Drying A Wet Mobile Phone

10/25/2012 3:51:15 PM

You're taking a call by the poolside when - Oops! There goes your RM2,000 smartphone. But don't panic! Just dry it out properly and it'll be working fine.

What's the best thing to do when your smartphone falls into the water? Absolutely nothing! If you're quick enough to fish it out and shake it off, chances are the device survived the mishap. Still, as an added precaution, you should take good care of properly drying it out.

It's not to say all could be well. The biggest risk: the moisture reaches the inner parts of the device and connects the conductor paths that actually should not be connected, and creating electric currents in the wrong places. Even a short circuit can burn out only a small part and make a banal paperweight out of a smart phone worth RM2,000. And there is another risk: long term damage due to corrosion; in other words, rust! Rust prevents contact and thereby cuts off electric currents.

The display is especially at risk. For instance, if the water carries along dust and other floating parts, it can result in ugly image interferences.

But what can you do if the cell phone has become wet? We have six methods for you, which you can carry out one after the other. You need not carry out all the steps; it is often sufficient if you dismantle the device as much as possible and let it dry. You only continue if require it. Another tip in advance: the inside of every cell phone contains several color indicators and they change their colours as soon as they come in contact with water. Thus, a service technician can immediately identify where the moisture has reached inside the device. Drying the cell phone. sending it to them and lying about how it got damaged does not work.

The solution

1.    Dry

Description: Dry

Sounds banal, but nonetheless important. First, dry the cell phone from the outside, and then take out the water remaining inside by shaking in one direction. That is how most of the moisture comes out. But the problem is that water gathers in the corners of the device, so shaking does necessarily get it all out. To get rid of the remaining water, we will now proceed to use more suitable methods.

2.    Remove battery

Description: Remove battery

This is what you should also do immediately. With this, you can prevent short circuits taking place anywhere if the water is directing electricity to the wrong places. So, remove the cover of the device, take the battery out and place the individual parts on a cloth. You can then place this cloth on a lukewarm heater so that everything dries up (not on the oven, please, as there is a risk of parts getting damaged). You can perhaps leave it out overnight, this is usually enough to let the water evaporate from the circuit boards and display.

3.    Dismantle

Description: Dismantle

If you have a knack for it, dismantle the cell phone as much as possible. Remove everything that can be removed without causing damage to the device. You can also use a screwdriver. Wherever you see moisture, dab it immediately and be carefully with the cloth. Every now and then, shake the exposed device manually.

4.    Suck the cell phone dry

Description: Suck the cell phone dry

Our first thought was that the moisture can be blown out with an air pump that we use to dust the PC. But the mistake here is that propelling air drives the moisture deeper into the device. It would be more practical to suck the cell phone dry, even if it seems inappropriate. Place the screws that you have taken out from the cell phone away for safety's sake. Then take your vacuum cleaner and run the suction pipe at all sides of the device.

5.    Take out the moisture

Description: Take out the moisture

Another trick: place the cell phone parts overnight in a bowl full of uncooked rice and cover it - Tupperware containers are well suited for this. The dried rice extracts the moisture from the telephone. It is important to have the cover on otherwise the rice would also absorb moisture from the environment and not only from the cell phone.

6.    Clean the display

Description: Clean the display

If moisture is still present in the device, mainly the display, then you can clean these areas specifically with isopropyl alcohol. In our case, we stretched out the display a bit by attaching a piece of paper in it. Then we let the alcohol run through. The fluid has three advantages: firstly, the water is driven out, secondly, it does not conduct electricity and thirdly, it evaporates fast and easily.


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