So, your phone has gone for a swim. What now?
The first few moments after your phone ends up in the bowl are vital to saving your device, data and personal memories from dreaded water damage. The quicker you act now, the more money you can save on repairs and replacements.
Every moment you spend reading this article is time you could be spending saving your phone, so we’ll keep it brief. This is a step-by-step guide from IT Support in Yorkshire on what you should do if you’ve dropped your phone down the toilet.
1. Don’t Reach For the Flush
If your phone has some, ahem…friends in the toilet with it, it may be tempting to flush them away before you fish your phone out. But, flushing your toilet can cause a great deal more water damage than simply dropping it in the water, and could even lead to some pretty serious blockages in your pipes.
Instead, make sure your hands are protected with gloves and reach into the toilet for your phone. You can disinfect the device later.
2. Turn it Off
Once you’ve retrieved your phone, it’s tempting to check if it still works. Try and ignore this urge, and instead place the phone on a dry surface and turn it off as you normally would. This will prevent short-circuiting and any connected electrical circuits from taking on and spreading drops of water to important components in your phone’s internal electrics.
Some phones will automatically shut down upon detection of water in the system, but even if your phone seems to be ok, turn it off anyway just to be safe. Now you can dab off any excess water that is still on the screen.
3. Take it Apart
If your phone has a case on it, you can take it off now. Next, remove the SIM card, battery, memory card, and any screen protectors your phone has. Take your time here, as you’ll be accessing important parts of your phone, so be sure not to let the water run into the headphone or charging ports. Set these items out to dry separately, or if they’ve taken on a lot of water, wipe them off with a suitable cloth.
Don’t forget, most modern smartphones may protect the battery within the hardware, so if you can’t take it out without breaking your phone then don’t worry. Be assured that it is well protected within your phone, and following the rest of these steps will allow you to save it.
4. Dry Your Phone (and your eyes)
Next, this is your chance to dry your phone as best you can. Take a microfibre towel and slowly blot any water on the surface of your phone. Be careful with wiping, as it’s very easy to smear water into the microphone or camera lenses.
You can also gently shake your device to remove water from the smaller holes. Shake with a downward motion to expel water successfully. Make sure not to be too vigorous, as you can easily shake water deeper into your phone’s circuits.
5. Play the Waiting Game
Remember, you can stop before this step, take your phone to its manufacturer or a third-party repair shop, and see if they can save it from any damage. However, if you want to try drying your phone out at home, it is very possible.
One common trick is putting your phone in rice. Many people believe this is a modern myth, and results do indeed vary. But, the logic behind it is that since rice absorbs water, it can dry out water from your phone. By this logic then, you can use anything that absorbs water to dry out your device. One favourite of clumsy toilet-goers is a dry cupboard and a selection of silica gel packets.
Whichever option you choose, fill a bowl with your material and fully cover your phone. Now, you have to wait 48 hours while the device dries out. Be patient, or if you’re drying out a works phone, you might like to find a temporary replacement.
And now for the moment of truth, turn your phone back on and assess any long-term damage.