Wet electronics are generally a terrible thing, but it's especially panic-worthy when it's your lifeline to the rest of the world, your smartphone. We at Daily Lounge have had a plethora of devices drowned in salt, fresh, and chlorinated water in the past, and the anxiety and dumbfoundedness on what to do always seems to persist. Thus, we’ve decided to list (from anecdotal and Internet research) the best steps you can take to resurrect your sunken mobile phone.
The Vacuum Cleaner Trick
This is something that never occurred to us when dealing with our own waterlogged electronics disasters, but it is likely the first and best thing you should do to revive your smartphone. The best part? It only takes a few minutes. After removing your phone case, take a vacuum, cup the hose with your hand and make suction points on every crevice of your device while the vacuum is on, sucking every drop of moisture from its internals. Try to get every nook, cranny and port. About three minutes of high-powered suction could get your phone working almost immediately. However, we still recommend you try some of our other remedies afterward.
Blow it With a Hair Dryer
This is essentially the opposite of the previous quick fix, but using a hair dryer to blow the moisture out of your device actually has been a proven to be effective. Just make sure not to use heat. Most hair dryer's have another button for "Cool" air, rather than "Electronic-components-frying heat." Blow out the internals hitting all of the ports, and especially the screen. If at this point, you're really desperate, you can try to power it back on. If this doesn't work, there still might be hope.
A Dip in Rubbing Alcohol
This may sound counterintuitive, but giving your wet smartphone an alcohol bath can actually be helpful. This is more useful when dealing with a smartphone you dropped in chlorine, juice, or salt water, as they can corrode the phone's components if not cleared out. Depending on your own circumstances, you can start with this step and continue down the list from here. The closer the isopropyl alcohol is to 90% purity is best, as the less water involved the better. The fact that alcohol evaporates faster than water also helps it dry out faster.
Bury Your Phone in a Bowl of Rice
Okay, you've heard this a lot, but a bowl of rice really does seem to have an effect on drying out electronics. Science says rice takes to water like fat kids to cake, so if you're okay with waiting a 12-72 hours period (depending on your anxiety level), throw phone in a bowl or bag of rice and pray to your respective higher power.
DO NOT Put it in the Freezer or Refrigerator
This is a DO NOT rather than a DO. But seriously, don't throw your waterlogged electronics into your refrigerator or freezer. We're not sure who came up with proposing this as a solution or how anyone actually falls for it, but putting your soaked phone in the freezer will not work. Freezing the phone will indeed turn the water inside to ice (proponents of this technique claim solid H20 is better than liquid), but it can break the components as the ice expands and when it melts it will continue to cause electrical interference, keeping your phone deader than a doornail.
Leave it by a Window or Heat Vent
If you're really still concerned with drying out your phone by this point and you've gone through the earlier mentioned steps, you might want to consider the low-tech method of sticking it on a window sill overnight or close to a heat vent. Just make sure it won't fall below freezing overnight and your heat source won't melt your device.
"Have You Tried Turning it Off and On Again?"
Whatever method you use, the process obviously ends with knocking on wood and finally attempting to turn your phone back on. We can't guarantee a fix and take no responsibility for voids of warranty or damage done to your device (and let's be honest, you're the one who dropped it in the toilet playing Candy Crush, not us), but it's very likely your device could be in tip top shape.
[Pic via Flickr - Alexandre Ataide]