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Daday's Kitchen

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5 Things To Do When Your iPhone Gets Wet

Getting your iPhone wet or soaked, be it in a toilet bowl, sink, river or ocean or in a “bulalo soup” *(soup made from beef broth with some of the bone marrow), is already a big problem.

You can squeal, shout, cry, utter bad words or do anything to let out the frustrations. But the fact remains that you may have to say goodbye to your iPhones and all the data it contains…contacts, notes, calendars and most especially, all your photos and videos.

It happened to me with my 3-year old iPhone4s, on the morning of December 26, 2014,in our house in Bicol. I was about to use the toilet when I heard something drop into the bowl and when I looked down…wahhhhhh…my iPhone with its pink case. And all I can do is shout at the to top of my lungs, “ang phone ko nahulog sa bowl” and pick it up as fast as I can. 

Karen Davila was right when she said it on national TV in one of the episode of Bandila, when it happened your initial reaction is to get it no matter what. Good thing for me, the user before me was my youngest niece who just pee and did not forget to flush.
And these are my learning based on experience:
  1. Make sure that your phone is off. Due to their conductive natures, water and other liquids short-circuit electronics.Do not assume or think that it automatically turned of when it became wet. If you knew that it is on and running before it happened, press the switch and turn it off…this I was not able to do…haiztsigh.
  2. Pat it dry with a cloth. Use a towel or any soft, absorbent cloth to dry the surface as fast as you can. Carefully wipe down the headphone jack and charge port.
  3. Draw all moisture out of the phone as quickly as possible. You can air dry the unit but it will not work as fast as the following:
    • The Rice Trick. Put your phone in a tub or bag of rice and let it set for several hours (as long as you can tolerate, up to 24 hours at the most). The dryness of the rice will absorb the water from the unit. In my case, my sister buried my phone in a big plastic drum full of rice but I got impatient and took it out after just a few hours.
    • The Silica Gel. Instead of rice, you can substitute it with packs of silica gels. Silica gel is most commonly encountered in everyday life as beads in a small paper packet and used as a desiccant to control local humidity to avoid spoilage or degradation of some goods.
  4. Remember these "donts". The following are just common sense but I decided to list it down, just in case.
    • Amidst your fit of frustration, DO NOT throw your wet phone into the window or against a wall…there’s still hope, even just a bit.
    • DO NOT use hair dryer. It may heat the small components inside your unit which may damage worse. I thought of it, lucky for me we had no dryer in the house.
    • DO NOT attempt to put it near a stove or any source of fire. It is worst than the hair dryer…the outside casing or even the battery may be damage by the heat. We put it a little farther from a “kalan” (a coal-fired cooking stove) but remove it after a few minutes, which was a good decision.
  5. Bring it to a trusted repair shop. If all else failed, bring it to your trusted repair shop or to  those recommended by a relative or a friend. We did yesterday in Greenhills…we’ve known them since 2011 as per the recommendation of my sister. Their worst diagnosis, which I already resigned myself with, was short-circuit plus a possibility of a damage LCD Screen.
The LCD Screen was not damaged so I was able to save on that. The battery though the cover looked crumpled but still function properly.
                           IMG_0278[1] IMG_0275[1]
And the most important thing, my 1000+ pictures are all intact :)…which were my foremost concern. The phone numbers, email addresses, reminders, notes and calendars can be retrieved from iCloud. But those pictures mostly taken this December such as Daniz First Communion and Gratitude Day, Christmas parties with family and friends, Espiritu’s Annual Reunion were not saved in iCloud because it exceeded the 5GB free storage. Photos taken and lost cannot be recover...cannot be re-enacted...

Lesson learned from this fiasco: always save all the pictures after each important event.
Now, my iPhone is up and running. Yesterday, after 5 days, I made my first call at 5:52pm and my first post in FB at 10:51pm…yeeeheeeyyyyyy!!!

  • The "bulalo soup" came about because while we were at the repair shop in Greenhills, a lady asked if her phone can be repaired. Apparently, she dropped it into a bowl of Bulalo...the reason I was not able to hear clearly.
  • For just a few hours of waiting, Pinoys ingenuity were very evident. Several locals and even foreigners came to the shop for the repair of their gadgets...iPad with broken screen, Macbook that overheat, iPhones that does not function. In other countries, if its not working it will be disposed.
  • When I asked Kuya the Repairman, how many percent my phone can be repaired, he answered without batting an eyelashes, "90%...because if we cannot repair it, you will not pay us, so it better be repaired".