Saving a Water Damaged Cell Phone

Yesterday I accidentally washed my Samsung Galaxy Nexus in the washing machine. The phone is about 7 months old, and the mistake made me sick to my stomach…literally. Three days later, my phone is finally back to 100% working order! Any time your cell phone faces potential water damage, it’s important to follow the right steps to revive it. There are a few mistakes that can cost you big time and will result in you needing to purchase a new phone.

Whether your phone briefly touched water (fell in the toilet, got splashed with water, etc.) or was exposed to water for a longer period of time (washing machine), the first thing you need to do is remove the battery. Do not attempt to turn the phone on to see if it works. You must disconnect the phone from its power source (battery) as soon as possible. Many phones are built in a manner that will allow the circuits to survive water immersion when powered off, but if the phone was on it becomes more complex.

After removing the battery, you should remove the SIM card. For some carriers, the SIM card stores valuable information that would be devastating to lose. You should then remove any cases, covers, and accessories from the phone. Next, I put the phone in a container filled with rice for 24 hours to soak up any water. Then I opened up my phone using images from iFixit as a guide. Once it was opened up, I used a hairdryer to dry the innards of my phone. I put the phone back together after dying for about 10 minutes but it still wasn’t fully working when I turned it on. So I opened it again, and used the hair dryer in every conceivable crevice of the phone. Finally, after putting it back together, it finally works again!

By being patient and thoroughly drying out your phone before powering it on you can save yourself from needing to shell out a few hundred dollars for a new phone. I probably could have skipped the rice step and gone straight for the hair dryer. Either way, I’m glad I did what I did because it saved my phone.

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