And now for something completely different! Rescue your gadget from a watery grave.

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Time slows. Heartbeat by heartbeat you watch yourself, as if outside your body, clutching the air in vain as your precious device falls just outside your grasp. With a “Noooooooooooooooooooooooo!” *splash* it meets its watery fate. We’ve all been there. What was it for you? A puddle? A mug of tea? The sink? Or, *shudder* the toilet? After the flush, please god.

While the iPhone has many astounding feautres, swimming isn't one of them

Most of us have had to say goodbye to a faithful (not to mention, expensive) device prematurely thanks to a dunking. These days it’s a rare person who doesn’t carry a smartphone/tablet/mp3 player at all times. It’s also a rare person who can afford to replace such an item without incurring financial hardship (and withdrawal symptoms in the interim). But ladies, there’s a glimmer of hope. Having worked in the glamorous world of electronics sales, I’ve picked up some tricks to save your device from a watery grave. File these tips away in your mind, you never know when you’ll need them.

  • DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, turn on the device. I cannot stress this enough. I know how tempting it can be to press the power button, just to see if the device is ok. It might be ok after its swim, but once you turn it on it won’t be. Passing a current through wet circuitry will fry it, and render it completely useless.
  • Disassemble the device immediately, shake out the excess water and place it in a bag of (dry) rice. Take apart everything you can, the battery, the sim card tray etc. Put it all separately into the bag of dry rice and seal it. The rice will draw out the moisture from inside the device. Leave it sealed, somewhere warm (like the hotpress) for as long as you possibly can. A week at least, if you can bear it.
  • Once a decent amount of time has passed, investigate for signs of residual water in the device. Check the screen and the camera for condensation. If there’s no signs of wetness, you can try to turn it on. If there’s any sign of wetness, put it back into the bag and leave it for another few days.
  • If the device turns on, hurrah! You might be home and dry! However it’s very likely that the battery was irreversibly damaged during the dunking. Most parts of the device will still work after a swim, as long as they’re thoroughly dried out, but the battery is usually zonked. Buy a new battery for cheap from eBay and your gadget should be good as new! If not, it will at least work enough for you to retrieve important/sentimental information.
  • If you have a device which doesn’t have an easily removable battery, like an iPhone, you can still replace it yourself. There’s loads of great tutorials online on how to do it and it’s really quite easy. In fact I did it myself recently!

    An iPhone 3GS battery with a serious case of bloat

    The battery you can see above has swollen thanks to its swimming expedition. Before I replaced it, the iPhone wouldn’t power on. Since I replaced it, it’s been working absolutely perfectly. My little brother will soon be the estatic recipient of a resurrected 32 GB iPhone 3G S, thanks to my following the above tips.


    What do you think ladies, would you go to these lengths to rescue a water damaged device? Have you ever felt the heartache of losing a beloved gadget and all your contacts/photos/music? Share your experiences!

    Webmistress extrordinaire! 29 years young, Medicinal Chemistry postgrad. student, BSc (hons) Genetics, former Lush Cosmetics employee and bunny mum. Beauty interests: Cosmeceuticals, natural and cruelty free cosmetics, managing oily & imperfect skin, debunking inflated scientific claims.

    • cornflakegirl

      Great post, I managed to rescue my phone, after it had an encounter with a cup of coffee, by doing this. I was so relieved to have it back in action.

      • Dolly Rouge

        Yay, great to hear that you rescued your phone! You’d never think that it could fall into a cup or a glass, but I saw loads of people the very same thing happened to in my old job. Most of them weren’t as lucky as you though, because they kept turning the phone on before drying it out. Fair play Paula :)

    • Deirdre Furlong

      Oh my god a week without my phone would be hell but I think i would do it if it meant getting it back from the dead. 

      • Dolly Rouge

        Tell me about it! When it happened to me I got a cheapy phone to tide me over in the meantime. Could save you 500 quid or more on replacing it!

    • Anonymous

      I once put my fancy smancy new phone in the washing machine, I was going away for work so decided to throw my bed linen in the wash and some how my phone was stuck in the middle of it! I realised approx 3 mins after the washing machine filled with water. I threw it in the hotpress in a bath of rice and it soldiered on for a long time, except the ringer didn’t work, but was fine for the little bro. 

      • Dolly Rouge

        Ah sugar, it’s so easy to happen isn’t it? My ex had a really bad habit of putting his dirty work clothes straight in the wash without taking his phone out of the pocket… You’d be surprised how resilient the phones are once they’re dried out!

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