KSNF/KODE – It can happen to the best of us, and likely has – at least once.

When people carry their cellphones everywhere, your device is bound to end up where it is not supposed to be, such as a pool or worse yet, the toilet.

These moments of panic don’t have to be a total wash.

“Our cellphones go everywhere with us. At times, we forget that even these valuable devices have their limitations, namely water,” said Joe Cabrera, Director of Sales and Operations for US Cellular in Missouri and Kansas.

A recent survey revealed that more than one-fourth of people said they have dropped their phone in the toilet (28% compared to 21% in 2019).

There also was a sharp increase in respondents who jumped into a pool or body of water with a phone in their pocket (21% compared to 12% in 2019). 

Before you head to the beach or pool this summer, US Cellular has provided some recommendations to protect against a wet cellphone, in case it encounters the deep end.

  • BE PROACTIVE – Consumers can help ensure their phone stays dry with a LifeProof FRe waterproof case. This specialized case allows iPhones to be submersed in water up to 3 feet for one hour.
  • ACT FAST – If your cellphone is wet, retrieve it from the water as quickly as possible. First: Turn it off right away. Take off any cases or covers and remove all memory cards, headsets and other accessories. Take out the SIM card and dry it off with a towel or cloth. The SIM card may retain important data, even if the phone itself can’t be saved.
  • WIPE IT DOWN – Carefully wipe a wet phone with a clean, soft towel, rag or cloth. Try to avoid getting water into the phone’s cracks, ports or other openings.
  • USE A FAN AND AVOID HEAT – Don’t use a hair dryer, oven or microwave to dry your phone. Instead, use a fan for a couple of hours to blow air across the phone’s openings to help dry it out.
  • AVOID AGE OLD MYTHS – While rice has historically been recommended to dry out a smartphone, it has proven to be a myth. In fact, rice is less effective than just leaving a smartphone in the open air to dry.
  • BACK UP REGULARLY – It’s critical to back up your smartphone on a regular basis. If it gets wet or otherwise damaged, you can still retrieve important data. If the phone is not recoverable, at least this information is saved.
  • PROTECT YOUR DEVICE – Many cell phone carriers, including US cellular, offer a device protection plan that not only replaces a water-damaged phone, but also comes with tools to back up data and protect against malware.

“Naturally, most people panic when their phones get wet. However, if you stay calm, act fast and follow the proper steps, like the ones listed above, your damp device may be salvageable,” said Cabrera.