Cell phones can’t swim. It’s a fact. But that doesn’t stop them from trying. Back in the day, cell phone were so big and bulky, no one could forget it in their pocket (let alone fit in their pocket) and the only time it had a chance of getting water damage was in a freak torrential downpour on your way home to update your MySpace account. Those days are over and cell phones are continually getting smaller with more capabilities, running you upwards of $700. There are items such as the popular OtterBox for the iPhone, which can protect your precious phone from most disasters, but many of these do little to nothing in defense against water damage.
If your phone decided to do its Greg Louganis impression at a drunken pool party, there are some simple steps to follow, which will better your chances of saving it.
1. Don’t freak out – Obviously removing the phone from the water and drying it off as quickly as possible is a good idea, but try not to get flustered and drop the sucker back in the liquid death.
2. DON’T TURN IT ON! – Your first natural reaction will be to see if it still works. Resist temptation as turning it on when the internal parts are still wet can shock your system and kill it completely.
2. DON’T USE HAIR DRYER OR MICROWAVE! – Some people have tried these hair-brained ideas and they never work, most often worsening the phone’s water damage. Using a dryer or microwave to get rid of the moisture in a wet cell phone only heats up the phone and causes more damage to the internal components.
3. Dry it out – After padding the exterior down completely, you need to dry the inside. If possible, remove the battery and backing of the phone and dry them too. Next, you want to place all electronic parts of the cell phone in something which absorbs water.
The Silica Gel Packets Method
Silica gel packets are those things marked DO NOT EAT in many packaging items. They are designed to absorb moister and work great for getting water out of your phone. Place the wet cell phone in a sealed plastic sandwich baggy filled with a bunch of silica gel packets for 24-48 hours.
They even sell iRecovery Drying Kits for cell phones using silica gel packets. Check them out: http://www.silicagelpackets.com/irecovery-iphone-ipad-electronics-drying-kit
The Rice Method
Rice is the convenient alternative to silica gel packets since odds are most people probably don’t have a mess of them on the ready, unless your wife is racking up the bills on the Home Shopping Network. Do the same thing with the rice; fully submerging the wet phone in the rice and sealing the baggy for 24-48 hours. The only downside to the rice method is that it may add some dust to the inner workings of your cell phone.
Although these methods work pretty well, they are not a guaranteed fix for a wet cell phone. Water and electronics are not friends and most cell phones come with an indicator letting phone providers know if it has water damage. Bear that in mind if you decide to try to get a replacement cell phone. Your best bet is to just be honest and let them know about your phone’s new hobby of synchronized swimming.