Are you panicking because your phone just fell in some water? Don’t know what to do?
Read this – it’s what saved my phone, and it might just save yours too…
Would you know how to save your phone if it got dropped in water? I didn’t. This is what happened to my phone, and the steps I took which ultimately saved it.
- I don’t know whether all of them are necessary – I don’t know which ones actually helped the most or whether the combination of all of them was essential.
- My phone is a Samsung Galaxy J1, so I’m not sure whether this will work with all phones, but it would probably work the same for most Android phones.
- If you have an iphone, you obviously won’t be able to remove the battery like I could – instead, TURN IT OFF immediately after dropping it in the water.
I hope that this information will help you save your phone, or teach you what to do in that situation – like phone first-aid!
HOW TO SAVE A WATER-DAMAGED PHONE
- Take out of the water as quickly as possible.
My phone was in the toilet for about 2 seconds, as I was able to quickly grab it out of the water.
- Remove the battery immediately – For Android/phones with removable batteries.
The most important thing is that you take away any source of power. Many people say that if you don’t remove it immediately, your phone has no chance. I removed the battery about 2 minutes after it fell in the water, but I was lucky, and should have probably taken it out a lot sooner.
- Turn it off. For iPhones/phones without removable batteries.
Turn the phone off with pressing as few buttons as possible. For example, I would have had to hold down the power button and tap ‘power off’. In my situation, I actually pressed the ‘on’ button a few times to see if it would still work, which I apparently shouldn’t have done, as the screen then flickered and went dark blue. They say that turning it off is the most important step, but I didn’t do this. With iPhones it may be a vital step, but don’t worry if you have a Samsung phone and you pressed the button to wake it up, as this is what I did.
- Remove case, back, (battery), sim card and SD card.
Separate all the pieces of phone as quickly as you can. I removed the case within the first minute, but the rest of it within the second minute.
Get Rid of the Water:
- Wipe all water off the phone using a towel.
Use a towel or cloth (not tissue) to wipe all visible water off the phone. Once I’d removed the back and battery, there was water covering the back of the phone, so I wiped off as much as possible. They say to dab it rather than wipe it, but I didn’t. You just need to get the water out!
- Submerge phone in bowl of rice.
I placed both the phone and the battery (separately) in a wide bowl of rice, so that they were completely covered.
- Transfer to Ziploc bag, keep in airing cupboard.
Pour the rice into a Ziploc bag and place the phone upright (same way up as you would hold it) so that it is sitting in the rice about an inch from the bottom of the bag, and covered with rice up to about halfway or further.
- Wait 6 hours.
I don’t know how long you’re supposed to wait, but I waited 6 hours.
- Vacuum the phone.
Using the tube of the vacuum, place your thumb and forefinger over the end of the tube to act as a ‘seal’. Turn the vacuum on and thoroughly vacuum all of it – the audio jack, where you plug the charger in, the card slots etc. Do this for at least 3 minutes. Here’s a video on that.
- Wipe over the battery with a towel.
Ensure that both phone and battery are completely free of water. They should be extremely dry now.
Now insert the battery back into your phone, holding it in to make sure it doesn’t come loose. Turn your phone on (press and hold the power button for 3 seconds), and hopefully it should come alive!
11. Immediately back up all files & data.
Dash to your computer and back up everything, just in case it were to stop working at any time.
12. Try charging your phone.
Mine didn’t seem to charge for a while – it acknowledged that the charger had been plugged in, but the power percentage didn’t increase. Turn it off fully, then plug it in to charge for at least 20 minutes, and turn it back on. Hopefully, the percentage will have increased! I did this, and my phone now charges as normal.
Prevent it from happening:
- Don’t put phone in back pocket
- Do not take phone into bathroom/pool
- Be careful around lakes, pools, the sea, and look after your phone as a general rule
- Buy a waterproof case
- Choose a waterproof phone model next time you upgrade
- Back up all data regularly. Do this by copying the files across when you connect your phone to the computer. Another way is to have your data synced to your Google account, and saved onto the cloud.
My phone goes swimming
Yesterday, I was at a friend’s house, and we were doing some baking. Having taken the cupcakes out of the oven, we were cleaning up the kitchen and desperately trying to resist the temptation to eat the cupcakes! I left the kitchen to go to the loo, so went into the bathroom and locked the door. Long story short, within the next few seconds, I heard a loud ‘SPLOOSH!’.
My phone had just plunged into the toilet.
I whipped round, grabbed it out of the toilet without even stopping to think, then raced back into the kitchen. “I just dropped my phone in the toilet!”
My friend stood there a little blankly for a second, as she was a bit surprised that I had finished in the bathroom so quickly. The next thing on my mind immediately was: Rice. “Could you get some rice?” I asked, as my friend leaped into action and threw open the cupboards to grab the container of rice.
Meanwhile, I pressed the ‘on’ button to check if my phone was working.😑 BAD IDEA. Pressing buttons can allow water to move through the phone, meaning it can bridge a gap between phone components that shouldn’t connect, therefore risking your phone getting frazzled, which you don’t want. The screen looked fine, and the homescreen came up as normal. But then it began to flicker, until eventually it turned dark blue. (This was all happening in a matter of seconds, remember.) Luckily, this clearly didn’t make a difference in the end, so I got away with that one!
I quickly took the case off my phone, then just wiped the water on the nearest thing remotely similar to a towel I could find – the oven gloves (they went straight in the wash!). My friend poured a load of rice into a wide bowl and I quickly shoved the phone into the rice.
We looked up online what you are supposed to do, and it said ‘DO NOT TURN THE PHONE ON’ (for the reasons I explained previously). Apparently the most important step is to turn your phone off, which I didn’t do. So I was worried about the fact I’d pressed the button to wake the screen up. If you did this, don’t worry just yet, as it didn’t make any difference to my result.
After the phone had been in the rice for about a minute, and after I’d actually focused my mind on the task at hand rather than worrying about what had already happened, I thought I had better take the back off the phone. When I did, the water was visible all over the back of it, so I took the battery out, followed by my SD card and sim card. Using a towel this time, I wiped all the water off the back.
I then held the power button down for 60 seconds. (This was because a few months ago, my touchscreen had stopped responding – the ‘turn off’ option still came up when I held the power button and the screen was still active, I just wasn’t able to tap the screen. So I looked it up online, and someone had said to remove the battery, hold down the power button for a minute to ‘drain off the excess charge from the phone’, then put the battery back in. My screen worked fine again, and I never had an issue with it after that.) I don’t know if this would have made a difference, but I thought I would ‘drain off the excess charge’ from the phone. Whether or not it helped at all, I have no idea, but that’s what I did.
Rice saves the day
Next, I dumped the phone back in the rice. My friend put the battery (separately) in the rice too, so both were completely submerged.
We then placed the bowl in the oven at the lowest heat (less than 50°C, 120°F) for a few minutes, before turning off the heat. We left it in there while we made macarons (my friend has two ovens, so we were able to leave the phone in one, while cooking the macarons in the other!) Many sites say not to put it in the oven as it may melt the components. Five minutes at 50°C heated it enough to remain in a warm environment to speed the drying process, without damaging it (probably), so this worked for me.
A couple of hours later, we transferred my phone, the battery and rice to a Ziploc bag, while the 2 mini cards were in a little earring box. When I got home, I put the bag in the airing cupboard with the phone upright, sticking about halfway into the rice and an inch above the bottom of the bag. The battery was in the rice too. I left it there for 6 hours.
After that, we removed it from the bag and vacuumed it, as I’d seen on a video that this helps get rid of the water from the crevices of the phone. To do this, you place your thumb and forefinger together to make an ‘o’ shape, then put that over the end of the vacuum nozzle as a seal between your phone and the vacuum tube. After about 3 minutes of vacuuming the entire phone – back, front, headphones slot, charging socket – I was confident that it was as dry as possible, so I put the battery into the back of the phone.
Moment of truth
Holding the battery into the back to make sure it didn’t fall out, I held down the ‘on’ button. Waiting a couple of long seconds, the phone vibrated slightly and the ‘Samsung’ white logo came up on the screen, along with the little tune. Once the colours had swirled around the logo for a bit, my lockscreen was there! I typed in my password, and voila! Everything was as normal (well, it was missing the stuff stored on my SD & sim cards of course, as I had removed them)!
So I rushed to my computer, plugged it in, and copied everything from my phone to the hard-drive on my computer. Because the battery had been put back in, the power had jumped up to 98%.
I had the charger plugged in for at least 10 minutes but the power didn’t increase from 98%, even though the phone recognised that the charger was plugged in and the lighting symbol was on the battery icon in the top right corner.😩
This morning, I connected the charger (which was plugged into the socket of my bedroom wall). It was at 95%, then as I continued to use my phone while plugged in, it went down to 94%. I left it for a while, and when I came back after about 20 minutes, it was up to 97%! A notification from AVG came up, saying ‘Boost charging speed’, so I clicked on it, which opened a page that showed me the percentage (97%) and how long it would take to charge fully (16 hours!!). Despite the long charging time prediction, at least it would charge. But I left it charging for another 10 minutes, and it was up to 100%!
My phone has been fine since!😄 (Let’s hope I haven’t jinxed it now!)
Hopefully this will help you to save your phone! If you didn’t drop your phone in water, make sure to prevent it from happening by not carrying your phone in a back pocket, not taking it with you into the bathroom, pool etc., and perhaps invest in a waterproof case or consider a waterproof phone as your next option.
Appreciate and look after your phone. When something like this happens, you are lucky to get it back after only 8 hours like I did! #ThirdWorldProblems