Maybe you dropping your mobile device into water has never happened to you – but I am betting you know someone who has! I can be certain because I know people on both coasts who have done it — whether trying to message someone while taking a bath or dropping a phone into a puddle while dodging raindrops. The situation is hard to deal with but I am featuring this great guest blog post from Amy Rice of Gazelle.com. There are ways around the issues of wet phones. Bookmark this post on your pinterest board or your favorites list to keep these tips easily on hand.
Save Your Smartphone from Water Damage with these Fresh New Tips!
Splash! Plop! Those are the dreaded sounds one hears after a smartphone hits the water. Maybe it’s your iPhone that fell in the toilet. It could be your Galaxy as it fell over the side of a boat. Before you pay hundreds of dollars to replace a smartphone, try these interesting new tips from Gazelle.com that could help you avoid water damage. You may be surprised to find out it’s not the old bag of rice trick that works the best.
The first step is to remove it from the water as fast as you can. The longer your phone stays underwater, the more likely you may have to replace it. If your phone is someplace dangerous (like a clogged toilet), then take your time and find a safe way to retrieve it. You may still have a shot at saving it.
Then immediately power down the phone. Shutting the phone off protects it from short circuiting. On an iPhone: Hold the Lock button and the Home button simultaneously for 5 seconds for a hard shutdown. For the Android: Remove the battery to shut down instantly.
Photo courtesy of the post on Gazelle.com
The next step is to take off the case, and remove the battery, SIM card, and memory card. You want to make it easy for water to leave the phone. Make a path for it to get out by opening or removing all obstructions. If the phone fell in dirty water or the ocean, you may try running it under clean water. Don’t worry, your phone was already full of water, so you’re not making it wetter – just cleaner.
Try forcing out as much water as possible. Tilt it, shake it, blow air through it, or use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to suck out the liquid. The best way to save your phone is to open the case so air can get in and water can get out. You can visit [iFixit.com] to find instructions for opening your specific phone.
If your phone is still wet inside, and you’ll want to speed up the drying process to help reduce the damage to your phone. Here are three options to try:
• Air it out: In dry climates, good air circulation may be all you need. In tests, open-air drying worked best. A fan may improve airflow through the phone’s ports.
• Warm it up: If you can reliably warm it to 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit (but no more!) you will dramatically speed evaporation. Apple lists the maximum tolerable temperature as 113 degrees Fahrenheit, so be careful!
• Absorb it: If you are someplace that’s too humid for open-air drying, you may want to use a drying agent to soak up the moisture. Don’t bother with the “rice trick.” Gazelle tested it, and uncooked white rice is the least effective method for absorbing liquids.
Or you can try these new options:
• Silica Gel. The best common drying agent is silica gel, which can be found in the pet aisle of your grocery store as “crystal” style cat litter. Or you can use the silica bags that come in shoe boxes and purses.
• Couscous. If cat litter isn’t your bag, then head to the pantry to see if you have any instant couscous or instant rice are acceptable substitutes for silica. In tests, these absorbed water much faster than conventional rice.
• Open Air. Gazelle compared the water absorption of eight different materials (including silica gel and rice.) None of these materials was as effective as leaving the device in an open space (such as a counter top) with good air circulation.
The last step is to do nothing.
Seriously, resist the urge to turn it on. Give your phone a few days to dry. Water may be trapped in tight spots or absorbed into your phone’s circuit boards. Once your phone is dry and reassembled, it may turn right on. If not, there are some final things to try:
• Charge it: A few hours of charging may get it going.
• Sync it: One test-iPhone appeared dead but could still sync, allowing us to recover data.
• Swap the battery: Two drowned iPhones came back to life with a battery swap.
• Keep your cards: Your SIM and SD cards contain your contact lists and some of your data.
If your phone truly takes the deep dive, check out the Gazelle Certified pre-owned store for a replacement, it’s a convenient low-cost solution for smartphones and tablets. Your drowned phone may also be worth extra cash through trade in. If your main concern is all the pictures and videos you’ve taken will be lost, then check your cloud storage, they could be there already. And always remember to make copies by backing up!
Amy Rice Bio:
As the Director of Marketing and Communications, Amy Rice promotes the e-waste efforts and technical expertise of Outerwall, Inc. brands Gazelle.com and ecoATM.
These are super useful tips to get you started on hopefully getting your phone back in working order. It’s often just following the steps that Amy Rice has provided to get it working again. The key tip is Do NOT turn on the phone prematurely. Give it time to dry out. If all else fails, check out Gazelle.com for replacement phones for less!
Thanks to Amy Rice for this great guest post!
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