21 May 2012

How to dry out a soggy phone, and hopefully save it!

A few weeks ago my husband thought he’d be clever and switch his phone to vibrate so it wouldn’t disturb a group I was hosting in the adjacent room.  It wasn’t the phone that disturbed us five minutes later, but my husband screaming when the phone rang.  He had left the phone next to the kitchen sink, where it had vibrated itself so violently it moved across the bench and into the sink!  Unfortunately, the sink had a bowl of water in it, and of course, that is where the phone landed.  Luckily I knew what to do and the phone survived.

Then, this morning I got a call from a good friend who told me her son was playing a game on her phone yesterday and left it outside when he came in.  She didn’t realise until this morning when she couldn’t find her phone.  The problem was – it rained last night – she wanted to know if there was anything she could do to save the phone? There sure is…..

If you drop your phone in water it’s not the end of it – it can be saved! 

White rice method
1.   Get it out of the water!
·       iPhone:  Make sure it’s turned off – hold down the power button and home button until it powers off.  Then remove the SIM card.
3.   Remove the battery, SIM card and SD card and don’t put them back in until the end of the entire drying process.
4.   Gently towel dry the phone to remove as much visible moisture as you can.  Dry the battery, SIM and SC card too.
5.   Put the phone and battery in a ziplock bag of uncooked white rice (or a sealable container) – remove all the air and seal for at least five days to get all of the moisture out.  Put the container/bag in a warm place to help it to dry out.

Silica Gel method
1.   Instead of rice you can also use several silica get packs (like DampRid) in a ziplock bag and let the phone sit in it for at least two days – or longer. 
2.   Then put the phone near a warm fan (try using your computer's exhaust fan) and let it dry out even more. Let the phone heat up slightly and dry for about 6 hours.

After trying either of these methods:
1.   Allow your phone to cool
2.   Turn on the phone (you may need to plug it in - be careful and make sure its 100% dry otherwise you're taking a risk of your phone catching fire)

·       Don’t use a hair dryer to dry your phone – it can damage the circuitry
·       For an iPhone:  The last step is to connect to your computer and go to iTunes to do a complete system restore.
·       If you have an iPhone 4 you can also remove the two Phillips head screws on either side of the charging port and slip off the back to allow you to dry it out better.
·       If your phone doesn’t work, try a new battery before you buy a new phone.

There’s one last option – something new…

XO Skins Aqua Dry Bag is designed to absorb moisture and save wet devices.  You can use it for phones, iPods and cameras.  You seal the device in the bag for at least 72 hours and it will pull the moisture out of it.  It’s claimed to be more effective and quicker than using the rice method.  It’s only $15 (plus postage), so could be worth having around just in case.  It’s not available in Australia yet, but it can be ordered online.

I can't guarantee that these methods will work on your phone - but it's worth a try before you go an buy a new one.  Good Luck!


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