After the cell phone falls into water, the recommendation is to turn it off, let it dry in fresh air and seek assistance. Using rice or hair dryer are methods that can damage the device. If your phone is IP68 certified, you can rest easy.
If your cell phone is still working after falling into water, or after drying it with fresh air, the manufacturers’ recommendation is the same: take the cell phone to technical assistance. As much as your smartphone has IP68 certification, the best, water protection is weakened over time — its components, like other cell phone components, suffer wear and tear.
What to do if the cell phone fell into the water?
- turn off the device
Water and moisture cause damage, such as corrosion, to your smartphone’s motherboard. Turning off the device prevents further damage.
- Remove SIM card and battery (if possible)
After turning off the device, remove the SIM card, microSD (if any) and battery (if your smartphone allows removing it.
- Dry off excess water
You can use paper towel, dry towel or cloth. Preferably use fabrics that do not release lint. Also dry the moisture on the screen. With iPhones and other cell phones that don’t have a removable battery, lightly tap the device with the connector ports pointing down.
- Use cotton swab to dry openings
Apple does not recommend using a cotton swab to dry these areas on your iPhone. In the case of Samsung smartphones, the company urges you to use it with care.
- Dry the inside of cell phones that won’t open
To dry the inside of your cell phone that doesn’t open on the back cover, the manufacturers’ recommendation is to place it in front of a fan and in an airy place. Never leave your smartphone to dry under the sun. You can place it outside in a shaded environment in front of a fan.
- Time to dry the smartphone
There is no certain time as to how long it takes for the device to dry. Factors such as air humidity and room temperature influence this time.
- Sea water and other liquids
The recommendation varies according to the manufacturers. Samsung recommends soaking the device in clean water for one to three minutes, then rinsing and drying as indicated in the previous step. Seawater and other liquids such as coolant contain impurities that can accelerate motherboard corrosion.
Apple does not have an indication on how to handle seawater and other liquids in the iPhone. However, regardless of the manufacturer, it is recommended that you take your device for assistance. If your cell phone has IP68 resistance, you can rest easy, as this is the highest certification found on devices — but remember that it wears out over time.
To restart the device, Willian Toshio, product manager at Positivo Tecnologia, suggests that you only do this after 12 hours. “Turn it off immediately and avoid turning it on for a period between 12h and 24h. The attitude aims to prevent a possible short circuit in the internal components”, says Toshio.
Use an electronics recovery kit
There are electronic recovery kits sold in e-commerce and specialized stores that can be used to dry the smartphone. This kit has a special package to pack the instrument with a drying agent.
Of course, if your cell phone has already fallen into the water, it will not help to wait for the product to be purchased. You have to follow the steps given above. But if you are cautious or want to avoid future problems, it is worth buying the kit for these and other emergencies.
what not to do
Do not use a hair dryer, vacuum cleaner or leave your cell phone in the sun to remove water. In the case of a dryer and the sun, excessive heating harms the battery and accelerates the oxidation of components. Already the vacuum cleaner, due to its power, can ruin buttons.
Does putting your phone in rice work?
No. This measure is recommended as a last resort. For example, when you don’t have a fan nearby. Raw rice helps remove moisture from the outside of the smartphone, but the water in the internal components will still be there.
Also, the longer you leave your cell phone in the pot of rice, the more likely it is to get dust from the grains — here comes another problem.
Leaving the device to air dry is the best option if you are unable to use the method described at the beginning. Next comes silica gel, cat litter, and oatmeal—but this one takes up the dust problem.
Touchscreen, sound, Wi-Fi and other parts don’t work
If your cell phone starts to malfunction, you need to get your cell phone serviced quickly. The professional will perform a chemical bath (which usually uses isopropyl alcohol) to remove and decrease water corrosion.
Among the problems arising from dropping the cell phone in water are: display malfunction (white or black screen), touch failing, problems with the vibrate function and wi-fi.
What to do if the cell phone fell into the water and does not want to charge?
Carry out the drying of your smartphone and wait 5 hours after the end of the process (if it is an iPhone) to try to charge it. If even after drying it continues with this problem, take the cell phone to the assistance.
What to do if the chip stopped working after falling into water?
Take the device to technical assistance. The professional must assess the damage and understand whether the problem was in the chip or in another component. If it’s just SIM card damage, you’ll have to get a new one from your carrier.
Does the warranty cover the repair of a cell phone that has been dropped in water?
It depends. Samsung advises that there is no warranty for damage resulting from irregular use, including liquid spills. However, lawyer Feliciano Lyra Mora, a partner at Serur Advogados, says that the manufacturer or seller can pay for the repair if there is a failure in water resistance, a specification used by companies to attract consumers.
“In the absence of evidence of misuse of the equipment by the consumer, the warranty prevails, in effect, having the manufacturer or any of those involved in the sales chain agreed to the sale of a product whose characteristics of attraction to the consumer, among others, is resistance to water, it cannot come to block its duty under the argument that there is a contrary clause, whose eventual prevalence should be mitigated.”