How to save your Android smartphone from water damage

There's still hope if you’re quick to react with these essential steps

Some days, no matter how careful you are, your phone slips from your hand. It's not so bad if it lands on the floor. Not if it dives straight into a swimming pool, or worse, a toilet bowl.

That scream of pure agony is understandable. Your life flashes by, that pain in your chest isn’t imaginary. The heartache is very real when you see the screen sputter and black out within mere seconds after you fish it out of the water.

Despair not, for there’s still a chance that you can resuscitate your Android smartphone. So instead of singing a farewell song to it and burying it with your other outdated gadgets, follow these simple tips to give it a second lease of life.

Pick it up immediately

This is short of being very obvious, but grabbing the phone out of the water is the most critical step. Even one second of exposure could allow water to invade your phone through the microUSB port, 3.5mm audio port or between the seams of the phone's rear cover.

Be sensible about it though, don't dip your hand into hot lava (yes, we exaggerate). But if it's just some sewer water because you've dropped your phone into a drain, go straight for it with your hand. Don't worry, a little dirty water won't melt or mutate your hands.

Power down, now!

Again, in your moment of panic, you might have forgotten to perform this important step. Shutting down the phone will halt any potential short circuiting in the phone. Remember, water and electricity don’t go well. Every moment given to the water invasion to conduct a current across circuitry raises the possibility of a dead phone.

Strip the phone to dry

No matter how quickly you scoop your phone out of its watery grave, water is going to seep in. Strip the phone. Remove the cover, SIM card, microSD card, battery, basically anything that you can disassemble without voiding the warranty.

Removing the battery is the most important bit, since it’s the power source and can’t afford to be water damaged. Neither should it be given time to kill any internal parts when it transmits power to the phone.

While you can’t remove the battery from non-removable models such as the Samsung Galaxy S6 or HTC One M9, their closed design prevents additional water from invading the internal battery. But remember, don’t go overboard and dismantle the phone. There’s no guarantee that you can reassemble the parts together and get it working after it’s dry.

Place it on a towel

Soak up all the big water particles. That’s the first thing (well, other than taking it out of the water) that you should do to dry your cherished gadget. But whatever you do, don’t wipe your soaked phone. You won’t want to spread more water across the device. Instead, perform light dabs on the affected areas to absorb the moisture. This is essentially the fastest way to keep the surface dry.

24 hours. No more, no less

That’s how long it’ll take before your phone is reasonably safe from the leak. That said, it doesn’t mean you’re going to leave it alone for 24 hours. Every hour or so, reposition the phone, either by rotating or flipping on its side and let gravity work its magic to pull the water out of the device.