What do I do if my phone falls into water?

phone fell in the water How-To

You dropped your smartphone in the water. The gadget is still lying on a napkin and drying, you are afraid to touch it. What to do next, so as not to break anything and not to harm yourself?

What to do if my smartphone fell into the water?

To prevent damage to your smartphone due to falling into the water, you need to act quickly and without thinking: take it out of the water, turn it off, take out the SIM card and dry the phone in a room with air conditioning.

When your smartphone has fallen into the water, it is important to act promptly to keep your device working.

The first thing to do if your phone has fallen into the water:

  • Quickly pull it out of the liquid;
  • Take off the cover so that nothing prevents the evaporation of moisture;
  • If your phone was turned on when it fell into the water, you must turn it off;
  • Next, remove the battery (if it is removable), SIM card, and SD card so that the moisture can evaporate from all corners. You can easily shake the phone so that the water if it got inside, will come out.

Getting liquid on your smartphone can affect your device in several ways.

It can lead to:

  • Blurry photos if moisture gets into the camera lens
  • Uneven sound or no sound
  • Liquid droplets under the screen
  • Inability to charge
  • Rusting of internal parts or
  • Complete end of all functionality

Don’t make any common mistakes!

There are some things that are strictly forbidden to do if your phone has fallen into the water. Otherwise, it will be impossible to restore the functionality of the device.

  • You should not turn your phone on, it may cause a short circuit.
  • For the same reason, you should not put a soaked gadget on charging.
  • Do not use a hair dryer, the flow of air will only scatter the water over the device, and the excessive heat can damage the device.
  • Drying the phone in the microwave oven is also a bad idea, it will finally break down.

What do I do if my smartphone falls into the water?

What do I do if my phone falls into water

Immediately take the phone out of the water and turn it off completely. Do not try to turn on different applications to check if they are glitchy or not. Don’t press any buttons other than those without which the phone can’t be turned off.

If you drop your phone into salt water or a swimming pool, rinse it out with fresh water and chlorine, but not with tap water, to prevent more moisture from getting into your phone.

  • Remove the holster, if available. Do not connect your device to a charger.
  • Dry the surface of the phone with a soft towel, cloth, or tissue. Never use a hair dryer or place the phone on a hot surface such as the battery: this may melt the inside of the phone.
  • Shake off any water droplets that have gotten into the charging port or speakers.
  • Remove the SIM card and memory card.
  • Leave the phone in a dry room with a fan or air conditioner with cold air.
  • If you have a can of compressed air, use it to remove excess water droplets from the case.
  • Allow the phone to dry for 24-48 hours, longer if necessary.

Step-by-step algorithm if you get your phone wet

Step 1: Take it out and dry

If your phone got into the water, you need to take it out, put it on a dry surface and take off the cover, this will allow the moisture to evaporate quickly. If the phone has been turned on, it should be turned off. Be sure to remove the removable battery and leave it to dry for at least 48 hours. In modern models, the batteries are non-removable, you can’t cope with them without the help of the service, so let’s move on to the next steps.

Options for drying your phone if it’s fallen into the water:

  • The most common method of drying a phone with water is to place the gadget in rice. The rice absorbs the liquid and you can hold the phone there for about a day. But we don’t recommend using this drying method.
  • Also, a popular option for drying the phone is silica gel.
  • For iPhone owners, a good tip would be to use special programs such as Sonic. Sonic has a frequency of 258-1100 Hz and when turned on at 160-170 Hz it will give a sine wave that can expel fluid that has gotten into the speaker of the device.

Step 2: Do not forget the cards

Take out the SIM card, and memory card and leave them for a day to dry. You can wipe them with alcohol to avoid oxidation. Once dry, they will faithfully serve you further.

Step 3: Remove the Water

To get your gadget up and running quickly, it’s best to get it serviced. If you don’t want to or can’t – use improvised means, for example, you can just leave the phone on the table for several days to dry out.

What not to do?

Do not put the phone in a jar with rice or alcohol for a few hours: rice will only partially absorb moisture – water may still remain inside the case. During this time oxidation of internal components can occur. Well, alcohol can ruin the phone screen and its case.

Do not dry your phone with a hair dryer, or place it on a battery or in any device with hot air: this can melt or damage internal components.

Do not disassemble the phone yourself before it has completely dried: you could damage the internal components.

Do not freeze the phone in the freezer: the resulting ice may damage internal components and will melt at room temperature anyway.

What should I do after drying it out?

Remove remaining water droplets, if any, using a compressed air bottle or any other device.

Turn the phone on and check its functionality. If it doesn’t turn on or doesn’t work properly, contact a service center.

How do I check if my phone has moisture protection?

If your smartphone has moisture protection by international IP standards, there’s probably nothing to worry about. Water penetrates such phones rarely and in insignificant quantities.

The degree of protection of the device is labeled IPxx, where the first x means protection from foreign objects, and the second – is protection from moisture. The former has a maximum rating of 6, while the latter has a rating of 9.

As a rule, modern phones have at least IPx4 protection. This means that the phone is protected from any splashes, such as rain.

Water protection grades:

  • 0 – Not protected at all.
  • 1 – Protected against vertically dripping water.
  • 2 – Protected against vertically dripping water if tilted at 15° (59°F).
  • 3 – Against rain and spray that falls vertically or at an angle up to 60° (140°F)
  • 4 – Against rain and spray in any direction
  • 5 – From a light jet of water
  • 6 – From a powerful jet of water
  • 7 – From water immersed for several minutes at a depth of 1 meter
  • 8 – No water for several meters, if immersed for half an hour
  • 9 – The highest level of technology protection, not available on smartphones

Currently, there are two higher IP standards for smartphones: IP67 and IP68. The phones can withstand being submerged in water and can continue to work after drying out.

But it’s important to remember: A high level of waterproofing doesn’t mean the phone can be used underwater. It can still fail because it is not designed for underwater use.

Moreover, if a breakdown does happen, it will not be considered a warranty case even with the highest level of IP68 moisture protection.

Why did the phone work and then stop working?

You took the phone out of the water, were glad it worked and continued to use it as usual. But it didn’t work for long. Why? There are quite thin contacts on the circuit board of the device, after water hits, the current continues to pass through them, but soon the contacts oxidize, deteriorate, and the phone stops working.

How to understand that there is an oxidation process inside the smartphone?

Different defects will start to appear on the phone’s screen after it has fallen into the water:

  • White or yellow spots.
  • Horizontal or vertical streaks.
  • Glowing of separate pixels.
  • The sensitivity of the sensor is lost: in whole or in parts. For example, after water gets into the phone, the touch screen does not work at the edges, and in the middle is responsive.

In addition, in this case, there may be problems with the speaker or buttons, if you have a push-button unit.

What problems can arise?

So, what to do in the first place, if the phone fell into the water, it is already clear. If you acted quickly and according to the rules, there is a high probability that the gadget did not have time to get wet. This means that the chances to serve the owner with good faith and fidelity are greatly increased.

However, swimming in the device can end badly, and soon after drying the symptoms of malfunction will appear. The most popular problems and user actions in such cases are described below.

The screen and the sensor do not work

If you notice that the sensor does not respond as quickly or there are spots under the screen, it means that the liquid has managed to do harm: the screen began to peel off. Then it is worth taking your device to a master to avoid irreparable consequences.

The speaker does not work

The fact that the fall in the liquid had a detrimental effect on the functionality of the speaker, indicate extraneous sounds when speaking on the phone: rattle, crackle, and other noise.

After getting wet, the speaker does not work well for two reasons:

  • Moisture is still present in the sound membrane.
  • The contacts in the speaker are shorted.

In the first case, you can try to fix the problem with your own hands. To do this, disassemble the speaker and give it a good drying. Then put it back together. If it did not help, then the cause of the fault is in the contacts. They will most likely have to be re-soldered. This is best handled by a specialist.

The smartphone does not turn on

If the gadget is turned on after getting wet, and then suddenly stopped, it indicates that there is oxidation inside it. It can damage the board and microcircuits. In this situation immediately go to the service center and give your smartphone for repair.

It often happens that the phone is dry, works, and seems undamaged, but the owner is concerned about the rapid discharge of the battery, which was not previously observed. Such a symptom indicates that the battery is oxidized. To get the phone working properly again, the battery needs to be replaced.

How to deal with the consequences?

If you have done everything that you could, but the phone still does not work, there are spots and stripes on the display, and it is impossible to disassemble it at home, there is only one way out. Go to the service. It is true that they don’t give a guarantee for the repair of drowned phones. To keep silent about the fact that the smartphone has fallen into the water, in this case, is useless – inside there is a special litmus paper, on which you can understand that the device is pretty wet.

How to protect your phone from water?

If you’re at the sea, in a pool, or any other place near water, you may need accessories for extra protection for your phone:

  1. Waterproof phone cases with a lanyard for shooting underwater. These can be purchased at any convenient marketplace.
  2. Sealed bags or folders with a forearm strap.

You can keep these at home to dry your phone in case it falls into the water:

  • Several bags of silicone gel or any other drying agent.
  • A fan.
  • A bottle of compressed air.
  • If possible, it’s worth buying a phone that meets IP67 or IP68 protection standards to reduce the risk of damage if it gets wet.

If the dried phone will not turn on or will not work properly, you will have to show it to a specialist. The technician will clean the device and possibly offer to replace the damaged parts.

Take care of your gadgets and if possible, do not send them for a swim.


Paul Num is the founder and editor of deteced.com, has more than 5 years of experience in social media marketing, and is an expert in finance and insurance. Paul has extensive experience working for insurance and financial companies and has done testing and written numerous articles.

Paul has been quoted and mentioned by major publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, WikiHow, and many others. In his spare time, Paul runs, hikes, and travels.

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