Dropping your mobile phone into a bath, lake, or toilet is one of the worst things that can happen to the delicate gadget, but it’s not always the end of the world. The few minutes that pass since the accident will determine whether you will be able to use your phone in the future, and here are the things to do in case you accidentally drown your smartphone.
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Please note that these steps are for non-water-resistant mobile phones. If you have a newer smartphone, chances are that it’s water-resistant, and then the water damage to the device will be minimal. Refer to your phone’s manual to find out what to do if your water-resistant smartphone was submerged into water.
1. Turn the phone off
The first thing to do after you’ve taken your phone out of the liquid is to turn it off. When the phone is turned on, the electrical charge running through its wet parts can cause irreparable damage. Turning your devices off will prevent further damage to the parts and will increase the possibility that your phone will be able to come out of the incident with minimum negative effects.
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2. Don’t use a hairdryer
Your next instinct may be to apply a hairdryer to the smartphone to get it to dry faster, but the heat from the hairdryer can actually cause more harm than good. It can damage the sensitive parts of the smartphone. Placing the device near any other heating device or by a working oven will cause equal amounts of damage instead of helping the cause.
3. Remove the parts
Modern mobile phones rarely have the option to remove the battery, but if your smartphone comes with this functionality, this should be the next thing you do. Whether you can or cannot remove the battery, what you definitely can do is remove the SIM card and the memory card if you have one. Make sure not to shake or tap your phone too vigorously because the water will spread faster that way.
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4. Wipe the phone
If your phone fell into fresh water, you need to wipe it with a paper or cloth towel that doesn’t produce any lint. Be extra careful around the cracks and ports, so that you don’t push the water further. In case your phone fell into salt water or another liquid such as beer or sweet drink, you will need to gently wipe it with a wet cloth first to remove the liquid wherever possible, and then give it a dry wipe with a towel.
5. Try rice
One of the most popular solutions for salvaging a smarpthone that has been submerged into water is to put it into a bag of rice. This method certainly worked for the previous generations of mobile phones, but it may not be as effective for modern smartphones for one reason: there are simply not enough cracks and open areas for the rice to get inside your phone and absorb the moisture.
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Still, putting your phone in rice can work in some cases, so you can definitely try it. The minimum amount of time your smartphone needs to spend inside a rice bag is 24 hours, but 48 hours increase the chances of success. However, you can achieve the same results if you simply leave your phone on a dry towel to dry in the open-air naturally. Only after 24 to 48 hours pass, you can try gently turning on your device. If your efforts were successful and the phone turned on, back up the data from it as soon as possible since it can sometimes switch back off after a while.
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