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How to save your phone if you get it wet

Dropped your phone in water? Don't panic! There are steps you can take to bring your precious smartphone back.

We have all had it happen, from the toilet drop disaster to phone in the bathtub moment. It can be an upsetting experience, but if you wet your phone, all is not lost.

Act quickly and you can often save your phone from certain destruction.

It's also possible to cut your losses - a wet phone needn't be a write-off, and handsets can often be repaired, particularly if you act quickly

Just before we get started, a caveat: none of this is guaranteed to stop your phone from breaking.
There are times when things just get too wet. But if you're lucky, these tips will help.

Take the battery out immediately


So you have soaked your phone. The first thing you absolutely must do is yank the battery out of it. Water and powered on electronics don’t mix, as you would expect. Stopping any current running through the internals of your phone can save it from permanent damage.



If you can’t take the battery out, then the alternative is to shut the phone down. iPhone users take heed here, you must shut the handset down as fast as you can.

Worth noting though, is that Apple has built a security device into its phones which will show if you have got it wet -so you won’t be able to claim under warranty.

Get it wet


Next comes the hardest part: you may need to get your phone wet again - depending on what you've dunked it in. Letting a handset dry out after a drop in the likes of saltwater and Coke can cause chemicals in liquids to crystallise later down the line, causing the phone to break.

To combat this, get hold of some distilled water and give the phone a thorough wash. This way if you do manage to dry things out, the phone will stay fixed permanently. Obviously if your handset is only slightly wet, don’t risk washing it out completely. This is a fix for full submersion only, and only in fluids such as soft drinks.

Get rid of the excess


Next up, you need to make sure you have the majority of the standing water free from out of the device. Don’t start drying anything properly yet, just make sure you have as many of the droplets of water gone as possible. Make sure the internals have no visible water blobs on board.

To do this, dismantle the phone as far as you can and then shake off any excess water. Take the SIM card and the microSD card out (if you have one) and make sure no big drops of water are stuck anywhere else.

Start the drying process

This is the part that can save your phone, so it’s vital you do it right. The key here is patience, resisting the urge to switch your handset back on until you are absolutely positive that it is dry.

What you will need is some form of desiccant or drying material to put alongside your phone, as well as a sealable plastic bag. Silica gel sachets and a sandwich bag will work, or alternatively you can use uncooked rice.

Place the phone in the bag and leave it for at least 48 hours, long enough for condensation to form on the bag and the silica gel or rice to draw whatever moisture is left out of the phone.  If you can see water droplets or condensation on the screen, we’re afraid things just haven’t worked out.

Switch your phone on and if it starts up, then you are in luck. We suggest giving it a full charge and letting it drain a the battery down to zero again, just to be sure everything is back in full working order.

Call the insurer


What if your drying efforts have failed? The best you can do now is to call your insurer, provided you have one. Get all your receipts, boxes and accessories in order and prepare to ship the phone out for repairs.

Not all insurers will cover for things like water damage, but most will. It should fall under the accidental damage section of your insurance policy. You should be able to find exact details of cover in the documents the insurance company sent you.

A few weeks worth of repairs and your handset should be back with you, ready to browse the web and send text messages all over again.

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Send it off for repairs


If you aren’t insured, then you will need to post the handset off for repairs. Your insurer might also suggest you do this. If you are covered, we suggest getting the phone professionally repaired after water damage, just because problems can occur months down the line if circuits have been damaged.

Repair costs will vary depending on the level of damage done. A proper soaking will often result in the whole phone being written off, although you might get away with just a screen repair, setting you back about £80. In the end, if you are the type who regularly soaks mobiles, then stumping up for proper handset insurance or a water resistant phone, like Sony’s new Xperia Z, would be money well spent.