Help! I need to rescue my drowned electronics!

Lately, we’ve been hearing a certain phrase more and more often. It’s usually said in a tone of dismay, and it sounds like this – “Oh no! I dropped my cell phone in the hot tub!” Blame it on clumsy fingers, more technology in society, or whatever you want, but the fact remains that all of us have accidents sometimes, and all too often they involve our beloved electronics.

The sensible solution to this problem would be to avoid taking your electronics near your hot tub. After all, you should be relaxing, or spending time with friends and family when you’re in the hot tub, not texting! But if you (or your teenager) can’t leave your cell phone, or any other fancy bit of technology, behind and it ends up going for a swim, don’t despair. There are a few steps you can take to try and bring your cell phone back to life. We recommend you try these ideas first, since many warranties don’t cover water damage, so admitting defeat could be expensive.

Firstly, it’s important that you act quickly to increase the chances of a full recovery. You can mourn your beloved device later. Begin by taking the battery out of your phone. Do not try to turn it on, as this can cause the circuits to short out! If your phone has a SIM card, take this out too, as it can still be used to retrieve information such as your contacts in the event that your phone is truly dead and gone.

Try to get the water out as quickly as you can. Many websites recommend that you use low pressure compressed air, or a vacuum cleaner to try to blow the water out. Don’t use any sort of heat, for example a hair drier, as this can cause damage to the inner workings of the phone. Some sites also recommend first rinsing the phone in clean water if it has been submerged in salt water to reduce the chance of it corroding or the interior parts becoming coated in residue.

Once you have as much as possible of the water out, you need to absorb the remaining water somehow. The best way to do this is to leave the phone (and the removed battery) in a bowl of uncooked rice overnight. Many people are skeptical, but many a soggy phone has been rescued in this way. If you are inclined to more professional methods, submerging the phone in packets of silica gel can also work to dry it out fully. However, rice works just as well, and it is important not to waste time before drying your phone out.

If, after following all of these steps, and leaving your phone to dry for the recommended period of time, it doesn’t come back to life, you will probably have to buy a new one. However, many can be saved in this way. If you are one of the unlucky few who have to spend the money to get a new phone, take it as an incentive to stop texting in the hot tub! And if your phone does come back to life, please try not to drop it in again!!

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