How to Dry Electronics

How to Dry Out Electronics

This summer, millions of Americans will enjoy spending time at the beach, on boats, or by the pool. Electronic devices can make these experiences even more relaxing and enjoyable. Listening to your favorite tunes or reading an e-book can really enhance your summertime vibe … until disaster strikes.

The good news is that many personal electronic devices can be dried out with basic household items. Cell phones, laptops, digital cameras, and tablets are not necessarily destined for recycling just because they get wet. Here’s how to dry out your electronics when you have an accident:

How to Dry Out a Phone or Digital Camera in 10 Steps

Dropping your smartphone in the pool is not necessarily a death sentence for your device. It takes some time, but many can be brought back to life. Follow these 10 simple steps to dry out your smartphone or digital camera:

  1. Get the device out of the water immediately. Most devices will not sustain damage if they are submerged for under 30 seconds.
  2. Remove the battery and any cards inside the device, such as a SIM card or SD card. Dry these items off immediately and set them aside.
  3. Disconnect any chargers, headphones, or other peripherals that may be plugged into the device.
  4. Gently shake the item, coaxing water out of any ports or openings. Do not drop or strike the item on any surfaces.
  5. If the device fell into mud or salt water, rinse the item with fresh water and gently shake it out.
  6. Dab the exterior of the item dry with a clean towel.
  7. Use a can of compressed air to blow moisture out of the device.
  8. Place the item in a warm spot to dry and flip it over every few hours. A sunny windowsill works well. Do not place the device in an oven, and do not use a hair dryer or heat gun, as these artificial heat sources can destroy the device.
  9. Encourage water evaporation by pointing a fan at the item.
  10. After 24 hours, re-insert the device’s original, now-dry battery and see if it will turn on. If it works, you’re back in business! If it doesn’t work, remove the battery, plug the charger into the device, and turn it on. If it works now, you just need a new battery from the store.

Additional Tips for Saving Waterlogged Electronics

  • If you drop liquid inside a laptop or computer keyboard, promptly pour the liquid out. Keep the item inverted to allow the liquid to drip out. Place the keyboard or laptop in a warm spot and use a fan to encourage drying.
  • Sealing a phone in a bag of rice is rarely effective. A better product is silica gel. So, save all those little silica packets that come in new shoes and bags—you never know when you will need them to dry out your phone! If you’re short on silica, a product like the Electronics Rescue Pouch is a nice item to keep on hand.
  • Earbuds are surprisingly water-resistant. Most models of earbuds will even survive a few runs through a washing machine. You should be able to remove most water by swinging them in a circle by their cord. Resting in a sunny windowsill will eliminate any remaining water droplets inside them.

What Do You Do If Your Electronics Still Don’t Work?

Don’t give up hope if your drying efforts don’t bring your device back to life. Electronic Restoration Services can restore most water-damaged electronics, and in the rare instance that the device is beyond repair, we can almost always recover data from the device or memory card. Call 866-225-5377 or complete our contact form to talk to one of our electronic restoration experts.