We have all been there (maybe some more than others) when you have been slightly more clumsy or have been caught in torrential rain where your phone has experienced more liquid than usual. Luckily, some degree of water-resistant features have become standardised as an expected element for mainly smartphones and some other tech devices. However, we know that “water-resistance” is not always synonymous with the device being “waterproof”. It just means the device can survive some exposure before being substantially damaged.
One way to check if your phone has already been damaged by water/liquid is some smartphones like Apple and Samsung exhibit an indication within the SIM card tray where when this indicator comes into contact with water, it becomes discoloured. This is used by the manufacturers to determine ineligibility for warranty when determining water damage. This is good to check as if this indicator has been discoloured, being more aware to avoid any further water damage will be useful.
Smartphones from Apple, Samsung and Google all come with these water-resistant/proofing features but this really depends on their Ingress Protection (IP). IP classifies the degree of protection of a mechanical device against some environmental factors such as… yes.. WATER! IPs of 67/68 are great which is what most new Apple iPhones exhibit so you can take a sigh of relief if your phone does drop in water. Anything lower may probably need to act quick to get your device out!
Ok, let’s talk about what to do when your device takes a dip into the deep end.
Be quick and switch it off
As soon as you see your phone submerged, take it out. Don’t wait otherwise the longer it is exposed, the greater the possible damage. Remove any casing on the device which will hold some residual liquid if dropped attached to your device.
A lot of people are accustomed to trying to blow or shake the water out but this will not make any considerable difference. Also, do not use heat as a form to dry out your device. Tech gadgets are made from very delicate components which may also be impaired whilst attempting to remove the water. Don’t try to press buttons as this will work the device more than it needs, just switch it off to prevent any possible short circuits. If you can, remove as many internal components from the phone to help restrict short circuits; this may be a little more difficult unless you have a Nokia 3310 phone or Dell laptop…
Get rid of as much water as you can
The most common method is sticking your device in some rice. This works pretty well but only to an extent as not all of the rice is able to extract the liquid and it can get a little mushy so you don’t want rice to remain in your device.<div
Using a lint-free towel or paper towel are options to try and get as much water out as you physically can without adding to the damage.
A fan on the cool setting is helpful to evaporate some of the water internally. Just be mindful that devices such as laptops have extraction fan mechanisms so this could potentially move water further into the device.
Particularly for smartphones, the most evident sign of water damage is when you start experiencing muffled audio or no audio at all. Apple Watches have inbuilt features which allow the speakers to vibrate quickly in order to shake out as much of the liquid it can. Here are some instructions listed by Apple - https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT205000. There are many videos online which use a frequency to cause your smartphone speakers to vibrate to also reflect this feature which has been extremely useful for people. Make sure your phone is angled downwards to move the liquid out rather than in - this is good for laptops too.
Do not charge your device unless you are absolutely sure that your device is dry. We all know liquid and electricity are a bad mix so let’s stay away from any further incidents until that confirmation has been cleared. If charging is an absolute necessity, use a wireless charger as this is safer than using a cable – wipe the back of your phone completely beforehand. Nomad makes some good wireless chargers for iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods.
If none of the above worked
Alternatively and probably your best option would be to go to the repair store to professionally remove the water, that way you can be assured any water has been removed successfully.
It may just be time to get a new phone. Check your phone's IP rating – generally an IP of 67 and above, will be a good option to act against liquid damage.
Do you have any tricks you use which get the water out of your smartphone efficiently? Message us on our social media.