What to do if you drop your phone in water

Smartphones have become our faithful companion that we carry everywhere we go. Therefore, dropping your smartphone into water is not an uncommon accident. On the contrary, it is one of the three most frequent cases. If it happens, it is advisable to act quickly, because the longer the phone spends in contact with water, the greater the risk of damage.

However, although in these cases time is of the essence, you must first consider where it has fallen. It is not the same if your smartphone has taken an unexpected dip in the bathtub or toilet bowl, or at the beach or in a swimming pool. 

Seawater and pool water is more corrosive than freshwater due to the salinity and pH of chlorine. Therefore, in these cases it is essential to wash the device with fresh water. Although it may seem counterproductive, it is actually the best thing to do because tap water will help you to extract the harmful elements that may be contained in these waters. 

Steps to follow if you drop your phone in water

Turn it off

Once the phone is accidentally submerged in water, it is necessary to remove it as soon as possible. This will prevent the fluid from penetrating deeper into the phone and increase the likelihood of damage. When you have it at hand, check whether it is turned off or on. If it is off, it is important that you do not try to turn it on.

If the phone is still on, you should turn it off immediately, otherwise it is likely to generate short circuits. Most current smartphone models have built-in batteries that cannot be removed. Therefore, you will have to turn it off using the conventional buttons, but not before drying them a little to prevent water from entering when pressing them.

Remove everything that’s removable

Once the phone is turned off, it is important to perform a previous process to dry it more easily and avoid irreparable damage. You must remove all removable parts to help the water drain out. Some models have the option to remove the battery, but in others you will only be able to remove part of the casing, the SIM card and microSD memory trays.

Any removable items can be dried more easily separately, using absorbent paper or dry cloths. It is not recommended to use hair dryers to dry the smaller parts as the heat may deform them and they will not fit back together properly.

Dry everything thoroughly

After removing the removable parts, you should proceed to passive drying. To do this, simply use a towel or absorbent paper and start drying the edges little by little. It is important that you do not make any sudden movements that could cause the liquid remaining inside to continue to spread.

Avoid using heat sources, so do not expose the phone to the sun to dry and do not use high temperature air because you could damage some of the more delicate components. Blowing or applying air, even at room temperature, can also be counterproductive, as you may drag water into parts that were dry. The cloth or absorbent paper will suffice.

Make sure to absorb the moisture

It is widely believed that rice grains should be used to absorb the internal moisture of phones. However, grains may not be the most useful tool for this purpose. Spheres made from silica gel are often more efficient at absorbing moisture slowly.

In addition to rice or silica gel, sponges, cat litter, cotton or oat flakes can also be used to absorb moisture. Immerse the phone in a container with one of the products we already mentioned and wait for a reasonable time to ensure that no traces of the water remain.

Be patient

Last and most important of all is to be patient to dry the phone and wait until all the moisture has been absorbed. It is recommended to wait at least 24 hours to ensure that the device is completely dry. Do not try to connect it to the charger or turn it on prematurely.

Controlling anxiety and waiting a reasonable amount of time may be essential if you want to avoid any electrical failure. After 24 hours you can proceed to turn it on to check if the damage is irremediable or if the phone works properly and does not present any type of failure.

Extra tip: Back up your information

The best way to prevent the loss of files, photos or any digital document you have stored on your device is to constantly back up your information. Storing everything in the cloud, making a backup in your email or even having a backup in another memory is one of the best ways to prevent the loss of important information in case accidents like this happen, or even in the case of phone theft.

So now you know, if a similar accident happens to you, follow these recommendations to try to save your device. We also advise you to be very cautious when you are near water sources to avoid an accident that you may regret.