How to rescue a wet phone

Dropped your phone in the toilet? Here’s how to rescue wet electronics

Electronics don’t like water. If yours went swimming, here’s how you can quickly resuscitate it.

How to rescue a wet phone

“Never put your phone in the back pocket of your jeans,” I told my daughter. (She had her phone in the back pocket of her jeans when I said this.) But she took my warning for what it was: Mourning.

She hugged me.

It was well known by now that I had recently drowned a brand-new phone, a device I loved a little too much, in exactly this way. Instead of arguing with me, she took her phone out of her pocket. “It’ll be okay,” she assured me. “You’ll get another phone. Look on the bright side,” she offered. “At least it was a ‘before’ toilet drowning.”

She was right, of course. And I did eventually move on. But I don’t put a phone in my back pocket anymore. It’s too dangerous. I have also, since, learned how to save a wet phone. And rice is not the answer.

 

Watch the above video to see how Chris Notap gets the water out of electronics so they have the best chance of surviving.

He tries five methods, including all the ones people will tell you when this happens to you. It turns out, though, that none of those work very well. Fortunately, he knows what does work. If you are desperate, fast forward to the clever hacked-vacuum-cleaner-taped-to-a-phone-in-a-sock method. It starts at 2:43 (or click below.)

 

 

The folks at TekDry offered me the following list of tips to save a wet phone:

1. DO NOT plug in your phone – Electricity and water just don’t mix.
2. DO power off the phone – This will help prevent a short circuit.
3. DO remove the battery if possible –Separating the battery from the phone helps to keep electricity away from the waterlogged components. This minimizes the chances of irreversible damage.
4. If it was dropped in salt water, DO rinse it in fresh water – Salt water will almost certainly corrode and short the phone and will do more damage than fresh water, so it is best to remove any traces of salt water quickly.
5. DO dry with a paper towel or washcloth – Removing any visible water from the phone will keep it from seeping into the phone and doing more damage.
6. DO NOT use rice – This method is ineffective.
7. DO NOT use a blow dryer or oven – The heat from these methods often warps and damages the sensitive equipment inside your phone.
8. DO NOT use a microwave! A major component of electronic devices is metal and metal in a microwave is a recipe for disaster.
9. TekDry has kiosks at some Staples stores that will dry phones fast.

 

Updated on 11/25/2022.

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