If your phone has been exposed to water and is randomly turning off, there are a few things you can try to stop this from happening and potentially save your device.
Quick Fixes to Stop Phone Turning Off
Here are some quick things to try if your phone is turning off after water damage:
- Remove the battery (if possible) and wipe out any moisture with a dry cloth
- Do not try to turn on the phone until it has dried completely – this could short circuit it
- Place the phone in a bag or container of dry rice to help absorb excess moisture
- Use a fan or hair dryer on a low setting to gently blow dry the phone (avoid getting it too hot)
- Clean any corrosion from the SIM card and ports using isopropyl alcohol and a toothbrush
- When fully dry, try turning it on – if it works, continue monitoring for issues
These emergency fixes may help get moisture out and allow your phone to function temporarily. However, there still could be underlying damage, so you’ll need to follow up with further steps.
How Water Damages a Phone
To understand why a wet phone keeps turning off, it helps to know what exactly water does to the internal components:
- Short circuits – Water can cause electric current to flow abnormally, creating shorts that automatically shut off power as a safety measure.
- Corrosion – Water and moisture create corrosion on electronic contacts, interrupting connections needed to power on.
- Mineral deposits – Minerals in the water leave behind deposits as they dry, interfering with circuit board connections.
- Component damage – Water can actually damage fragile electronic components like the processor or motherboard.
Any of these effects can prevent a phone from being able to turn on and function. The phone turning itself off is typically a failsafe to avoid further issues when water is detected internally.
How to Dry Out a Wet Phone
If your phone has sustained water damage, the most critical step is thoroughly drying it out. Water and moisture themselves don’t necessarily harm electronics, but rather the effects they cause as they interact with the components.
Here are effective ways to dry out a wet phone:
- Rice – Bury the phone in a bowl of dry, uncooked rice. The rice will absorb moisture out of the phone.
- Desiccant packs – These moisture-absorbing packs (like silica gel) work even better than rice.
- Paper towels – Carefully place paper towels around and inside any openings to soak up moisture.
- Dry heat – Use a hair dryer on low setting or put in front of vent to apply dry heat.
- Sunlight – The sun’s heat can help evaporate any water (but avoid excessive heat).
- Time – Be patient and allow at least 24 hours for it to fully dry before use.
The key is to facilitate evaporation and absorption of moisture using these desiccants and dry air. Thorough drying gives the phone its best chance at working again.
Clean Water Damage with Isopropyl Alcohol
In addition to drying methods, you can clean away some water damage using isopropyl alcohol:
- Use a microfiber cloth dampened with 99% isopropyl alcohol to gently wipe down the phone’s exterior, ports, buttons, and SIM tray.
- Use a toothbrush dipped in alcohol to carefully brush corrosion away from contacts, charging ports, headphone jacks, etc. Allow to air dry.
- Use alcohol wipes for hard-to-reach interior areas if the phone is disassembled. This can displace moisture and clean away corrosion.
- Check for any remaining stickiness, wetness, or stains and re-clean those spots if needed.
Isopropyl alcohol dissolves water molecules and mineral deposits. It also evaporates completely clean without leaving residue. Just take care not to get any liquids inside the phone’s interior.
Open Up and Dry the Phone Interior
For more severe water exposure, you may need to open up the phone to clean and dry the interior components:
- Turn off the phone and remove SIM card and battery (if applicable).
- Use a screwdriver to carefully open the phone and access the motherboard and other circuits.
- Gently wipe down interior parts with a dry microfiber cloth or electronics-safe wipe.
- Use a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol to spot clean corrosion or mineral deposits.
- Let the interior dry completely before reassembly.
- Check for any signs of rust or damaged components before turning on again.
Taking the phone apart provides the best access for removing moisture internally. Just be very careful when handling the delicate components.
Other Cleaning Tips
Here are some other quick cleaning tips:
- Use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol to clean the phone’s ports and connectors.
- Shine a flashlight inside ports to check for moisture or corrosion.
- Clean moisture out of openings like speakers, mics and headphone jacks.
- Remove and clean SIM card and SD card with alcohol and dry cloth.
- Use alcohol wipes to spot clean any interior components.
- Re-connect any detached ribbon cables or connectors.
Targeting key areas like ports and connectors helps ensure good electrical contacts and may get your phone working temporarily again.
When to Replace Parts or Repair
If cleaning doesn’t restore normal phone function, certain parts may need replacement due to liquid damage:
- Charging port – Replace if corroded or non-functional.
- Headphone jack – Water damage can affect sound quality.
- Speakers and mics – Sound can be muffled and distorted.
- Battery – Liquids can short out batteries.
- Logic board – Severe corrosion or shorts can damage this main component.
- SIM card slot– A damaged slot will prevent reading SIM card.
For an iPhone, the Liquid Contact Indicator stickers inside will turn red if significant water intrusion occurred. This likely necessitates professional logic board-level repair.
It’s best to take the phone to a qualified repair shop at this point. Trained technicians can properly diagnose issues, solder and replace components, and fully restore water damaged phones.
Preventing Water Damage to Phones
Here are some key tips to avoid fluid damage to phones:
- Keep phones away from sinks, tubs, pools, puddles or any sources of water.
- Never use phones in the rain without water-resistant covering.
- Turn off and store phone in waterproof case if going boating or near water.
- Be careful not to spill any liquids on your phone.
- Avoid excess humidity like steam rooms or hot showers with phone.
- Install a water-resistant or waterproof case for outdoor use.
Moisture-detecting stickers in phones turn color if water intrusion happens. Taking preventative measures keeps phones safer and better protected.
Drying Out Wet Phones with Rice
One of the most effective ways to absorb moisture out of a wet phone is to submerge it in dry, uncooked rice. Here are the steps to rice drying:
- Obtain a sealable bag or airtight container and fill with white, uncooked rice. Rice acts as a desiccant.
- Power off phone, remove SIM card and battery, wipe away any excess moisture.
- Place phone in the rice, ensuring it’s fully surrounded and submerged.
- Seal bag/container and store for at least 24-48 hours to allow rice to absorb moisture.
- Check phone interior for remaining moisture before turning on again.
- The rice can be reused to dry out other wet electronics until it’s saturated.
The rice drying method is very effective for removing moisture from inside phones and other small electronics. The rice will gradually draw moisture out without causing additional water damage.
Tips for Drying with Rice
- Use an ample amount of rice – at least 2-3 cups for a phone.
- Bury phone fully in the middle of rice so it surrounds all sides.
- Leave in rice for at least 48 hours, up to 5-7 days if very wet.
- Check rice daily and change out for dry rice if it becomes saturated.
- Store phone drying bag/container at room temperature, avoid external heat or sunlight.
Following these tips will give rice the maximum chance to extract moisture so your phone has the best shot at working again.
If your phone shuts off randomly after getting wet, don’t panic. With some quick action, there are ways to stop the phone from turning off and recover from water damage.
Start with emergency drying steps like rice, heat or alcohol to displace moisture. Thoroughly drying out all internal components is key. For severe water exposure, take apart the phone to clean corrosion and allow the interior to fully dry before turning on again.
Repair or replacement of charging ports, speakers and other affected parts may be needed in some cases. Preventative measures like waterproof cases help safeguard phones from liquid damage in the first place.
With some luck and the right drying techniques, water-damaged phones can often be revived and restored to fully working condition again.