshooting Steps – Get Water Out Of Your Phone
- Get your phone out of the water. Simple, right? Eww, but I dropped it in the toilet! I need to get some rubber gloves on… No. Tough it out. Every second of water exposure reduces the phone’s chances of making it. Wash your hands thoroughly later, but for now, the priority is to get your phone away from any more water. If it’s raining, wrap it in any material that won’t let in more liquid (a plastic bag works in a pinch). And, obviously, get out of the rain as soon as you can.
- Turn It off and Start Removing Things. The case, and any other accessories, need to get out of the way ASAP. Much like in the emergency room when your clothes get cut off instead of carefully removed, seconds matter. If it was plugged in when water was spilled on it, carefully turn it off at the wall and remove the plug from the socket. Water and electricity don’t mix. If the phone didn’t shut down automatically, power it off now. Take out the SIM card, microSD card, and if you can, the battery. These can all trap water inside, as well as get damaged themselves.
- Dry It With a Lint-Free Towel. It’s time to coddle this piece of tech you’ve just abused. If you wear glasses or own a DSLR, you probably have a lint-free towel laying around. If you don’t, a paper towel or washcloth will have to do. Get rid of as much water as you can. The front and back of the phone should be completely dry by the time you finish. Be sure to get the cloth into the charging port, headphone jack, SIM slot, and any other nooks and crannies you can find. The more water you can remove yourself, the better.
- Find Things to Help Dry Your Phone Out. Now you’ve got rid of the surface water, it’s time to do what you can to get water out of your phone on the inside. We’ve listed three options here, depending on how well you’ve planned and where you are when disaster strikes.
Option A: The “Emergency Kit” Method. There are a few premade kit options on Amazon, including this opens in a new windowNine Lives version. They all work in a similar way: you put your phone inside, seal the top, leave it for at least 24 hours, and fervently pray to any nearby gods. Don’t try to use high heat to speed up the process. You’ll damage your phone even more if you sit it on top of the radiator for hours, or try to blast hot air through it with a hairdryer or fan heater.
Option B: The Old “Smartphone in Rice” Method. Putting your phone into a bowl of uncooked rice is a well-known way of trying to dry it out. If you’re traveling or otherwise away from home and don’t have access to the emergency kit mentioned above, it’s certainly better than doing nothing. Just be aware ClickAway cell phone repair technicians have had to remove rice kernels from phone ports before.
Option C: The “Air it Out” Method. Look around the area for a place with air movement. Hopefully you’re indoors, or some other place where there’s little chance of the phone getting wetter. Your main goal at this point is evaporation of whatever liquid is still inside. A fan is ideal, but even a laptop, cable box, or TV has some exhaust vents. While you don’t really want dirty air blowing onto your phone, a quick wipe of the vents will help.
Be sure the phone rests at an angle: water should be flowing out of the device, not pooling inside of it. Put a paper towel or napkin underneath to absorb whatever water drains out.
If you still have a dead phone at this point after trying everything to get water out of your phone, it’s likely to be time for a trip to the nearest ClickAway repair shop. Depending on which components got damaged and what kind of phone you have, though, repairs aren’t always prohibitive.