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Dublin: 15°C Thursday 5 August 2021

Here's how you should rescue a soaking wet smartphone*

*For those of us not lucky enough to own a waterproof or water-resistant device.

Some manufacturers like Sony have developed waterproof or water-resistant devices, but don't take it for granted.
Some manufacturers like Sony have developed waterproof or water-resistant devices, but don't take it for granted.
Image: AP Photo/Manu Fernandez

IT HAPPENS TO the best of us. A careless spill, accidentally dropping it in the sink or some other incident that leaves it soaked.

It’s a problem that’s been around since the days of the Nokia 3310, but on the off-chance that’s something similar happens to you, there are ways to salvage it though, provided you take action quickly.

The caveat is that some devices are now waterproof (or water-resistant) but for those that aren’t, here’s what you should do (This advice also applies to other similar devices).

The first thing to do is if it’s submerged is to remove it as quickly as possible as the longer it is in the liquid, the greater the damage.

Once that’s done, it’s best to turn off the device entirely before removing any components you can, things like the SIM card, and if possible, the battery and the SD card.

The next thing to do is to dry each one with a towel as the longer they stay wet, the greater the chances of it being damaged further.

Whatever you do, don’t dry the device using a hairdryer or heater as that will only damage some of the more sensitive electronics included in the device.

From there, you have a few choices. Probably the most popular option is to put the phone into a bag of rice, as it’s cheap and easily accessible and leaving it there for the space of a day.

The best option is, if you have some handy, to keep some synthetic desiccants or silica-gel handy. You’re most likely to encounter it in small packets in certain goods like electronics, shoes to help control humidity, but they are great at absorbing moisture and are less messy and more efficient than rice.

20100827_infraredTesting001 Silica-gel can be found in boxes containing electronics, shoes or any good that would be negatively affected by moisture. Source: Scott Brown

If you know you have some, keep them together in a plastic or glass container and make sure the seal is air-tight. Once you’ve gathered a significant amount, you can just put your phone into it the next time it gets wet and leave it in there.

As long as the container is sealed, the silica-gel will do its work.

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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