Uh-oh. It happened. Whether you dropped your phone into a puddle, sink, your glass OR you just spilled something on it, your phone is now wet and you’re worried about what to do.
We see liquid damaged phones all the time, so here’s a list of what you should do to AVOID needing to see us for liquid damage.
Turn it off immediately!
This might seem like a no-brainer, but you need to turn off your phone immediately if it’s still on.
THAT’S VERY IMPORTANT – even if your phone is still functional, but common-sense tells you that there’s water in your phone, you need to turn it off and take the battery out to get the water out. The water may not be eating away at the metals in your phone yet, but if you don’t do anything to stop it, your phone can have real, irreversible damage soon.
Real damage = real money, as legitimate liquid damage repairs are expensive, and sometimes it’s actually not possible to save the phone and you’ll need to get a new one. Your phone WAS working after taking a dip, but if there’s water trapped in there it’ll die a slow death over the next few days.
I know iPhones don’t make it very easy to take the battery out, but if you have legitimate cause for concern, you should probably look up a guide on how to open it or take it to a repair shop – they should be able to open it up for you with very little trouble.
If you have a Galaxy or another type of smartphone, it’s probably pretty easy for you to pop the back cover off of your phone.
This is a very important step because it’s much easier for water to get INTO a phone, than for it to get back out. It’ll fill up all sorts of nooks and crannies and will just never evaporate properly, and that’s how you get corrosion inside your device.
Wipe it down
Once you’ve taken the battery out, take out any other types of cards or chips that you can (SIM card for example) and do what you can to dry them. That includes using paper towels or tissues for those nooks and crannies and shaking all that water off and out of your phone pieces as best you can.
You may want to consider using a blow dryer – you can, but be careful! That heat can damage exposed components, so use it with caution.
Leave it out to dry for a little while
Depending on how wet it got/how good you feel about the job you did drying out your phone, this can range from a few hours to a few days.
If you dropped your phone in a lake and it took you ten minutes to find it – you’ll probably need to leave it out for several days, and even then, there’s no guarantee that your phone will work. Sometimes the damage is irreparable.
If you dropped it in a puddle and pulled it out within a few seconds, there’s a solid chance you only need to leave it out for a few hours. You actually might not need to leave it out at all if you did a really good job cleaning it out, but you should probably set your phone down for a few hours to be safe.
Turn it back on – maybe charge it back up!
Leaving it out to dry for a few days is the last “fixing” step – and then you’ll just have to hold your breath and hope for the best. Put your battery and SIM card back in etc. and try to turn it back on.
If it doesn’t turn on immediately, plug it into a charger and see if your phone needs a charge. Give it a little time on the charger. Even if your phone was fully charged beforehand, this could be the “spark” you need.
We hope these techniques get your phone back up to speed, but there are no guarantees!
If you act fast and follow these instructions though, you’ve got a good chance to avoid liquid damage for your phone. There’s a chance that even if your phone doesn’t work, it could just need a new battery!
Sometimes liquid can get into the battery be impossible get out, but a battery replacement is a much, much cheaper option than getting a new phone, or an extensive liquid damage cleaning!
Important: DO NOT put it in rice!
This is a very common misconception, and we understand – it definitely passes the logic test. You also probably got the advice from someone you trust!
Your friend or cousin or sister dropped their phone in water, then gave it the rice treatment for two days and “Viola!” the phone worked again. That’s anecdotal advice, and if they had left it out drying on the shelf it also would have worked.
The idea of using uncooked rice to suck out the moisture makes sense, but in practice it just doesn’t work as well as open air. Gazelle even did a thorough investigation testing the effectiveness of different household material that are drying agents, and open air was the best.