Take the phone out of the water as soon as possible. Ports for hands free kit, tiny hole for microphone, charging, usb cable connectivity and the plastic covers on cell phones even though tight can freely allow water to enter the phone in a just a few seconds of time. Grab your phone quickly, and turn it off immediately, as leaving it on can cause it to short circuit – if it has been in water, assume it is waterlogged whether it is still working or not.
Your phone may not be too damaged if you take it out of the water right away. A longer period of immersion, such as being in the washing machine cycle, is more cause for alarm. It is still worth trying the following steps to attempt saving the phone, before giving up.
- If the phone is connected to a wall charger and is also submerged in water, do not attempt to remove it from the water. Seek a professional immediately to ask the proper steps to do this safely (as in turning off a main power switch, or similar action). Electricity and water do not mix and can result in electrical shock. However, if your phone was NOT connected to a wall charger but fell into water, remove the phone from the water as quickly as possible, and proceed with the next few steps.
- Acting quickly can make all the difference in being able to save your phone from water damage, however don't panic. Maintaining a level head is key to working more efficiently under pressure.
After removing the phone from water, quickly gather some paper towels or soft cloths to lay the phone on while you remove the battery cover and battery. This is one of the most important steps to saving it. Many circuits inside the phone will survive immersion in water provided they are not attached to a power source (battery) when wet.
- To find out if the phone is truly water damaged, check the corner near where the battery is – there should be a white square or circle, with or without red lines. If this is pink or red, your phone has water damage.
- Quickly read the manual to your phone if you're not sure how to remove the battery.
Remove the SIM card if your phone has one. Some or all of your valuable contacts (along with other data) could be stored on your SIM. For many people, this could be more valuable and worthy of saving than the phone itself.
- SIM cards survive water damage well, but getting it out immediately makes good sense. Pat it dry and set it aside to dry out until you reconnect your phone to your cell network again. (If your phone does not have a SIM card, skip this step).
Remove all other peripherals such as ear buds, memory cards, as well as any phone cases or protective covers. Remove all plugs that cover the gaps, slots, and crevices in the phone to expose them to air drying.
Dry your phone with a soft rag or towel. If there is even one drop of water left inside, it can ruin your phone by corroding it and making the circuits corrode or short out. Obviously you need to remove as much of the water as quickly as possible, to prevent it from easing its way into the phone:
- Gently wipe off as much water as possible without dropping the phone. Avoid shaking or moving the phone excessively, so as to avoid moving water through it.
- Wipe down using a towel or paper towel, trying not to clog the paper in the gaps and grooves of the phone. Keep wiping gently to remove as much of the remaining water as possible.
- If you pulled the battery out in time, cleaning the inside of your phone with rubbing alcohol will displace the water which alone could remedy the problem.
Use a vacuum cleaner. If you want to try and suck the liquid out of the inner parts of the phone, try using a vacuum cleaner if there is one available. Remove all residual moisture by drawing it away with a vacuum cleaner held over the affected areas for up to 20 minutes, in each accessible area (take turns with a friend).
- This is the fastest method and can completely dry out your phone and get it working in thirty minutes. However, unless the exposure to water was extremelyshort, it's not recommended to attempt to turn your phone on this soon.
- Be careful not to hold the vacuum too close to the phone, as a vacuum can create static electricity, which is even worse for the phone than water.
Do not use a hair dryer to dry out a phone. Contrary to common advice, it is not recommended that you use a hair dryer (even on the "cold" mode). Using a hair dryer may force moisture further inward toward the crevices, reaching the electrical components deep inside the phone. And if the hair dryer air is too warm, it could .
- If moisture is driven deeper inside, corrosion and oxidation may result when minerals from liquids are deposited on the circuitry which could eventually cause component failure inside the phone.
- While avoiding blowing air into the phone, conversely, using a heater, fan or other air-flow device to blow air ACROSS the phone's openings will aid drying. The Bernoulli principle states that as the warm, dry air moves fast over the phone, the decreased air pressure will gently pull or suck moisture out of the phone. The best part of this option is that you can leave a phone in front of a warm, moving air for hours on end without effort.
Use a substance with a high affinity for drawing out moisture. An inexpensive option is to place the phone in a bowl or bag of uncooked rice overnight, Rice Krispie cereal, or just cover the phone in paper towels. The rice might absorb some remaining moisture.
- If available, it is preferable to use a desiccant instead. Desiccants may absorb moisture better than rice. You can also try slipping the cell phone inside a plastic bag that can be sealed or a plastic container (airtight). Add a desiccant packet, such as silica gel — often found with new shoes, purses, noodle packets, etc — in with the cell phone. The downside of this method is the packets packed with shoes has usually already reached its absorption capacity. Dessicant for flower drying can usually be purchased at most craft stores. Leave the phone with the dessicant or rice as long as possible (at least overnight) to absorb the moisture.
- Rotate the phone to a different position every hour until you go to sleep. This will allow any water left inside to run down and hopefully find an opening to escape.
Let the phone sit on absorbent towels, napkins or other paper. After removing the phone from the rice or desiccant (or if you were not able to use either method), place the phone flat on an absorbent material. Remember that the goal is to evacuate all of the moisture and humidity from the device.
- Check the absorbent material every hour for 4 to 6 hours. If moisture is evident, repeat the vacuuming step and desiccant steps.
- Test your phone. After you have waited at least 24 hours, or longer if needed, check to see that every area of your cell phone is clean and looks dry. Check all the ports, compartments and in between crevices for any moisture or dirt. Wipe away any dust and dirt from the device and covers and insert the battery into the phone. Attempt to power on the device, listening for odd noises and observing to see if the phone appears to function correctly
- Plug it into its charger without the battery if your phone is completely dried out, but still does not work. If this works, you will probably need a new battery.
- Take your cell phone to an authorized dealer. Sometimes they can fix it. Don't try to hide the fact that it has been wet - there are internal indicators that prove moisture - and the repair people are more likely to be able to help you if you explain exactly what has happened to the phone.
Unless you are trained and skilled to do so, never take a phone apart.Leave that to the professionals, since doing so could potentially cause shock or exposure to harmful chemicals or components.
- If your phone is powering up but doesn't operate correctly after you've dried it, then it's likely that you've missed some liquid, or that corrosion has already occurred. Remove all the covers, battery, cards and other extraneious attachments again, and rub it gently with a clean dry paintbrush or toothbrush. Look on YouTube for instructions on how to properly go about this process.