Water damaged tech gadget: How to save it

Saw this on CBS early show and I thought I would share it.

Have you ever dropped you cell phone, iPod or other portable electronic devices in a puddle, toilet or worst of all, through the washing machine?

Their experiement. 5 cell phones, same model. It went through the washing machine for 30 minutes. That is at least 2-3 wash cycle and it can’t get any wetter.

Most important of all.
DON’T power up your gadget.
-Reason: When you power up the gadget, you will have electricity running through the gadget. With water in there, you will definately fry any components.

REMOVE battery and cards
-Reason: With the battery connected, eventhough it is not powered up, there is a small amount of voltage that is being sent through the unit. As for the cards, remove the memory card to prevent any loss of data.

After going through the washing machine
Phone 1: Leave it out to air dry for 24 hrs.
Verdict: The phone did not work.

Phone 2: Used uncooked rice
Have a sealable container and put uncooked rice in there along with your gadget. Leave it for 24 hrs in the sealed container.
-Reason: Rice contains will help dry moisture.
Verdict: Phone was able to power up and make a call but some the phone sounded a bit unclear.

Phone 3: Cat litter
Have a sealable container and put cat litter (Fresh Step) in there along with your gadget. Don’t get the clay but rather the synthetic blue pebbles. Leave it for 24 hrs in the sealed container.
-Reason: The Fresh Step or other synthetic pebbles cat litter is designed to capture moisture (cat pee) and works well to dry out things.
Verdict: It works much better than the rice.

Phone 4: Vodka
Dump your phone in Vodka or something with really high alcohol content. Have a glass full of alcohol and dump your phone in.
-Reason: Alcohol evaporates faster water. It’s better to have alcohol in there and it will remove the water when it evaporates.
Verdict: Yeah Right. It’s an urban legend.

Phone 5: Professional dryer
There are gadgets out there designed to dry electronics. It is widely designed and used for people with earpiece hearing kits. It cost about $100.
-Reason: These are professional dryers that were made to circulate dry air through your wet gadget.
Verdict: It works. They did not discover any problems with the phone.

Oh, also checkout my post about fixing a wet keyboard.

If all else fails, go buy a new gadget.
All the best.


5 responses to “Water damaged tech gadget: How to save it

  1. To confirm the experiment, I personally have tried the 5th technique. My Nokia 6600 smartphone went into my coffee mug at the office for couple of second. I removed the battery, washed with fresh water and did everything almost exactly like the above experiment, but for drying process, I did something different. I put the phone inside a small tiny box heated by small lamp (not fluorescent lamp) for 1 day. The phone still works perfectly up to this minute.

  2. If only I knew this a couple hours ago. 😦

  3. Pingback: Fixing It! Reviving a keyboard drowned in juice | EricEwe.com

  4. I comment whenever I especially enjoy a article on a blog or I have something to
    add to the conversation. Usually it’s caused by the fire communicated in the article I browsed. And after this post Water damaged tech gadget: How to save it | The “Skewed” perspective. I was moved enough to drop a comment 🙂 I actually do have a couple of questions for you if it’s allright.
    Could it be simply me or do a few of these remarks come across as if they are written by brain
    dead people? 😛 And, if you are writing on other
    places, I’d like to keep up with anything fresh you have to post. Would you make a list every one of your shared pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

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