Just a few days back, I came across a colleague who was weeping because she had accidentally dropped her brand new smartphone into a bucket of water. Another friend, who was less emotional, told me how she had ruined her Nokia E6 by keeping it in her purse along with a leaking water bottle. Unfortunately, both of those ladies had disposed of their broken phones before I had learnt of their loss, so I could not get a chance to advise them.
Of course, when it comes to cell phones, it is always better to be cautious about protecting them from water. Don’t take them into the bathroom if you can help it. Wrap them up in a waterproof plastic if you are putting them in a bag with a water bottle. But sometimes, accidents can’t be avoided. Somebody might decide to play a prank on you, or you might get caught in heavy rain, or you might fall in to a puddle. In such cases, do not immediately jump to the conclusion that your phone is spoilt forever.
Though there is no method that guarantees 100% recovery for your phone, there are certain techniques that can help you get the water out of there. But remember, time is the essence. These will do any good only if you can implement them within a few minutes of your accident, i.e. before the water has had a chance to do much damage. Try these tips before you decide to throw away your phone, or start using it as a paperweight.
The first thing you should try is burying your phone in a container of dry, uncooked rice. Uncooked hard rice has the property of being able to absorb moisture from its surroundings. So it will be able to dry up the external portion of your phone, even if it cannot reach into the depths.
2. Silica Gel
The problem with rice is that even if it dries up your phone, it leaves a powdery dust inside, which could cause problems later. If you have a lot of silica gel sachets at home (from new clothes and purses) submerge your phone in a box full of them. They dry up the moisture without any messiness.
3. Vacuum Cleaner
Don’t make the mistake of using a hairdryer on your phone; you will melt the inner parts. Instead, ask a friend to hold up your phone and slowly turn it, while you point the nozzle of a running vacuum cleaner at it for half an hour. The vacuum cleaner will suck out the water from all the orifices, and your phone should be ready to be used soon enough.
4. Clean water
A friend of mine, while visiting a beach, once forgot that his phone was in the pocket of his trunks, and splashed about in the ocean. When he showed me the phone later, it turned out it was not harmed by water damage but rather corroded by salt in the sea water. If you have dropped your phone in salt water, the first thing you should do is rinse it out in a glass of water. I know it is scary to dip your phone in water deliberately when you have just fished it out, but trust us, it is essential.
You probably associate drying with heat, and maybe you even considered microwaving your phone (for your sake I sincerely hope you didn’t actually implement this)
But believe it or not, your fridge is an awesome dryer; in fact it keeps food fresh by keeping them dry. So try keeping your phone in the fridge overnight, after you have tried all the tips above.