Dropping cell phones into the toilet, into a pool, into mud puddles, into washing machines and even into a glass of fruit juice is not very uncommon. In case you have just got your expensive mobile phone or iPod wet, you have every reason to be worried. Electronic items and water are known to be bitter foes, especially the smart-phones and the PDA’s. So what to do next?


Cell Phone Water Damage Repair Tips

Cell phone water damage requires fast attention. If you wait too long, the damage may be just too much to be repaired.

1. Get it out of the water as soon as possible. Most of the phones have the plastic cover lids pretty tight. It would take around 20 seconds for water to get through the covers and go inside. So, immediately remove the gadget from water. Worst case, if the phone is stuck or something, see if you can remove the battery at-least, that should prevent the short-circuit.

2. Switch the phone off. Once you take out the phone, switch it off. This is very important to prevent short circuits within the phone body. Remove the batteries carefully and let it dry.

3. Remove the SIM card. Your SIM might contain many of the important data like contact information and other stuff. It is very important to prevent damage to it. Remove it as soon as you can and let it dry. I have seen many people valuing their SIM more than the phone itself. In theory, SIM cards have better chances of surviving water damage, but that is only when you don’t let it heat but get it dry. All these are valid only if you are using GSM phones. CDMA phones do not contain SIM cards.

4. Dry your phone. Obviously, this is the most important step in the water damage control process. You need to remove as much water as possible from the cell phone. Shake it out (carefully) and use a cotton cloth or paper towel to gently remove the wetness.

There are few more ways to dry your cell phone.

Wet Mobile Phone Drying Tips

  • Hair Dryer: You think hairdryer can only help soaking your hairs? Well, not really, they can helpful drying your phone too. Switch on the hairdryer towards your phone with utmost attention to the battery. If you have speed control feature, make sure you keep it to low. if not, keep the hair dryer away from the cell phone. This is useful only to dry the outer parts. This is definitely not my preferred way to dry the wet phone, since the key is to make sure the phone doesn’t get heated up. so you would have to be very careful when using a hair dryer or a blower.
  • Alcohol: Place the device in the container and fill with denatured alcohol, or a 95% alcohol solution (regular rubbing alcohol is about 75%) completely submerging the device. The alcohol will displace any water left in your device. Jiggle the container around a bit to make sure the alcohol is able to drive out the water droplets in your device. You may need to weight your device to keep it under the water. Remove the device and put it somewhere to dry for an hour or two. The alcohol will evaporate very quickly but be sure it’s really dry. Make sure that the alcohol you use is denatured with only methanol as the chemicals found in other types can be damaging. This kind of alcohol can be purchased at your local hardware store. The alcohol soak may work best for phones that have been damaged by salt water or other liquids such as coffee.
  • Dry Rice: This is really interesting and proven method of drying your cell phone. Put the electronic device in a large Ziploc bag filled with dry rice. The rice acts as a desiccant to remove water from the air and aids in drying your device out quicker.

Photo Credit: PopularMechanics

What NOT to do with a WET mobile phone?

This section is equally important.

  • Do NOT Panic: I repeat, Do NOT panic under any circumstance. You will be able to juge the situation and act better only if you control your emotions and not panic.
  • Do NOT switch on the phone: I understand the urge to see if the phone is still functioning properly. But never ever try to switch it on when it is still wet.
  • Do NOT heat the phone: In order to quickly dry the phone, you might think of using a hair dryer at high speed or a vaccum cleaner or direct sunlight. This is a strict No-No. Avoiding the phone getting heated up is the key to save your wet phone.
  • Do NOT take it apart: Unless you are skilled enough with mobile phone parts.
  • Do NOT break your cellphone: You might think of smash it with a hammer and buy a new device. Well, this one always works, but you can’t give it up so easily. I know this is not funny if you are here after wetting your cell phone.

After you have waited a day or so, make sure everything is clean and dry looking and re-attach the battery and reassemble your device to the phone and see if it works. If your phone does not work, try plugging it into its charger without the battery, if this works, you need a new battery. If not, try taking your cell phone to an authorized dealer. Sometimes they can fix it.

Save a Wet Cell phone – Video Tutorial

Here is a tutorial prepared by WikiHow on how to save a wet electronic gadget. This one covers much of what we discussed above.

Note that the above tips hold good for all mobile phones (iPhone, Blackberry etc), MP3 players (iPod, Zune etc), other similar electronic gadgets.

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