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What To Do When your Smart Device Gets Wet

There is nothing quite like the feeling of realizing your $500 mobile device has just met it's arch-nemesis... water.


Protecting your smart device from water and other liquids is always one of the first things on an owner’s mind, until the moment that it slips your mind and the expensive smart device falls helplessly into a pool or puddle or drink or toilet.

No one expects to need to know the process that could possibly save the device, but having a little foreknowledge can mean the difference between saving the device and shelling out cash for a new one.

The First Thing To Do: Turn Off The Device

The unthinkable has happened. Your smart phone is soaked because it was still in your pocket when a friend pushed you into the pool. After the initial shock and recriminations, turn off the phone. A smart device is a piece of hardware that operates on electricity and water and electricity do not mix. If your device has a removable battery, take it out. Do everything in your power to reduce the opportunity that electricity will flow through your wet device until it is finally dry.

You Should Not Do: Do Not Shake the Device

The idea seems like a sound one. If there is water in the device, shaking it should help expedite the removal of the remaining water. This is not the case. If you shake the device, chances are that the movement will allow the liquid to reach further into dry areas and increase the opportunity that the liquid will damage the device. Do your best to not move the device at all or at least a little as possible.

Remove The Case

If you’re smart device has a case of some kind on it when the device is dunked, you must remove it. A case can hold in fluids that otherwise may have already drained out. Leaving the case on will increase the chance that your smart device will never turn on again.

Drying the Smart Device

There are several methods to expedite the drying process of your smart device. The least invasive and easiest to set up and operate is to use a fan. Set the fan up near the phone and allow the air to move over the phone surface to provide for evaporation. Some people think to use a hair dryer in this situation, but be careful of the heat and pressure of air. The hair dryer can cause liquids to dry too fast inside the smart device, leaving a possible buildup of residue.

Also, the force of a hair dryer on high can force liquids further into the smart device in the same way that shaking can. Another safe, but slow, way to dry out your smart device is to use dry, uncooked rice. Place the rice into a Ziploc bag along with your smart device and seal them in together. This process should take anywhere from 18 to 24 hours to fully dry out the device. Along these same lines, you can use desiccants. A desiccant is a small packet of material that removes moisture from the air around it. You find these same things in a box of new shoes or in containers of new clothing.

What Now?

All you can do at this point is wait and hope that your phone dries with no adverse effects. In most cases, wait as long as possible before reinstalling the battery and powering on the device. If you are lucky, your device should power up with no issues and very little damage except to your pride. If you are unlucky, the device may not ever function again, but before you throw it out be sure to take the device to a technician or repair professional and make sure that the damage is not something simple and replaceable.

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