Tag-Ulan Pro Tips: What to Do When Your Gadgets Get Wet

Tag-ulan – otherwise known as the rainy season has finally come, saving us all from the Philippine summer season, otherwise known as 9th Circle of Hell. With the rainy season, however, comes the yearly parade of typhoons and the thunderstorms and monsoon showers between them.

And because getting yourself wet during this time of the year is an inevitability you most likely won’t be able to shake off, we might as well fill you in on some of the most important things you need to do in the event that your beloved gadgets get drenched. Here are 5 easy steps to reviving a device that has gotten wet.

Step 1: Remove Your Device Quickly from the Water

Have you gotten your laptop computer bag soaked in the rain or have you dropped your smartphone in a street gutter while it’s baha? Naturally, the most important thing you need to do is to get your device out of the water as quickly as possible, especially if it has been submerged. The longer it stays in water or in a high-moisture environment, the higher the chance that it will get damaged, even if it comes with a water-resistant rating. Remember, dropping your phone could damage some of its components, rendering some of the water-resistance features useless.

Step 2: Turn Off Your Device, and Unplug It from Any Power Source

The next most important thing you need to do is to turn off your electronic device right away. If it comes with a removable battery, take this battery out to cut the power source immediately. Without power running in the innards of your gadget, there is less chance for electrical shorts to occur within, thus also increasing your device’s chance of survival. Also make sure to unplug your gadget from any power source, like a wall outlet or a portable powerbank.

Step 3: Remove as Much of the Water as You Can

The third step to saving your electronic device is removing as much of the water as you can. Wipe it with a clean, lint-free towel to reduce the chance of lint, dirt, and other particles getting stuck in its nooks and crannies. You can also take the removable components apart so you can wipe these individually as well.

If you have a vacuum cleaner, you can also use it to suck the moisture out of the holes where the water has entered. Set the vacuum to its lowest setting, and work the nozzle on your device’s ports, speakers, microphone holes, and other openings.

Never dry your device with a hairdryer or by “baking” it inside an oven. The heat from a hairdryer could fry your phone’s circuitry, and extreme heat from an oven is sure to warp or melt some of the components.

Step 4: Seal Your Device in a Bag Full of Silica Gel Packets

You might have seen recommendations elsewhere on the internet that tells you to place your wet device in a bowlful of rice in order to dry out the excess moisture inside. However, rice often comes with powdery particles that can cause further problems when they get inside your device. This is especially problematic for DSLR and mirrorless camera systems, since moisture and organic particles like those from rice can cause mold to grow inside the lenses.

What you can do instead is to seal your device away in a plastic bag full of desiccants or silica gel packets—you know, the ones filled with small spherical beads that you usually find in shoe boxes and packaged food items. These powerful moisture-absorbing baddies are also available in hardware stores and shops that sell household goods. Keep your device in the bag for at least a couple of days, and keep your fingers crossed.

Step 5: Check if Your Device Is Working Fine

This final step is the moment of truth. You’ve done your best to restore your device to its bone-dry, pre-nalaglag sa kanalcondition, so now it’s time to see if you were able to give it another shot at life. If it’s working just fine, then give yourself a pat on the back. If, on the other hand, your device has developed symptoms of damage, then it’s best to bring it to your brand’s official repair center. Do note that water damage usually voids an electronic device’s warranty, so be prepared to shell out some cash when getting your gadget repaired.

The rainy season is as much of a hassle as the high summer season, but until it’s November, we all just have to chug along with our umbrellas, raincoats, and water-resistant apparel. Until then, make sure to keep your favorite gadgets safe and dry.