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What to do (and not to do) if you get your Android phone wet

What to do (and not to do) if you get your Android phone wet
© Milan Maksovic | Dreamstime.com

Ever have the misfortune of dropping your Android phone in a puddle, swimming pool or worse yet, the toilet? At one point or another, any number of smartphone users will find themselves in this predicament frantically scooping their mobile device out of water.

Beyond the initial gross-out and panic, most people are unsure of what measures to take in the hopes of saving their phone. The first step is not to assume all is lost.

Chances are, you can revive your phone and bring it back to a state of usefulness by implementing a few tips and exercising a bit of patience. However, there are certain actions considered to be a huge no-no and have the potential to damage your Android further. Here are the do’s and don’ts.

Note: The water resistance of mobile devices varies from manufacturer, model, and age.

Give your Android a washing

Yes, you heard me correctly. If your poor Android found its way into the toilet or salty water, such as the ocean, it is recommended you give it a quick wash down with clean running water.

This step will remove any salt, which is highly corrosive, from your mobile device. Although you need to rinse off your Android, this doesn’t imply you submerge the phone in water.

 

Related: Cold weather can ruin your phone

 

Open up your Android and air it out

After rescuing your Android from whatever water source it was in, immediate efforts must be made including powering the device down and removing the cover and battery (if removable). These steps will help drain any water and expose as much of your phone as possible to the air. If you are unable to remove the battery, it is recommended you lie your phone down flat.

Give up the rice

Although this tip has made the rounds over the years, using rice or instant potato flakes (don’t ask) as a drying agent is not the answer to fixing your wet Android. In addition to skipping the rice, avoid using the microwave, hair dryer, and oven (yes, people have attempted).

A better method to help dry out your smartphone is to set it on a layer of paper towels inside a container along with a drying agent such as silica gel packets, found in the packaging of new electronics or shoes, or calcium chloride, commonly know as Damp Rid.

If using Damp Rid, place the powder in a smaller open dish before setting inside the container with your phone. Once you have everything in the container holding your mobile device, seal with a lid to prevent the drying agent from pulling in extra moisture from the air outside the container.

 

Related: Does wireless charging damage your smartphone's battery?

 

Exercise patience

Once you have followed these steps, all you can do now is give your Android the suggested time of 48 hours to dry out. Avoid starting up your phone or shaking the device during this period. After the first 24 hours, if needed, set your phone upright to help any remaining water drain from the USB port.

Protect against future damage

If you have learned anything from your phone taking a dip it is that you don’t want to experience the same scenario again.

Outside of keeping your phone away from any water source, the best approach to protecting your mobile device from being damaged around water is to purchase a waterproof case. There are several styles, including those that can protect your phone to the depths of 100 feet of water for up to 30 minutes.

While there are no guarantees the above will save your phone, these steps will give your Android the best chance of surviving its plunge.

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