I have bad news for you: if you drop your phone or tablet into water (whether in the bathtub, sink, toilet or pool), it will cause irreparable damage. No more apps, games, Facebook, phone calls or browsing. Everybody left.

But it is not all the bad news.

If you leave your phone or tablet on, you will be in trouble. Disabling immediately may just save your device. In fact, there are several steps you can take to get water out of your tablet or phone and keep it from breaking down.

Help! My tablet is wet and won’t turn on!

It’s important to act quickly when your phone or tablet gets wet. Water and electricity just don’t get along; a wet device can short out current and even cause electric shock. Water can damage the screen and seep into the bezel, slots, under the screen, and into the battery cavity.

Basically, letting your phone or tablet get wet is a bad idea and you need to act fast.

In short, stop trying to turn it on. You need to let your phone dry if you ever want it to work again.

Dropped your phone or tablet in water? Turn it off!

If your phone has been exposed to enough water for you to be concerned, the first thing you should do is turn it off! Meanwhile, if you are using a phone with a removable battery, open the compartment and remove the battery.

Don't let your phone get wet!
Image Credit: Mike Myers/Unsplash

Whatever you do, don’t waste time testing your wet phone or tablet. This will only make things worse!

You may be away when the phone gets wet, or you may be at home or at the office. Either way, you will need to find a flat, dry surface that you can use for the next steps. Quick action recommended — failure to quickly complete the following steps will damage your phone or tablet!

Dry everything you can immediately

iPhone slot must be dried

Luckily, phones and tablets don’t separate too easily. If they did, they would probably fragment every time they were thrown!

However, two more items can be removed along with the battery:

  1. SIM card: Take this, dry it with a paper towel and keep it in a safe place.
  2. Removable micro SD card: Remove and dry the card. Please note that not all devices will have a removable SD card.

The reason for this is simple — water gets everywhere! After removing these two cards, you can dry the slots with a tissue to absorb any remaining water.

Drying your phone or tablet

Don’t stop with SIM and SD card slots. Any water that you can find on the turned off device should be wiped off as quickly as possible.

Make sure that any water droplets around the edge of the display have been absorbed. Also check around the screw holes and the bezel—anywhere on the outside of your phone or tablet, in fact.

Without taking the device apart, it is as dry as you can physically reach it. By the way, opening a phone or tablet is dangerous. You will only convince moisture to come into contact with the motherboard and other components.

So, how do you dry out the insides of a phone or tablet that gets wet?

4 ways to get water from your phone or tablet

Inside a smartphone or tablet computer, you’ll find processors, circuit boards, rocket buttons, all places where water can find a home and wreak havoc. However, if you quickly disconnect the flooded device and remove the SIM card and micro SD card, you should be able to restore the device.

You just need to dry the board, wires and processors inside.

1. Boiler / drying cabinet

A heat-based solution, it will take several hours to dry your phone — probably around a full day. However, before using this solution, turn on the boiler.

2. A bowl of rice

To kill him from water damage

While you may have to head to your local convenience store, a bowl of dry uncooked rice is probably the most successful solution to water damage to your phone or tablet.

You’ll need to pack it in a container large enough to hold your equipment and a good layer of rice — about 1 inch on all sides — but the food will soak up almost all of the moisture overnight, leaving you with a fully functional device.

3. Lots of silica gel

Silica can help dry out a wet tablet

Do you collect those silica bags that come with most electronic products? Pack your phone or tablet in a box with lots of silica gel sachets to cover all sides of the device and leave it overnight and hope your savings are not wasted.

4. Pure alcohol

The last suggestion that has proven effective is the use of pure alcohol. If the damage done to your device by water is the result of basic physics, then dipping your device off in alcohol is the result of basic chemistry. The alcohol displaces the water, after which you remove the device from the liquid, the alcohol evaporates. This is an extreme solution, but useful if the other fixes don’t work.

Find Water Damaged Tablet Repair

If none of the above work, or you can’t find rice or even a warm spot, consider renovating. While expensive (and potentially a waste of time), some phone shops will deal with water damage.

Do you have an iPad or iPhone? If you have Apple Care+, this should cover you for two accidental damages including water, so it’s probably worth paying for Apple Care. For non-Apple devices, you need to check if the insurance you purchased with your phone or tablet covers the damage.

Do not throw your phone or tablet into the water!

These fixes are for extreme scenarios only. Don’t let your phone or tablet get wet! A few splashes of rain are in order; anything else could be catastrophic.

These potential fixes are exactly that: «potential» fixes, not «actual» fixes. They have been shown to work, but none are guaranteed. As such, consider these safer methods:

Choose the best option: Keep your phone or tablet away from water. If you can’t, water damage is a strong argument for smartphone insurance.

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