How To Save A Wet iPhonePosted: June 24, 2014
Cases protect our iPhones from impact and software helps us find them when they get lost. But there is one enemy that it is nearly impossible to protect our phones from – water. Taking Apple’s masterpiece for a quick dip can turn it from the repository of your life’s information to a very well designed paperweight.
How To Dry Your Phone
If your iPhone does go for a swim, all is not lost. You might be able to revive it with some fast action. Remember, seconds count. Panic is your enemy. Every moment you spend mourning your loss is a moment that the evil water spends strangling your phone to death. Because panic will be working against you, let me give you some very simple instructions to remember.
- If you turn the phone on, you’ll damage it more. DO NOT TURN ON THE PHONE.
- Start drying your phone with whatever you’ve got, as fast as you can. Where there is water, there are towels. Use them. Use your shirt, use your friend’s shirt. Use whatever you can get your hands on that is soft and absorbent.
- Dry while you’re moving. You’re going to need to grab more stuff if you’re going to bring your phone back to life.
- Get uncooked rice and a plastic bag. Drop your phone in the bag, pour as much rice as you possibly can over the phone, then seal the bag.
- Pray, in the manner prescribed by your particular faith. If you are not the religious type, you can just pick a church that you drove past one time and pray like you think the people do there. But you might as well go on and pray, because you can’t do anything with your iPhone for 24 hours.
- You’ll want to try restarting your phone before 24 hours has elapsed. Don’t. Pray, then go somewhere and have several drinks. Ask someone at the bar to call a cab to take you home; your phone is not available to you.
- After your 24 hour period of penance and/or drinking is up, the moment of truth arrives. Was your phone underwater too long? Did you act fast enough? How do I know? I wasn’t there. Try powering up your phone.
From all I’ve read, there is about a 50/50 chance that your iPhone will come back to life if you follow this method after a near drowning situation. A lot depends on how long the phone was swimming and how fast you get your rice in to action.
Yeah, That Could Work. Or…
I should acknowledge one other method that I read which may be more effective, but you’re much less likely to be able to follow.
This other method is exactly the same as the one I detailed except that instead of putting your phone in rice, you put it in a bag of silica gel packets. I’m sure you’re familiar with silica gel packets, they’re the little white packets labeled “Do Not Eat” that you find in the packaging for some products you buy.
Silica gel packets absorb more moisture than rice, but chances are you don’t have a big bag of them around the house. Let’s face it, it says “Do Not Eat” right on them. For most of us, that also means “throw this out”.
Prevention, And When Prevention Fails
My phone recently took a bit of a dip. I did my 24 hours of
penance soul searching drinking and then took my phone out of the bag of rice. I pressed the power button. Nothing. I did it over and over and over again. Nothing. My iPhone was dead.
If you drown your iPhone, all is not lost. Apple will let you trade the old phone in on a replacement. Yes, you do have to pay them $269, but that was hundreds less than what my carrier, AT&T, proposed extorting from me.
The loss of my phone moved me. I know I’m not the only one to ever drown a phone. I know the pain of realizing what my mistake was going to cost. So, in addition to teaching you how to dry your phone out after a disaster, I decided to give you a few simple steps to follow to keep you from drowning your iPhone in a washing machine. I also added some thoughts on the feelings you might experience if you do.
- Don’t be efficient with your laundry. If you put on a pair of shorts and discover a grease stain on them, remove the shorts, apply a pretreatment to the stain and put them in the hamper. Why take that moment to choose to do a load of laundry? let the pretreatment soak in. Tomorrow is a better day to do wash clothes than today is.
- Always search your pockets as you load dirty clothes into the washing machine. While cash and certain forms of identification will survive being immersed, other important things do not do well in a washing machine. Among the items that I’ve found that do not thrive in the harsh environment of the washer are pay checks and, more germane to today’s discussion, iPhones.
- When you are efficient with your laundry in spite of your best efforts not to be, don’t spend too much time patting yourself on the back. This kind of thing only delays the discovery that your iPhone is not in the pocket of the clean shorts that you’re now wearing.
- It is important to recognize that it is normal to think “aha, I was right, here it is” when you find your iPhone in the pocket of a garment that was submerged in soapy water. Your smug satisfaction at being correct will soon give way to horror when you realize what being correct means in this case. As you process your loss, you may feel a twinge of guilt at your initial satisfaction. This will pass.
- If all else fails and, despite your best efforts, you launder your iPhone, remember that the sooner you get it out of the water, the better. My experience with running my phone through the laundry this weekend taught me that if the phone reaches the washer’s agitate cycle there isn’t enough rice in the world to resurrect it. Don’t bother with the rice, just go to the Apple Store.
Quick action can help you save the life of your iPhone if you get it wet. Quick action will also help get a grease stain out of a favorite pair of shorts. Remember, somewhere in the urge to save your shorts is the potential to drown your phone in the process.