Phone Water Damage Rice Trick!

Even the most un-tech savy person usually understands that you shouldn’t mix your electronics with good ‘ol H20. Water damage will usually end up killing your phone (or other hand held devices) for good. cracks can be fixed or even ignored, cases can be replaced, but submerged electronics will usually end up frying all the important bits inside the phone. You can’t fool the retailers either, there are indicators placed inside many electronics that will verify your phone was submerged in water, and you will likely end up paying for the damage.

Luckily there is couple of awesome tricks that, if acted upon fast enough, can completely mitigate the damage, or at the very least leave it in a operable state. Most have heard of the rice trick. Leaving your phone in a bag or container of rice will absorb leftover moisture from inside the phone, but you also want to make sure you do a few other steps first.

1. Dry of the outside first and turn off the phone.

Turn off the phone then, shake out excess water and completely wipe down the device with a towel or similar cloth to remove as much moisture as you can from the outside. Also if it is hooked up to a charger somehow remove that IMMEDIATELY.

2. Remove the battery, case, and SIM card

Most older phones can simply have the back removed by hand and then simply pluck out both the battery and sim card, but for newer models you may require some tools. My iphone 5 for example, has to have two very tiny screws removed, then pry the screen off. If you are unable to get to your phones battery via lack of tools or the fear of destroying your phone, just get the sim card out then go to the next step. Most modern phone have the SIM card locked into a slot on the side and can only be unlocked by pushing a tiny button, in a tiny hole, with a tiny (and easily lost) tool. If you don’t have the small tool to remove the sim card from its slot, a small tack or pin will work. simply push into the small hole with a bit of force and you should be able to remove it.

3. Vacuum the phone (do NOT blow dry!)

The second most popular step before dunking your phone in rice or silica packets is a vacuum cleaner. People have found success in sucking out the moisture using a household vacuum cleaner. This is definitely not recommended on computer devices like a desktop, printer, or laptop, as this can result in static electricity buildup/damage (unless you own the type specifically made for use on computers). On a small form factor like a cell phone though the risk seems to negligible, especially with the potential harm water can bring. What CAN cause static electricity buildup in a phone though is a blow dryer. Using a blow dryer can only help fry your phone. Even with out the heating element, you can end up forcing moisture INSIDE the circuitry. So vacuum good, blow dryer bad, then next…

4. Place you phone inside a container of rice/silica packets.

There is a growing amount of materials people have found that work better then the classic go to rice, but rice remains popular cause its the most common thing that’s likely within arms reach. If you have any silica packets from dried food storage or a medicine cabinet, throw those in as well. They’re a bit better at keeping things dry. After that all you can do is pray. You’l want to leave the phone alone for at least a day or two for maximum effect.

One scenarios we’ve personally experienced with water damage 

My dad owns an iphone 5s, and twice it has been knocked into our dogs water bowl by this little fuzzball, we call Smiley Kitty.

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I am Cat, Bane of small, paw-able items

Each time though it has come out unscathed. We did the basic steps and dunked in it rice, but we didn’t remove the battery simply cause we didn’t have a tiny screw driver laying around and wanted to get it in rice ASAP. From our experience we would recommend the iPhone 5s to anybody who was concerned with water damage being an issue in their daily lives. Also don’t leave your phone precariously next to the edge. For it is but a hockey puck, and the dog’s water bowl a goal net, in the eyes of furry house dwellers.

David Christie

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One Response to “Phone Water Damage Rice Trick!”

  1. James says:

    What a CATastrophe!

    Your cat dropped your dad’s iPhone in your dog’s water not once but twice!? Cats hate water. Why can’t they understand that cell phones hate water too!

    I totally agree with your list by the way, especially the tip about not blowing moisture further into the device which can cause damage as opposed to preventing it.

    If your cat decides to give your phone another bath and you or your dad’s phone runs out of luck (cats might have nine lives but phones usually don’t get more than one for some reason) then you might be able to use 99% isopropyl alcohol to help fix it.

    Check out http://www.smartmobilephonesolutions.com/content/using-alcohol-phone-dropped-in-water it’s another cool little trick that you might find helpful if your phone seems to have any problems after it has had time to dry out completely.

    I liked your post David and I liked your cowboy kitty picture as well. Keep those phones dry my friend.

    ~James~

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