The chance of getting smartphones wet increases with warmer temperatures because more people are enjoying time by the water. Yet the biggest threat is something people are exposed to 365 days a year – the toilet. According to a recent UScellular Smartphone Trends Survey, 34 percent of people have dropped their phone in the toilet at one point in their life and 18 percent have admitted to jumping into a pool, lake or ocean with their phone in their pocket.1 It’s a common occurrence, so it’s smart to know how to recover and restore a smartphone if it ever becomes waterlogged.
“Most people panic when their phones get wet, worried that they’ve lost their contacts, photos and other important data. Their first frantic reactions are usually the wrong ones – pressing all the buttons, attempting to fix it with a hair dryer or even sticking it in the oven to dry,” said Tabatha McKay, area vice president/general manager for UScellular in New England. “Stay calm, don’t panic and remember that the phone and its data may be salvageable, even after taking a plunge.”
UScellular’s experts say that the key to success is acting quickly, using simple solutions, and avoiding behavior that might cause further damage. Here are some tips to saving a wet phone:
• Act fast. Retrieve the smartphone from the water as quickly as possible. The longer it’s submerged in liquid, the more likely it is to be irrevocably damaged. First things first, turn it off right away. Take off any cases or covers and remove all memory cards, headsets and other accessories. Take out the SIM card and carefully dry it off with a soft towel or cloth. The SIM card may retain important data even if the phone itself can’t be saved.
• Wipe it down. Carefully wipe the phone with a clean, soft towel, rag or cloth. Try to avoid getting water into the phone’s cracks, ports or other openings.
• Use a fan and avoid heat. Don’t use a hair dryer, oven or microwave to attempt to dry your phone as the heat could cause more damage. Instead, try using a fan for a couple of hours to blow air across the phone’s openings to help dry it out.
• Avoid age old myths. While rice and desiccant packages like silica gel are sometimes recommended methods to dry out a smartphone, this has proven to be a myth. In fact, both have been shown to be less effective than just leaving a smartphone in the open air to dry.2
• Back up regularly. It’s critical to back up your smartphone on a regular basis, so if it gets wet – or otherwise damaged – you can still retrieve important data, If the phone is not recoverable, at least this important information is saved.
• Protect your device. UScellular offers Device Protection+ that not only replaces a water-damaged phone, but also comes with tools to back up data and protect against malware. If you purchased device protection from your wireless carrier, visit your local store or the company’s website to submit a claim.
• Be proactive. Another option is to ensure your phone stays dry with a waterproof case offered through UScellular, such as the LifeProof FRE Cases for Apple iPhone. This specialized case allows phones to be submersed in water up to two meters for one hour.
1Between Nov. 18-Dec. 4, 2020, a total of 1000 online interviews were conducted among a nationally representative sample of U.S. consumers between 18-40 years old by a Dynata respondent panel.
UScellular is the fourth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier is building a stronger network with the latest 5G technology and offers a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. To learn more about UScellular, visit one of its retail stores or http://www.uscellular.com. To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with UScellular on Facebook.com/uscellular, Twitter.com/uscellular and YouTube.com/uscellularcorp.