Most of us have dropped a piece of electronics in some body of water at some point in our lives. Maybe you went swimming with your phone in your pocket, for example. Or you may have spilled water on your laptop keyboard.
Whatever happened to your poor piece of electronics, the natural response to water damage is that you just destroyed your expensive piece of hardware. But all hope is not lost! There are several ways you can bring your phone, tablet, or laptop back from the brink of water-based destruction. Here are a few of the best ways to protect electronics from water damage:
The rice trick
Many people are familiar with ‘the rice trick’ for saving electronics that have been damaged by water. What exactly is the rice trick? Well, it involves soaking your electronics in a bag of dry rice and leaving them overnight.
The rice sucks up the moisture from the water-damaged electronics and your device is saved. It’s an incredibly effective trick that has worked on everything from iPhones to expensive digital cameras to laptops. Some even suggest leaving your laptop in a bag of race for up to three days to ensure all the moisture has been drained.
Be sure to remove your battery pack and expose as many parts of the device to the rice as possible. And you probably shouldn’t eat the rice afterwards.
The silica gel trick
You know those silica gel packets that you find in the bottom of a new pair of shoes? Well you should start hoarding those packets because one day you might need them to save your brand new laptop. Silica gel packets are specially designed to absorb moisture.
It’s like the rice trick, except you’re surrounding your electronics with silica gel packets instead. Since most people don’t have several dozen silica gel packets lying around your home, you should toss packets together with dry rice to make a potent water-draining combination.
But whatever you do – DO NOT EAT the silica gel.
The ‘hold it upside down and let a fan blow on it’ trick
If you don’t have rice or silica gel nearby, then you’re going to have to choose the low-tech method of fixing water-damaged electronics. Remove the battery back from the device and place it at an angle where water would be able to drain out. You might be able to see holes at the bottom of your laptop where it could drain out, for example.
Along with placing your electronics at the right angle, set up a fan to blow on it. This isn’t an ideal solution, but it might be the only option you have.
The most important part of this approach is to be patient. If you live in a dry climate, the moisture might entirely disappear within one to two days. But in general, you should wait three to four days before powering on your electronics. I know that could be tough when you’re trying to fix your phone, but it could be the difference between turning your phone on again and watching it die in your hands.
What if you haven’t dropped your phone in a lake yet? Well, you’re probably looking for ways to protect your device in case you get caught out in the rain. Here are a few of our favorite precautionary measures that should reduce the chances of water damaging your electronics:
-Silicon keyboard covers for laptops
-Waterproof cases for phones, or if you find those cases to be too bulky, choose water-resistant cases
-Power off your electronics immediately after they come into contact with water. The sooner you do this, the less likely you are to suffer from water damage.
-Check your pants pockets (or wherever you keep your phone) before you throw anything in the washing machine
-Don’t bring your phone into high-risk areas like the bathroom, kitchen, or shower