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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to Fix a Water Damaged Phone: Top Tips

How to Fix a Water Damaged Phone: Top Tips

E Discarded smartphone on the beach 1

Credit: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

The world suddenly freezes when you see your phone dipping in water. Whether in a pool, the sea or a toilet, you know nothing good will come out for the next few seconds. After all, that’s a high-tech device that’s worth a significant amount of money, and chances are it will be considered unusable. Not to mention that all your important files may have disappeared! You may want to learn how to fix a water damaged phone.

Let’s start by saying that rescuing a water damaged phone is a bit of a coin. Nothing can guarantee a positive result, but it is always worth a try. Our upcoming tips can give you a greater chance of success.

Be proactive and protect your phone

CaliCase waterproof pouch

Credit: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

You may want to check out our list of the best waterproof phones if you want to make sure your next phone will survive a dip. However, not all of us will have the luxury of owning a water resistant handset. If your phone can’t handle liquids and you know you’re putting it at risk on your next beach retreat, then it might be worth buying something like a waterproof phone case.

More: Common Android Problems and How to Fix Them

Turn it off ASAP!

E Discarded smartphone on the beach 2

Credit: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

I know it’s hard to react quickly after such a devastating event, but you have to stand out! The longer your device stays underwater, the less likely it is to survive. You have to dig in and get that phone out of the water right away. Yes … even if it is in the toilet!

Once the phone is out of the water make sure it’s turned off and stays that way. Even if it looks okay … it’s important to turn it off just in case. If the phone is still on then just turn it off. Those who still have a removable battery should remove it. Turning off the device will prevent water from reaching and damaging important phone parts. This is more likely to cause permanent damage. Turn it off and keep it off!

What not to do after dropping a phone in water

Huawei mate 20 pro at dusk with water on the back

The following actions can mean the difference between a total phone or a survival story. You better be careful what you do. Before we look for a solution, let’s try to avoid any major glitches that could cause you.

  • Don’t turn on the phone like we said. Electrical components do not play well with water during use.
  • Don’t plug it in either! For the same reason.
  • Do not press any keys. This can push water further into the phone. It’s best to mess with the phone as little as possible.
  • Do not shake or blow into the device. This can also allow water to enter deeper parts of the phone. Above all, try to avoid blow dryers – not just because of the blower part, but also because of the next point.
  • Do not apply heat to the phone. Remember that excessive heat can also damage the phone.
  • Do not move the phone too much. The same deal; you don’t want the water moving in the phone.

Disassemble the water damaged phone

Do not confuse this step with “take the whole phone apart!”. What I mean is that you have to delete everything that can be deleted by the user. If your back cover is removable, remove it. In the same way, try to remove the battery (if possible), SIM card, and SD card. Put it all on a paper towel. Most phones these days don’t have a removable back, but do what you can.

If you are an experienced tech specialist, know the ins and outs of a phone and don’t mind voiding your warranty, you can go ahead and take the whole phone apart as well. It can help dry each piece faster. Be careful, if you don’t know what you are doing it could do more harm than good.

Related: To solve the problem of electronic waste on the smartphone, we first need less disposable devices

Try to dry the outside Microfiber phone 2 - Repair a water damaged phone

Credit: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

We must first try to get rid of all the excess water on the outside of your phone. Use a cloth or kitchen paper to dry everything out as best as possible. Make sure not to mess with the phone too much. Dry everything carefully without moving things too much. All this water can find its way into the phone, which wouldn’t be good news.

You could try a vacuum cleaner

Repair a water damaged phone

There are, of course, areas where the paper towel cannot reach. And while we told you not to blow anything into the phone, we didn’t tell you not to suck the water out. In fact, a vacuum cleaner can suck bits of water from the phone without too much risk. Just make sure that the suction does not cause the phone to move excessively. Oh, and don’t try to use one the size of the one in the picture!

Time to dry out the water damaged phone

Sony Xperia 1 II vs Apple iPhone 12 Max EOY 2020 - Repair a water damaged phone

Credit: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The hardest part is now because you have to leave the phone alone for a while. We know that just waiting isn’t easy, but it is necessary. If you have another phone or one you can borrow, make sure the SIM card is completely dried out and insert it into the working handset. Otherwise, you just resort to smoke signals, public telephones and all that archaic stuff.

So how do you dry out your phone? You can just leave the phone on the counter or in a drawer, but some people like to help out a bit. The idea is to place it in an environment that will facilitate the drying process. Next to a window works fine, because the moving air (when the window is open) and sunlight can help a bit. Placing them next to a fan or air conditioning vent can also help.

Also read: How to clean and disinfect your phone to help prevent the spread of germs

Another common practice is to put the phone in a Ziploc bag full of rice and let it rest for about two or three days. Why rice? Mainly because it is readily available at most homes. Rice is dry, and therefore very good at absorbing moisture in the air, making the phone’s environment drier and drying out the device.

That said, if you can go to a store there are better alternatives. One of the better options is silica gel packs, those little packages you often find in shoes or electronics boxes (and can’t eat). It’s not like we have all of these lying around, but if you think ahead of time, you can get good deals on Amazon.

And while we’re on the whole forward-thinking topic, you can also buy a water rescue package. I just happen to like Kensington’s EVAP bundle, which includes a dedicated bag and silica gel packs. Kensington states that this is 700% more effective at drying moisture than rice, although it’s hard to say how true their claim is. Still, it may be worth the investment.

The moment of truth

Google Pixel 5 standing on table 1

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

So you’ve done everything you can and a few days have passed. It’s time to see if all your efforts have paid off. Take out the phone where you left it and put it all together. Then plug in the phone and try turning it on. If it works, you passed! However, stay on the lookout for strange behavior, at least for a few days. Also test all components. Call to see if the microphone and earphone are working, test the speaker, etc.

Now if the phone isn’t working then it’s time to accept defeat and take it to a professional and see if it can be rescued. You can also claim insurance if you have one. Not to sound like a doctor, but after this point we really did everything we could. Sometimes you just have to let go of the phone. Go ahead and check out our list of favorite phones if you need something different.

The next: The best Android phones you can buy

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