Splash goes your smartphone. What do you do next? Whether you drop it into the sea, a sink full of soapy water, or the toilet, you can damage your phone. But does an untimely swim mean you’ll have to buy a new mobile? Maybe not.
Find out what to do when your phone takes a dip, how to manage its repair costs, and how to prevent this from happening again.
What to Do with a Water-Damaged Phone
Acting fast and following this list could help you save your phone.
1. Remove your phone and turn it off. Take your phone out of the liquid as fast as you can to reduce how much liquid gets inside. Power it down right away.
3. Detach your case and battery. Take off the protective case to release any trapped liquid. If your model has a removable battery, take it apart.
4. Pat dry. Using a clean cloth, gently pat your phone and its battery, if removed. You don’t want to push liquid deeper into its ports, so take it slow.
5. Avoid rice. Urban legend has it that you can drop your phone in a bag of rice, and the starches will soak up the excess water. This can’t be further from the truth. In reality, it can damage your phone even more if rice or dust particles get inside. Instead of rice, try silica gel packets (those inedible sachets that come with new shoes) to help dry out your waterlogged phone.
6. Let it sit. You’ll want to let your phone air dry for the next 12–24 hours before you turn it on again.
Didn’t Work? Here’s How to Handle a Replacement
If your phone won’t turn back on or glitches once you boot it up, you’ll have to look into repairing or replacing your phone.
Unfortunately, most manufacturers’ warranties won’t cover water damage, so you’ll have to cover any repairs on your own dime. Bring it to your cell service provider and a third-party repair shop to find out how much it will cost to repair.
Finance a Modest Smartphone
If their quotes rival a brand-new phone, talk to your service provider about financing the cost of a new model. Rather than paying for a phone upfront, you’ll pay a small fee ($10 to $30) on every bill. You can reduce this charge by avoiding the latest flagships.
If you’ve already tapped out financing with your provider, you might be stuck buying a phone outright. Without savings, you may have to take out a cash advance to get a phone in your hands. Online cash advances are convenient alternatives to savings when you need to pay for unexpected emergency expenses, like replacing a phone you need for work.
If using a cash advance, look into refurbished phones to limit how much you borrow. These phones undergo rigorous testing to ensure they perform at factory standards. They also usually come with a warranty should anything glitch.
Avoid Water Damage in the Future
You only need to pay for a replacement phone once to know you never want to deal with water damage again. Avoidance is your best option. That means keeping it out of the bathroom and leaving it a safe distance from pools, rivers, or ponds.
But if that sounds impossible, invest in a waterproof case and pouch. These protective items give your phone a fighting chance at avoiding water damage.