June 21st, the official start of summer is just around the corner.

That means sunshine, hot days, and lazy days at the beach or the pool…all of which provide a high risk environment for your smartphone.

Whether you drop your beloved smartphone in a lake or jump in the pool forgetting it’s in your pocket, you’re likely to experience a moment of panic once you realize your mistake.

When your smartphone suffers water damage, you might think that your options are limited to buying a new device or living without a smartphone – an unthinkable outcome in today’s “always on” world.

Fortunately, there are ways to fix your water damaged smartphone, so don’t have to revert to an analog life. While there are no guarantees of full recovery, it never hurts to give it a try.

The first thing to know, is that there are critical steps to take as soon as your smartphone hits the water. And while knowing what to do to salvage your water damaged smartphone is important, equally important is what not to do. These wrong steps could reduce your chances of successful recovery:

  • Don’t Panic: All is not lost, even if you fail to fix your water damaged smartphone. As long as your data is backed up to the cloud, you can recover your information even if your recovery efforts fail and you need to buy a new phone.
  • Don’t Turn It On: Resist the urge to power your water damaged phone back on. Doing so is likely to make the damage even worse.
  • Don’t Use This Method: You should also avoid artificial drying methods like hair dryers, and your microwave (yes, some people have attempted this). The heat from the hair dryer and rays from the microwave will damage the phone further, and that damage could interfere with your recovery efforts.

How To Fix Your Water Damaged iPhone

As soon as your iPhone hits the water, take these steps right away.

  1. Turn the phone off
  2. Dry the smartphone with a clean towel or cloth
  3. Remove the SIM card
  4. Place the phone on a flat surface and allow it to dry
  5. Turn the phone on and see if it powers on
  6. Fill a Ziploc bag with silica-based cat litter or drying gel and place your iPhone inside
  7. Leave the phone in the bag for 24 to 48 hours, then try to turn it on

How To Fix Your Water Damaged Android Phone

If your Android phone suffers water damage, the following steps can help you avoid shelling out cash for a brand new phone.

  1. Remove the Android phone from the water right away – every second counts
  2. Turn the phone off
  3. Remove the battery and SIM card
  4. Remove the micro SD card and set it aside
  5. Carefully wipe the SIM and micro SD cards with rubbing alcohol
  6. Use a cotton swab to place rubbing alcohol on the interior components
  7. Place all of the components in a Ziploc bag and fill the bag with rice
  8. Allow the components and the rice to sit for 24 to 48 hours
  9. Put the phone back together and try to power it on

Hopefully, these steps will allow you to salvage your water damaged iPhone or Android-based device.  If you’re lucky, the drying agents will remove not only the water, but any debris the water left behind. If that happens, your phone will power on normally, and you will enjoy the same great operation you did before your device went for a swim.

While it is important to hope for the best, there is always the possibility that your smartphone will not be restored by the drying steps outlined above.

If the worst happens, seek professional help to salvage any data you failed to back up before the unfortunate incident. To protect your phone from water damage in future, consider investing in a waterproof phone case or even a water resistant phone.

But a word of caution – just because a device or piece of equipment says it is water resistant, this doesn’t mean it’s foolproof. A phone’s resistance to water is often dependent on the water clarity, how deep it is submerged, and how long the device was submerged.

To be on the safe side, before you engage in summer activities, make sure all your data is backed up and consider investing in an insurance plan if you haven’t already so you’ve got your bases covered no matter what.

Most importantly, stay safe, have fun, and enjoy the beautiful Wisconsin weather this summer!

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