Wet Smartphone? Here’s The Secret Remedy You Need To Know

phone2It’s rice, rice baby. This jewel of wisdom made us scratch our heads too when we first heard it, but trust us—should the gravity gods frown upon you just long enough for you to drop your Galaxy S4 in the drink and get it sopping wet, plain old minute rice is going to save your butt and contacts list.

However, there’s important stuff to do before you get to the rice. Here’s our 4XEM recommended action list to get your liquified burner back working so you’re not left high and… uh… not so dry.

1. Phone Off—Battery Out
Fight the urge to see if your soaking phone still works. Hold down the power button and get it switched off ASAP. If your phone model allows, yank out the battery. Checking to see if your phone is still functioning (and who doesn’t want to test how tough their phone really is?) is only going to force your phone to strut its stuff while its waterlogged. There’s an electrical charge in there and we all know water and electricity don’t mix. You run the risk of short-circuiting your phone and flatlining it for good.

2. Get Everything Off
If you fell in a lake, you’d strip off all your wet layers and get dry. Do the same for your phone. Pull the protective casing off, pull out SIM cards and SD cards. Get all ports open and exposed so the air can get in there and start to dry things out.

3. Go All Vampire & Start Sucking
Huff on all the portals of your phone that might hold water — headphone port, dock/charger connection, the speaker, microphone and any crack or opening that may have allowed water access. Suck out what you can and spit it out. You don’t want to ingest that digitally mechanical liquid that’s probably contaminated with chemicals. If you can get hold of a wet/dry vacuum for this process, even better. Save your lips and let that baby do the work.

4. Put It On Rice
phone3No need for hair dryers and heating pads. You’re just going to have a wet, hot phone. Submerge your phone in a bowl, jar or baggie of dry rice and leave it for 48 hours. Brown or white rice, it doesn’t matter. Heck, even Rice-a-Roni will do. Any good amount of dry ancient grain will do the work of absorbing all the moisture. Move your phone around every so often during the 48 hour period to help the rice do its work.

5. Then Cross Your Fingers — Fire It Up
After a full 48 hours making your digital rice casserole, pull out your phone and inspect. You want it to be TOTALLY dry. Tip it back and forth and examine for signs of moisture. This is a game of patience, so if the phone is even the slightest bit damp, wipe it with a towel and then put it back on rice.

When you feel it’s as dry as it’s ever going to get, reassemble, say a prayer and fire it up. Hopefully, it’ll go right back to work as your trusty digital companion. It’s also possible that it will come on, but only some of the functions will work. Not ideal, but at least your efforts weren’t in total vain. Hopefully, it’s enough to keep you in the game until your next upgrade period.

Variations on the situations:

I dropped it in the ocean/sea/salt water pool
That salt will corrode your phone, so turn it off, pull everything out, immerse it all in fresh water and then start the process above.

Then I dropped it in beer/wine/soda
Wow, you really hate your phone, don’t you? Instead of salt to contend with, you’re going to be dealing with gritty sugar.

Did you plunk it right in a vat of beer/wine/soda (and if so, how did that happen, exactly?) or did you just spill some on it? If it’s just a spill, turn the phone off, wipe it with a towel, suck out any extra liquid and let it dry completely. The procedure laid out above is really a last resort after a FULL immersion in liquid. If your sugared-up phone doesn’t work at all after these first attempts, then try giving it the full fresh water rinse and rice dry routine. Good luck!

Have an idea, tip or trick that we missed? Comment and let us know.


About 4XEM

Product manager @4XEM

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