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Old 27.10.2017, 09:37
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How to rescue a drowned mobile phone?

Like a complete numpty, I forgot to check all clothes pockets before doing the clothes washing on Monday, and 30 minutes into the wash cycle, realised my mobile phone was being well and truly cleaned.

I managed to cut the cycle short, rescue the phone, and submerge it in a bowl of rice in the hope this would extract enough moisture to dry it out and get it working again. No luck to this point, even though I've had it plugged in to charge for the last 48 hours as well. It was washed in its full leather case so presumably it's not damaged by being beaten in the machine drum, only from water.


Any other tips please on how I might have a hope of rescuing it, before I trundle down to Swisscom to beg a new phone?


And of course, Murphy's Law, I had only saved half of my photo library to the I-cloud.....any chance that the Swisscom folks can extract them from the phone (not saved to the SIM) or do I prepare to kiss those goodbye as well?
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Old 27.10.2017, 09:48
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Re: How to rescue a drowned mobile phone?

Don't try drying it in the microwave oven.
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Old 27.10.2017, 09:54
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Re: How to rescue a drowned mobile phone?

You could try getting some calcium chloride, and putting it in the bottom of a tupperware. Stick your phone in there (above the calcium chloride granules on an impromptu stand) and put the lid on - it should suck out all of the moisture.

It's sold in the US as Damp Rid, but don't know if there's an equivalent product in stores here..
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Old 27.10.2017, 09:57
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Re: How to rescue a drowned mobile phone?

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Like a complete numpty, I forgot to check all clothes pockets before doing the clothes washing on Monday, and 30 minutes into the wash cycle, realised my mobile phone was being well and truly cleaned.

I managed to cut the cycle short, rescue the phone, and submerge it in a bowl of rice in the hope this would extract enough moisture to dry it out and get it working again. No luck to this point, even though I've had it plugged in to charge for the last 48 hours as well. It was washed in its full leather case so presumably it's not damaged by being beaten in the machine drum, only from water.


Any other tips please on how I might have a hope of rescuing it, before I trundle down to Swisscom to beg a new phone?


And of course, Murphy's Law, I had only saved half of my photo library to the I-cloud.....any chance that the Swisscom folks can extract them from the phone (not saved to the SIM) or do I prepare to kiss those goodbye as well?
Next time you do this...

Remove the SIM and memory cards, dunk it in a glass of (preferably de-ionized) water, then shake it off, wipe it down and put it in the rice for 48 hours.

(any soap which found it's way in during the washing cycle will come off easier if it hasn't dried).

If you had the phone set to connect to your WLAN, try putting the SIM etc back in and powering it on. If you're lucky the phone will be visible on the WLAN, and it's just your screen which is toast (or more accurately rice cakes).

gb will be along shortly to mention the 123 rule about backups...
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Old 27.10.2017, 10:24
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Re: How to rescue a drowned mobile phone?

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Remove the SIM and memory cards...
Ok, I have removed the SIM (maybe too late). But where on earth is the memory card on a iPhone 5 please?
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Old 27.10.2017, 10:34
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Re: How to rescue a drowned mobile phone?

Do you have all the needed torx screewdrivers?

I presume the washing liquid has affected the contacts. If the phone was on possibly the battery is dead. Drying the phone in rice or similar will lead to residue on the contacts either water minerals or in this case washing liquid.

Take it all apart, removing all connections and then with an old tooth brush or similar scrub lightly all contacts with isopropyl alcohol. dry.. then reconnect. try if the battery takes a charge.. if not possibly need a new battery.
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Old 27.10.2017, 10:34
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Re: How to rescue a drowned mobile phone?

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Ok, I have removed the SIM (maybe too late). But where on earth is the memory card on a iPhone 5 please?
No slot for memory card on iPhone 5. You could try to remove the battery and check if it is still working, however to do that you need to disassemble the phone.
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Old 27.10.2017, 10:58
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Re: How to rescue a drowned mobile phone?

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Take it all apart, removing all connections and then with an old tooth brush or similar scrub lightly all contacts with isopropyl alcohol. dry.. then reconnect. try if the battery takes a charge.. if not possibly need a new battery.
Actually, I usually just use Brennsprit and soak the whole phone/circuit board, scrubbing with a soft brush, then blow it off with (low pressure) compressed air. If you get to it while it is still wet from the washing machine/wine/drop in the toilet bowl (or most recently drop into a pan of transmission fluid) and get the contamination off while it is still wet it will often work perfectly.
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Old 27.10.2017, 11:09
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Re: How to rescue a drowned mobile phone?

Open it up, rinse with de-ionized water. Then bake in the oven overnight to dry out.
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Old 27.10.2017, 11:36
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Re: How to rescue a drowned mobile phone?

Oh crap. Having now watched many many youtube videos on opening the iPhone.....this isn't a job for my limited skills. Give me a broken car or motorbike, and I'm good - but all that fiddling with tiny little delicate cables and plastics - urgh! Am hunting now for a repair shop and failing that will be at Swisscom later today. Thanks all for the advice.
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Old 27.10.2017, 12:00
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Re: How to rescue a drowned mobile phone?

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Oh crap. Having now watched many many youtube videos on opening the iPhone.....this isn't a job for my limited skills. Give me a broken car or motorbike, and I'm good - but all that fiddling with tiny little delicate cables and plastics - urgh! Am hunting now for a repair shop and failing that will be at Swisscom later today. Thanks all for the advice.
you could try baking without opening it up
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Old 27.10.2017, 12:04
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Re: How to rescue a drowned mobile phone?

I could, but we're smack bang in the middle of renovations, and the kitchen won't come back "online" for another 2 weeks. My luck with tech things - I'd probably wind up blowing the thing up the new oven anyway....!
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Old 27.10.2017, 13:41
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Re: How to rescue a drowned mobile phone?

Rice only helps with removing the last residual drops, and only if it's instant rice, normal rice will do as good as nothing since it sucks up hardly any to none moisture on normal temperatures without direct contact.

The Phone has been submerged for half an hour, and got properly shaken so the water really got everywhere, you tried drying in a bowl of rice without taking the phone apart, and then you tried charging for 48 hours while it is impossible that a for half an hour fully submerged unopened phone is dry on the inside by being in rice for one or two days)

My experience as a former electronics repair dude tells me that you should just throw the phone away and not waste any more time on it.

What people should do when this happens:

1. Turn of as quick as possible.
2. Take apart asap and as much as possible.
3. blow and shake the parts as dry as possible, use a paper cloth to remove the remaining of what you can see.
4. Leave in open air on a spot with airflow, or use couscous since it's much smaller it reaches much more spots, also it sucks up water better than rice. (Even better would be a silicon gel, but hardly any household has such on hand.) And use a colander and put on a drafty spot so there's airflow instead of a closed bowl in a corner of the kitchen.
5. remove any leftover dirt/residu that you can visually spot with a cotton cloth with alcohol.

If the phone works after this be lucky, if it doesn't, connect it to a computer and try a data rescue program, if the computer does not see the phone just throw it away.

And yes even when fully dead there are ways to retrieve pictures, but given the price it's not worth it for normal pictures that can be missed. (The memory chip needs to be soldered in a working phone, and this goes beyond the level of what an average handyman can solder)
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