First aid for wet smartphones

Published on 18/04/2017 in Tips & tricks from…

First aid for wet smartphones

Water damage doesn’t always have to be fatal.

Oops. There goes that coffee all over your smartphone. Or it just fell into the toilet. For most devices, that means: end of story. Or maybe not?

Of course, some mobile phones are completely waterproof these days, such as the Samsung Galaxy S7. But what if yours isn’t? Don’t worry, I have an emergency plan for you. Guaranteed success? No, I can’t give you that. But it’s your best chance. And if you don’t try...

What if you aren’t sure if there’s any water damage? Play it safe and follow the steps below. Because sometimes, problems can take a while to show themselves. And by that time, it’ll be too late.

Grains of rice for the win!

Anyway, this is the plan:

  • First things first: Turn off the device immediately and open the back (if possible). Remove the battery, along with the SIM and memory cards.
  • Then hold your smartphone upside down and shake it a little bit. This can allow some of the water to drip out spontaneously.
  • Now dry the device and the removed parts with some kitchen paper or a towel.
  • Put everything in a bowl of uncooked, dry rice. Make sure everything is fully submerged in the grains of rice. Why? The rice will slowly drain the moisture out of the device.
  • Leave the device to dry like this for one to two or even three days. If necessary, replace any rice that has become wet with new rice. Don’t have any rice? You can also use oatmeal, muesli or cat litter, for example.
  • Now check whether everything is completely dry. Only then should you try to restart your smartphone. Do this first, before charging the device.

What NOT to do under any circumstance?

Here’s another important point to bear in mind: there are several things you absolutely should not do. They may all be well-intentioned, but will do more harm than good:

  • Don’t set upon your smartphone with a hairdryer. The heat will melt the parts, and the wind will blow the water even deeper into the device.
  • Don’t put the device on a heater or stove either. A regular warm environment is fine.
And if all that doesn’t help?

Still no sign of life? Then you’re out of luck, I’m afraid. Because the factory warranty does not apply in this case. Of course you can always try to send in your device for repair, but pretty much every manufacturer puts a chemical sticker inside the device. The sticker changes color when it has come into contact with water. You can make up as elaborate a story as you like, it won’t work.

Which isn’t to say that bringing your device in for repair is a bad idea. Are you considering doing so? Don’t wait too long, because even light water damage can cause corrosion of the internal parts. And that means even more troubles.

Have you decided that it's game over for your mobile after all? In that case we'll be happy to help you choose a new smartphone that fits your needs perfectly. Simply drop into a Proximus Center near you or take a look in our web shop.

By the way, you'll also receive a free replacement smartphone from us if yours breaks or is lost or stolen. And it’s yours to use for a whole month. This way you're reachable again for all and sundry in no time at all.


Digital and content marketer. Gardening is my passion just like eating. But right after playing some series or films, because that's my thing.

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