Gadgets

How To Fix A Wet Phone

It happens to the best of us.

A wild Friday night, you return bleary-eyed, grab a large glass of water (smart cookie) and head to bed. At an indecent hour on the Saturday you awake to find your phone floating in the glass with all the skill of a set of false teeth.

This is what you should and shouldn't do in such a scenario.

Don't turn your phone on

"Oh shit! My phone is wet - better turn it on to see if it still works..."

If the damage hasn't already been done, this perfectly understandable course of action will almost certainly kill your smartphone. Any moisture in your circuits could well blow your battery, kill your screen or short-circuit some other piece of crucial innards. 

Remove your phone from its watery grave, don't press anything - even if it's already turned on - and start wiping it down with a towel or cloth.

Don't use heat

The next biggest mistake you can make is using heat to dry out your hardware.

To avoid frying the freshly soaked chips and circuits, don't reach for a hair dryer, hand dryer or anything that'll pump your phone full of hot air. It might seem like a sensible thing to do, but trust us - it isn't.

Grab some rice or silica gel

Infuriatingly, the best way of drying out your handset is slow. Really slow. Around 48 hours slow. 

There are two substances that are ideal for soaking out the moisture from your phone (or tablet, if you've been a proper idiot): uncooked rice and silica gel. There's a slight danger with the former, as grains of rice could get lodged into certain cracks and crevices - but you should be able to dig them out with tweezers afterwards.

Place your handset in a tub filled with either of them, and stick the whole lot in a warm (not hot) environment - like an airing cupboard. You're going to want to wait 48 hours before removing your phone and turning it back on. 

Try an EVAP pouch

If filling your phone with uncooked rice doesn't appeal, there are some products out there that will also do the job. 

One such is the EVAP pouch, which claims to be "more than 700 percent more effective than rice" - but we've got no idea how they measured that. Stick your soaked mobile in the pouch, wait for six-to-24 hours and keep your fingers crossed.

You could try unscrewing your phone to improve the drying rate, but be warned that this will almost certainly void your warranty.

Many handsets, including new iPhones, feature a small piece of plastic that will change colour if it's been submerged in water - so trying the old "It just stopped working" line isn't going to get you very far.

Each of these suggestions and tips will come in handy should you take your handset for a swim - but we can't promise miracles.