What helps if your cell phone falls into water

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A spilled drink, a fall in the snow, or a drop in the bathtub, and your smartphone is already wet. If moisture gets inside the device, this can lead to malfunctions. There are many instructions on the internet on how to dry your smartphone quickly. Apple recently issued an official warning about one of these methods: rice should never be used to dry a soaked iPhone. But which emergency measures are effective?

On the Internet, you often read the tip to put a wet cell phone in a bowl of uncooked rice. This could draw the water out of the device and absorb it. Apple dispelled this myth in an official statement and warned against using rice.

Small rice particles could get into the openings of the iPhone and damage the device. Not mentioned in Apple’s statement, this probably also applies to cat litter, which is also an insider tip on the Internet to prevent wetness. Apple says cotton buds or paper towels should not be inserted into the charging port. You should also avoid blow-drying with a hairdryer or compressed air cleaner and drying on a radiator.

Sensors in the cell phone report moisture
So, what should you do if your cell phone has fallen into the water? First, you should dry the phone all over with a clean, lint-free cloth. Experts recommend switching off the smartphone and never connecting it to the charging plug when wet.

Many smartphones detect water ingress using liquid sensors (Liquid Contact Indicators) located inside the devices and issuing a warning message. For example, if the iPhone detects liquid in the Lightning connector, a message will appear stating that charging is currently not possible. And even though most newer smartphones are already labelled waterproof, the warranty is usually voided if liquid gets inside the device.

Tap the iPhone and then dry it slowly
For the iPhone in particular, Apple recommends tapping the phone with your hand while holding it with the charging port facing downward. You should then place the iPhone in a place with good air circulation. You can use the cell phone again when the warning no longer appears on the display. This can take up to 24 hours.

Unlike Apple, Samsung lists using a cotton bud to remove moisture from the headphone socket and charging port for its Android smartphones.

Rinse off chlorine and saltwater
If the phone has been exposed to sticky lemonade or has fallen into chlorine or salt water, Samsung recommends placing it in clean, clear water for a few minutes and then rinsing it off to remove salt, as these could accelerate corrosion inside circuits. Afterwards, Samsung phones should dry in a well-ventilated place, ideally at room temperature.

Alternative: silica gel bags
According to experts, silica gel can be used as an alternative to rice. Small bags of silica balls are often included in the packaging of electronic devices and dried food snacks, but they can also be bought online. It is best to place the cell phone with a few of these sachets in an airtight container so that the silica gel can absorb and store the moisture.

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