The internet is full of advice about do-it-yourself methods for drying out and repairing a smartphone or cell phone that has taken an unfortunate dive into a body of water, whether the toilet or the community pool. Much of this advice will do more harm than good. Here are four of the more predominating myths surrounding the DIY rescue of a waterlogged mobile device – and why you should steer clear of attempting these tricks.
The Hair Dryer Method
There are several prevalent hacks purporting to be the ultimate solution for saving a wet smartphone that involve heat, with the hair dryer method being one of the most frequently mentioned. However, even using a hair dryer on a low speed could spread water or steam to other parts of your device that it hadn’t yet reached, essentially exposing other areas of your phone to water. As if this weren’t enough of an issue, the heat itself can cause damage to circuits and other delicate components.
The Rice Method
Another one of the longest-standing myths about remedying a wet smart phone, the rice myth seems to have some merit on the surface. After all, to cook rice, you heat it up in water, which the rice absorbs, expanding as it does so.
Unfortunately, when water is inside your device, placing the unit in a bowl or bag of rice won’t do the trick. That’s because the rice won’t actually wick moisture out of the many crevices in your device, though it would absorb water that it comes into direct contact with. That said, any water absorbed will come at the cost of a sticky residual mess, which can cause your phone to malfunction anyway.
The Microwave Method
The microwave method, along with the similar oven method for repairing wet phones, is not only ineffective but dangerous. Interestingly, there’s another common myth floating around indicating that you can actually charge a dead smartphone battery by microwaving it, which is an equally bad idea. As Snopes explains, “The most likely result of placing a cell phone in a microwave oven will be that the phone will be ruined (and the microwave oven potentially damaged as well).”
The Freezer Method
The opposite of the various heating myths about resuscitating a wet smartphone is the freezer myth, which encourage those unfortunate enough to be faced with attempting to revive a waterlogged mobile device to simply put it in the freezer for a few hours. The theory is that because the water will freeze, it will not actually damage the internal components of your phone.
While some time in the freezer may (or may not) freeze the water inside your smartphone, it’s a temporary arrangement; you can’t leave your device in the freezer forever, at least not if you want to use it again. Whether the water is frozen or not, it can still short out your device, so the freezer technique is essentially worthless.
There are a few other myths lurking about the internet (and probably among your friends) believed to be the ultimate tricks for rescuing a wet smartphone. The next time your phone takes a dip in any source of water, do some research before attempting a hack that may end up causing more harm than good.