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What to do if your phone gets wet

Category: Information Smartphones wet

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You'd be lost without your smartphone, since you probably use it for keeping track of daily tasks, keeping on top of social media, and even hours of entertainment daily. If your phone was water damaged, your photos, videos, music, calendar, to-do lists, contacts, and games would be gone in an instant. That’s why it's so important to know exactly what to do – and exactly what not to do – if your phone gets wet. There are several myths surrounding do-it-yourself phone-drying methods, but there's really only one way to fix a wet cell phone. The key is to avoid the DIY phone-drying hacks and get it to a Redux machine.

DIY phone-drying hacks to avoid

You may not know what to do when your phone gets wet; and your first thought will probably be to search for a do-it-yourself solution online. We caution you to not use the DIY phone hacks, because many of them cause more damage to your phone than the water will. We highlight some of the worst DIY phone-drying hacks below, and why you should avoid them.

1. Do not put your phone into a bag of uncooked rice

Several organizations and individuals have debunked the myth that putting your phone into a bag of uncooked rice will save your wet phone. One of the best tests was done by Gazelle. After testing seven household items to see if any of them could dry a wet phone, Gazelle found that uncooked rice performed the worst.

If knowing that rice is the least effective DIY phone-drying hack isn’t reason enough to avoid trying it when your phone gets wet, you need to consider the potential damage the rice will cause to your phone. If the rice absorbs any water from the exterior of your phone, it will become sticky and mushy. The starchy mess will stick in your phone’s creases and ports. There's a good chance that the starch will make its way into your phone, and literally gum up its internal components.

2. Do not use a heat source in an attempt to dry your wet phone

Some of the most dangerous DIY phone-drying hacks involve using a heat source. People recommend using a hair dryer, microwave, oven, and even the sun’s heat to dry a wet smartphone. Any heat source has the potential to further damage your phone through corrosion, because heat damages the internal components of your phone. Specifically, heat can result in the loss of your data (think: photos, contacts, music, etc.), a dead battery, or even a damage to your screen.

One of the worst sources of heat you can use is a blow dryer. While they'll dry your hair, they'll produce too much heat for your phone, causing its internal and metal components to warp. The blast of air from the hair dryer can also force the water deeper into your phone.

3. Do not put your wet phone in the freezer

Another DIY phone-drying hack that you should avoid at all costs is putting your wet phone in the freezer. First of all, most smartphones’ screens are LCD and contain liquid themselves. Putting your phone in the freezer can cause irreparable harm to your screen, regardless of the water damage it may have sustained. The freezer also does nothing more than freeze the moisture that got into your phone when you dropped it in water. As soon as you remove your phone from the freezer, the ice will melt, and the water could spread to places that were not originally wet, causing more extensive damage to your phone.

4. Do not use rubbing alcohol to dry a wet phone

One of the most mind-boggling DIY phone-drying hacks we've found online is to submerge your phone in rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol itself contains water, so you essentially risk even more water damage by dunking your phone in rubbing alcohol. Alcohol also leaves permanent marks and smudges on your phone, which can affect the touchscreen, and render your phone inoperable.


The best course of action when your phone gets wet

Now that you know why to avoid the DIY phone-drying hacks, you need to know avoid more water damage and ensure that your phone dries successfully. First, quickly pick your phone up out of the water. And resist the temptation to turn on or press other buttons, as it can force water further into your phone. Next, remove the battery and other components that can trap water inside. If you can't remove the battery (some newer devices don't have this option), stand it upright to allow excess water to drain. Then, dry your phone and battery with a clean, dry cloth while carefully avoiding pushing the cloth into the phone’s crevices.

Finally, get your phone and battery to a nearby Redux machine. These machines are specifically engineered to successfully dry your wet phone safely and thoroughly. Redux is the best solution if you get your phone wet because it ensures that all of the moisture is removed.

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