What to do if your phone gets wet

A man has dropped his phone on the beach and the waves are about to make it wet

It's a fair bet that you have dropped your phone into to water, beer or some other liquid at some point and it has been damaged. We know someone with a reputation for dropping their phone down the toilet! The results are never pretty

If you do suffer the misfortune of dropping your phone into a pint of beer, water or some other liquid, all is not lost.

There's a reasonable chance the phone can be saved, if you act quickly. Here's what to do:

1. Get the phone out of the liquid

Well, ok, this is the obvious bit. The less time your phone spends submerged, the better.

(As you retrieve your shiny phone from the toilet bowl, this may be the point at which you learn your lesson.)

2. Keep the phone switched off

Often, a swift dunking will cause your phone to lose power. But if it is still powered up, turn it off immediately.

If your phone has a removable battery, do this by taking the battery out rather than by pressing any buttons. This will reduce the likelihood of causing further damage.

Whatever you do, don't be tempted to turn the phone on to see if it still works. This could do even more damage.

3. Dry the outside of the phone

If possible, remove the battery and SIM card. Then use kitchen towel (or something similarly absorbent) to get all the liquid off the outside of the phone.

You'll want to get as much water out of the phone as possible, so give it a gentle shake. Avoid shaking it too vigerously as you could force the water into the device.

4. Dry the inside of the phone

Now you need to be patient. For your phone to have the best chance of surviving, it needs to dry out completely before you try powering it up.

It's best to use something to draw out the moisture. Many sites suggest placing your phone into a bowl or bag of rice. However, you run the risk of dust getting into the phone.

You can use a compressed air canister to blow the moisture out of the charging port.

Placing the phone somewhere warm (but not hot) and dry like an airing cupboard can help the drying process. Don't use a hairdryer or other heat sources! This can damage any heat-sensitive components in your phone.

If you can get hold of it, placing packs of silica gel or other similar drying agent around the phone is even better. Either way, leave the handset to dry out for at least 48 hours.

5. Reassemble the phone and cross your fingers

Ok, here goes. If you've left it a few days and your phone seems dry, pop the SIM back in, reconnect the battery and try to switch it on.

Depending on the level of damage, your phone could work perfectly, partly or not at all.

If your phone does seem to function ok, take the opportunity to back up any important data you need. Occasionally, liquid-damaged phones fail at a later date.

Is it worth buying a kit?

There are a number of kits available to breathe life into water-damaged phones which contain drying agents. These may provide a more effective way to dry out your phone. But as time is of the essence with liquid damage, it might be worth keeping one handy - particularly if you have a habit of taking your phone 'for a swim'..

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