When your Android phone falls in the water, it is something that most of us dread. It can be panic-inducing and make you want to pull the roots of your hair out because that’s hundreds of dollars’ worth of tech down the drain (or dropped in the toilet or pool).
Most people think that that’s the end of it for their Android phone. And it’s true that there’s a high possibility of it being damaged beyond repair if the phone has been in the water for quite some time, even waterproof smartphones are designed to remain underwater for a maximum of just 30 minutes. But hold your horses, because dropping your Android phone in water doesn’t necessarily mean it’s dead. There are several ways to salvage your phone depending on how long it has been in the water. However, there is no guarantee that your device can be rescued because saving a water-damaged phone also requires a certain amount of luck. And if your phone has indeed been damaged, there is a high chance that the problem is permanent.
Quick Response: What You Should Do Immediately After Dropping Your Phone in Water
The first thing you have to do is pick it up immediately and turn it off. You’re probably shocked by what happened, but keep in mind that time is of the essence when it comes to water damage. The longer the time your phone is in the water, the lower its chance of survival. So, pull yourself together and fish your phone out of the water –yes, even if it means dipping your hand into the toilet. Then, switch the phone off immediately.
Don’t turn the power on or try to check the extent of damage while your phone is turned on. Even though it has only been in the water for a second and you think there’s nothing wrong with it, keep it turned off and take the battery out if you can. Next, dry the phone by wiping it with a cloth or tissue, and then keep it in a safe place.
Fortunately, most non-waterproof smartphones these days have a high resistance to water compared to phones from years before. Therefore, you can expect a better result if you happen to drop your phone in water.
What Not to Do if You Drop Your Phone in Water
So, your phone took a little swim in the pool, in the toilet bowl, or the sink full of water. Get over your shock and take your phone out of the water. There a few things you should not do if you want your Android phone to make it through without too much damage. Below is a list of things you should not do to avoid damaging your phone more.
- Do not turn on your phone, no matter how much you want to check the extent of water damage. Switching on your wet phone might short-circuit your device, causing more electrical damage.
- Do not plug it in either. The reason is the same as turning on your phone.
- Do not press any keys or buttons. It might push the water deeper into your phone and reach the critical parts inside. Just let your phone be.
- Do not shake or blow air into your phone, because these actions could also push the water into the more comfortable areas of the device.
- Do not use blow dryers or apply heat to the device because that’s proper high temperature can also damage your phone.
- Do not move your device around too much, or else the water damage will spread.
What to Do if You Drop Your Phone in Water
Now that you’ve learned what you should not do if you drop your Android phone in water, here are some of the tips to avoid or minimize water damage:
- Disassemble your device. Take note that disassembling your phone doesn’t mean taking the whole thing apart. Dismantling means removing all the removable parts as carefully as possible. If the back cover is removable, take it off. If the battery can be removed, then take it off as well. It’s the same thing with your phone casing, memory card, and SIM card. Lay them all out on a paper towel to dry. If you are a tech person and you know how to assemble and disassemble a smartphone, you can go ahead and try taking apart your phone piece by piece. It will make sure that every single bit dries faster and no moisture is left inside. Just make sure that you know what you are doing. Otherwise, you might cause more harm than good.
- Dry all the parts using a paper towel. Once you’ve taken apart all the removable parts of your device, pat them gently with a paper towel to get rid of excess water and moisture. Make sure that you dry out every component and that you don’t shake or move your phone too much.
- Use a vacuum cleaner to remove extra water. In the ‘Do not’ list, we mentioned that you should not blow air into the device because the water might be pushed deeper into areas of your phone. However, you can use a vacuum cleaner to try and suck the water out without putting your phone at risk. Just make sure that your phone is steady, and the suctioning doesn’t cause it move around too much. Use a small vacuum cleaner to make the suction work as gentle as possible.
- Let it dry. This step could be the most challenging part of the drying process because you need to leave your phone be for a more extended period. It means you can’t use your phone and do all the things you usually do with your phone for several days. If you have an extra phone or if you could borrow someone else’s, make sure that your SIM card is completely dry before inserting it into the SIM card slot. Just wipe off the water with a paper towel, and it will work just fine. If you have no extra phone to use, then you have to bear with the boredom and wait until your phone is completely dried out.
How Do You Dry Your Android Phone?
Most of the time, people leave their phone in the drawer (or any safe place where other people can’t mess with it) and wait for it to dry out. But some people like to give it a little help to make the process faster. The technique involves placing the device in an environment where the drying process will be more natural. The standard practice is putting the device in a bag full of rice and leaving it there for two to three days.
Why rice? It’s because rice is commonly available and is very useful in absorbing humidity in the air, helping the device dry out faster. If you’re not comfortable with using rice, you can use other alternatives such as silica gel packs. Silica gel packs are the grain-sized stuff wrapped in small paper packets found inside shoes, electronic boxes, and sometimes junk food! However, silica gel can’t be eaten and is instead used to absorb the moisture in the air. The problem with using silica gel is that sometimes you can’t find any lying around in the house or your old shoe boxes. Because who keeps silica gels around all the time, right?
The Moment of Truth
After you have done everything you could to dry your phone out after several days, it’s time for the moment of truth. It can be an exciting or scary moment – or both. To determine whether all your efforts have paid off:
- Take the phone out of where you let it dry and put all the parts back together. Make sure you put all the parts back correctly and not leave any of the small pieces behind.
- Plug the phone in and try turning it on. If it works, then that’s good news. That means you’ve successfully saved your phone.
However, you still need to check for other damage so you should keep a lookout for any odd behavior like flickering screen, buttons not working, or the battery draining fast. Observe your phone for a few days if ever something happens. Test all the components of your phone like microphone, speakers, earphones, etc. If your phone is working fine after it, clean out all your junk files and boost your phone’s performance with Android cleaning tool to make sure it is working efficiently.
If your phone doesn’t work after all your efforts, you can send it to a technician to see if there’s any way to save it, or at least retrieve your valuable data. There are times when there’s nothing you can do but accept the truth and let go. And if you have the money, try investing in a waterproof smartphone next time.