How to fix a water damaged phone in 10 easy steps

How to fix a water damaged phone in 10 easy steps

So you have dropped your smartphone into the toilet, sink or pool. Don’t panic! If you act fast you can prevent your smartphone from becoming water damaged without spending a penny. Here are 10 simple steps for how you can fix a phone dropped in water.

Remove the phone from the water as quickly as possible. The longer it stays there, the more water or liquid will seep through the cracks and openings of your phone. Once you’ve plucked it out, there are things that you should definitely do and things you should avoid doing to prevent water damage.

What not to do

  • Do not turn it on
  • Do not press any buttons or keys (unless this is to immediately switch off the phone. See point one below)
  • Do not shake, tap or bang the phone
  • Do not take the phone apart. Your device comes with a Liquid Damage Indicator (LDI) which, when activated, could void your warranty, and this could be triggered when you open your phone. If you absolutely need to take it apart, do this only if you have experience
  • Do not try to blow on it. This could send water into other internal parts of the phone that haven’t been reached yet, causing more damage in the process
  • Do not heat it up (that includes using a blow dryer or microwaving it)
  • Do not cool it down (that includes sticking it in the freezer)

10 steps to save your water damaged phone

1. Turn it off if, it isn’t already, and do so quickly.

2. Remove the protective casing if there is one and remove the microSD and SIM cards from their slots.

3. Open up the back and remove the battery, SIM card(s) and microSD card if you are able to (note that this won’t be possible with all phone models).

phone battery
Remove the microSD and SIM cards, as well as the battery. / © ANDROIDPIT

4. Use a cloth, sleeve or paper towel to dab it dry. Avoid spreading the liquid around, because that could push it into more of the phone’s openings.

5. If the water damage is more extensive, you can use a vacuum to carefully suck out water stuck from the cracks that are harder to get at. Make sure any removable parts, like the microSD card, SIM card, or battery, are out of the way before attempting this.

6. Bury the phone in a ziplock bag full of uncooked rice. This may seem odd, but rice is great for absorbing liquid and this is actually a common method for drying smartphones and tablets. If you have a phone drying pouch, use this instead of the rice bag. If you don’t already own one, and you’re rather clumsy, it might be worth picking one up.

androidpit save a phone
You can buy phone drying pouches anywhere. This one is from Amazon, from a company called Save A Phone. / © Save A Phone

7. Let your phone dry for a day or two. Do not be tempted to switch on your phone to see if it still works. Put your SIM card in an old phone, or ask a friend or family if they have a spare, if you wish.

8. After a couple of days, you can insert the battery into the phone and switch it on.

9. If your phone doesn’t turn on, try charging it. If it doesn’t charge, the battery may be damaged. You could try to buy a replacement battery, or if that’s not possible, consider taking your smartphone to a repair shop to be checked by a professional.

10. If your phone has turned on and it is running as it should, you should still keep a close eye on it for the next few days, to see if you notice anything out of the ordinary. Try playing some music to check the speakers and ensure the touch screen still responds like it should.

In the future, avoid taking the phone with you when you go to the pool, to the bathroom or to do the dishes.

Some phones, such as the Moto G (2014), Moto X (2014), Xperia Z3, Xperia Z3 Compact and Samsung Galaxy S5 Active, are water resistant. / © ANDROIDPIT

Water resistant cases

Hopefully these steps have helped your rescue your phone from an untimely death by drowning. If you want to protect your phone from water in future, you can also purchase a waterproof phone case. There are some good options available from brands such as Otterbox, Griffin Survivor and Catalyst.

Water resistant phones

A number of phones are advertised as “water-resistant” but just be aware that when phone manufacturers say this, it’s only true under a special set of circumstances. A phones resistance to water often depends on the clarity of the water, the depth of submersion, and the length of time for which it is submerged. We wouldn’t advise submerging any smartphone in water unless it is absolutely necessary.

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