iPhone Down The Toilet

It's not uncommon for phones, laptops and cameras to be rendered completely useless if a mug of tea is spilled over them or they been dropped into the sink of soaking dishes or even down the toilet (Yes, that happens more frequently than you might believe!)

So what should you do if your device get's an unwanted dunking?

Well, retrieve it as quickly as possible and once out, immediately remove the power source and battery (if you're able to). If you can't remove the battery and it's still powered on, switch if off.

DO NOT SWITCH IT ON !!

Before you attempt to switch it on, the device will have to be thoroughly dry. Take it apart as much as you can (battery, cases, easily unscrewed panels etc) and drain as much water as you can from it. Use a towel or paper towels and mop up as much as you can.

AGAIN, DO NOT SWITCH IT ON !!

The drying process will take time. Most phones, laptops and cameras are nigh impossible to take apart completely so you'll be left with a largely intact device that appears dry on the outside. I can't stress this enough, do not be tempted to put the battery in and test it. You'll more than likely break your device for good.

Wrap you device in paper towels and put if somewhere warm (not hot, just warm).

You now need to prepare a drying "bath".

Stuff you will need:

  1. A bag of silica gel. Not got one to hand (and who has?) then buy silica based cat litter. The crystals in this stuff are amazing for absorbing water and moisture. At a pinch you can use rice or even charcoal but the cat litter is so much better. To stop the silica getting into places you wouldn't want, fill some old socks with the crystals and tie the ends

  2. A large zip-lock plastic bag (or an air-tight, plastic bag large enough to comfortably hold your device and surround with cat litter filled socks!)

  3. If you're not using a zip-lock back then parcel tape to seal up your bag.

  4. Time! Expect to wait a few days, preferably a week.

Place your device in the bag along with the silica and pop the package in a warm place, like an airing cupboard and forget about it for as long as you can go without it. The longer you wait the more chance this process has to work.

This is not a foolproof solution and comes with no guarantee. There's a chance that irreversible damage was done virtually as soon as your device hit the water. The thing is we won't know until you go through this drying process. 

Good luck.

N.B.: If your device was covered with a sugary drink, like Cola or orange then you're in a more sticky situation, quite literally. Sugary drinks will leave a sticky residue on everything and will need to be washed off. You can try to do this yourself but it's job worth leaving to the experts.

Even water can leave mineral deposits on the components after drying which can lead to corrosion. You may decide to send your device to a professional for thorough cleaning which may prolong the life of your valuable equipment.

If you've spilled a liquid onto a keyboard for a computer (not a laptop) then it might be more cost effective simply to replace the keyboard.

Posted in tutorial.

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