Ultimate Guide to recovering your phone or tablet from water damage.
So you dropped your phone or tablet in water or any other liquid? Don’t worry, there is still hope for the device to work. There are two different methods depending on whether you have submerged your device in water or if it was soda, beer, wine or anything other than water.
Follow the steps carefully and stay patient.
What you will need:
- A wet device
- Paper towels
- 99+% ISO rubbing alcohol (if dropped in sugary liquid)
- Silica Gel Packs (preferred) or rice
- Ziploc bag or any other airtight container
Step 1 – Turn off your device immediately!
The first thing you need to do it to turn off your phone or tablet as soon as possible! It doesn’t matter how you do it. If your device has a removable battery, go on and remove it.
If you have an iPhone or any other device with a non-removable battery, hold the power button for 5 around seconds and turn your device off. Do not attempt to “force shut off” your device by holding the power button for 10+ seconds, because your device will restart immediately after shutting down.
Step 2 – Disassemble your device
Once your device is completely off (not just in sleep mode), disassemble everything that you can without applying brute force.
- SIM card trey (the only thing iPhone users can really remove)
- SD card
- Back cover
- Any accessories such as battery packs and other covers
Step 3 – Keep your device with your screen pointing up
One of the most important things you want to avoid from happening is to get any liquids or moisture near your screen’s electronics. To decrease the risk of damaging your screen in the whole recovery process, keep your screen pointing upwards throughout all the next steps. Gravity will work for you and keep more liquid from getting near your screen.
Again, make sure that your device of completely turned off!
Step 3.1 – If you have dropped your phone in soda or anything other than water
If you have dropped your device in sugary liquid you need to make sure the internal electronics are completely free of sugar residue. To accomplish this you will need to submerge your phone in 99+% ISO rubbing alcohol. It is very important to use 99% and nothing lower than that. Keep it submerged for 5 to 10 seconds.
Scared? Well, there is really no way around it. Your device is full of sugar, which means that it won’t work properly after recovery or may even break completely.
Keep in mind that rubbing alcohol might cause some internal adhesives to dissolve.
If you don’t have 99% rubbing alcohol at home, run to the next electronics store or pharmacy and buy some ASAP.
Step 4 – Dry with paper towels
Before you move on to the next step you will need to remove all liquids on the surface of your phone with a couple of paper towels. Doing so will make the next steps more effective.
One thing you could also do is wrapping your device in paper towels, apply a firm grip and shake it up and down to get more liquid out of the device’s core.
Step 5 – Get your drying agent
To make sure your device dries completely as fast as possible, you will need to put it into something that will absorb all humidity from its core.
There are two drying agents which you can use to dry your device:
- Silica Gel Packs – preferred, much more effective
- Rice – still works, just not as effective as Silica
You need to get enough Silica or rice to cover your device completely, from all sides and in a thick layer. The more the merrier.
Step 6 – Put the device and drying agent in an airtight container
So now you got enough Silica Packs and/or rice. What you need to do now is taking a Ziploc bag or any other airtight container and place everything (including your damaged device) in it. Make sure to fill it completely and seal it.
Step 7 – Wait for 48 hours
Yes, 48 hours. I know it’s a long time, but if you want to recover your device from water damage you will need to be patient. Don’t even attempt to turn on your phone earlier than that to avoid short circuits.
Remember: your screen must point upward at all times!
Once sealed, put the whole thing somewhere dark and dry and keep it at room temperature and hope for your device to work after 48 hours.
Dropping your device in water or any other liquid is not the end of the world. There is still a way to recover it from water damage.
It is key to keep it turned off, with the screen pointing upwards and completely covered in Silica packs or rice for 48 hours in an airtight container.
If you are reading this just as a preventive measure, make sure to be prepared for such an incident. You can get enough Silica packs on Amazon for as low as $10. It’s definitely worth the investment.
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