How to Keep Water from Damaging Your Smartphone

Today, life seems to move faster than ever and our smartphones help us keep up. So it’s easy to relate to assistant fashion stylist Jillian Petry, who felt lost when her iPhone took an unexpected swim in her kitchen sink.

“I was in a hurry, getting ready for work, happened to be near the kitchen sink and my phone just slipped out of my hands,” she said. “My stomach dropped and I immediately started to panic. I had all of my contacts, pictures and work schedule on there.”   

Thankfully, Petry acted quickly and got the phone working again the next day. Others might not be so lucky. Here are a few tips in case you ever drop your cell phone in water:

  1. First, turn off your phone and keep it off. Pressing the power down button right away could minimize the damage by not letting the water have a chance to hit the circuitry.
  2. Yahoo! Tech explains that the next important thing is to remove any case, SIM card and battery. Taking everything apart gives the trapped water a path to exit.
  3. Next, try using a handheld vacuum cleaner, or a traditional vacuum with an attachment, and hold it over your phone for up to 20 minutes. Despite widespread belief, Popular Mechanics says to stay away from using a blow dryer, which often forces water further into the crevices and electrical parts in the phone.
  4. Finally, place your phone in a bag or bowl filled with a material known for drawing out moisture and walk away. Think of white rice, couscous, and even kitty litter as good options to absorb the water — but you’ll have to be patient. CNET says 72 hours away from your phone is best, although that might feel impossible. By resisting the urge to check your phone every few hours, you’ll give your phone a real chance to dry out.

Of course, there’s no guarantee these steps will work in every case.  For peace of mind, consider these options to protect all those pictures and videos you’ve got on your phone:

  1. Consider signing up for a free smartphone cloud service that backs up your pictures and videos to a secure, remote server. If anything happens to your phone and you replace it, you can download your pictures and videos to your new phone.
  2. To prepare for possible water damage, Verizon customers can purchase a device protection program such as Total Mobile Protection and pair it with a heavy duty phone case like LifeProof, or invest in a wet-phone emergency kit such as the Dry-All Container.

And remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so consider buying a waterproof phone next time!

Ken Muche is a public relations manager with Verizon Wireless. Follow him on Twitter at: @VZWken.