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The Geek Girl Report: 6-13-11

Cell phones are fantastic little devices, but they’re not exactly waterproof.  I will never forget the time my mother left her cell phone outside in the rain and completely fried it. But water doesn’t have to be a death sentence for a cell phone, as long as you act quickly. If you ever drop your cell phone in water, here are some steps you can take to save it:

1.) Retrieve the phone from the water immediately, even if it falls in the toilet.

2.) Quickly remove the battery, dry it off with a towel, and set it aside to dry thoroughly. (Note: Even if the battery still works after this, you still might want to look into getting another one to prevent the risk of leaking battery acid.)

3.) Dry off the cell phone as best as you can.  You can use a cotton swab to soak up water in crevices and any fragile circuits. It’s helpful if you can disassemble your phone so each part can dry individually. Just make sure you know how to put it back together!

4.) If you drop your phone in something other than pure water (like a beverage or in salt water), you should rinse it off in fresh water to remove and materials or other substances. It may seem counter-intuitive, but if you’ve already dropped it in water, an additional rinse won’t do any more harm. You might also consider giving your phone an alcohol bath. It will displace any microscopic materials and actually help in evaporating the materials.

5.) Finally, leave the phone in a warm, dry area or near an air conditioner for 72 hours before you try putting the battery back in and turning it on. It may seem like a long time to go without your phone, but you want to make absolutely sure that there is not a trace of moisture in your phone, since even the slightest bit of moisture can cause the battery to short circuit.

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