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What (not) to do when you drop your phone in the toilet

Claudia Mug Shot-ColorI now consider myself an unofficial expert on what-not-to-do when your phone gets wet.
Let’s start with why one shouldn’t clip their Blackberry to the back pocket of their unbelted-pants before entering the bathroom. Once I heard it plop that would be the phone, feelings of disgust were overcome with a kneejerk reaction to preserve its electronic-life.
“Please don’t die,” I thought as I anxiously pulled out the battery and sim card. I didn’t see any signs of moisture inside. Convinced the leather case had absorbed the disgusting water, I wiped the phone down, popped the battery back in and turned it on.
Tip No. 1- Anytime your phone comes into contact with water, take out the battery and sim card immediately and leave it exposed to air for at least 48 hours.
I had ran the Chicago Spring Half Marathon that morning. Moments before my phone took a plunge in the toilet, I posted a picture on Facebook adorned with bib and finisher medal. My social media etiquette left me itching to respond to the lovely comments I was getting. There was NO wisdom in that decision. My phone had a brief light-spasm and went fade to black.
“Uh oh,” I thought. I quickly tore it apart staring wide-eyed with regret. “I shouldn’t have done that.’’
Desperate to undo the damage. I grabbed my laptop, toggled over to You Tube and found a skateboard dude with a home remedy.
He said, “I can show you how to fix your water damaged phone in one hour.”
I perked up.
His instructions were brief and easy to follow. In a nutshell he explained that contaminated water like in the lake or toilet, have minerals that cause corrosion within the mechanisms of the phone. He said soaking the phone in 99 percent isopropyl alcohol for one hour would remove those properties restoring the connection if followed by drying the phone in a bag of rice for two days.
Tip No. 2- Following these instructions will void your warranty.
I spent two hours on a wild goose chase to at least six drug stores looking for 99 percent isopropyl alcohol. Apparently only that level of potency is effective. There was 50 percent, 70 percent, 91 percent but no one had 99 percent.
I settled with 91 percent.
Skater-boy mentioned one hour submerged in alcohol would do the trick. I extended that timeline. I left the house and didn’t get back for five hours.
As I retrieved the phone from its disinfectant bath I noticed a lot more than corrosion coming off. With each stroke of my index finger the keyboard began falling apart. The acrylic covering that once caused the exterior to shimmer peeled up and black coating on the surface of the phone left its presence on my pointer.
“Oh. Ooh. Auh nah!” I sighed.
Hope was fading but not lost.
“It’s OK if it’s an ugly phone, so long as it’s functional,” I thought.
Tip No. 3- Back-up your contacts, pictures and calendar by syncing your phone to your computer or exterior hard drive regularly.
After it was buried in rice for three days, I eagerly reassembled the phone with a new battery and waited for the resurrection.
There was no Easter Sunday in this house.
The only miracle I experienced was not getting lectured by my husband, Don. He looked at me and shook his head when I said, “Babe. It didn’t work!” I was disappointed in myself for being so gullible.
I purchased a new phone and let my three-year-old daughter have the old one as a toy. She likes to mimic me. About a week later, I saw her carrying it around pretending to chat when I noticed the screen was lit up. I raced over to her and pulled it from her tiny fingers. I snatched off the back, inserted my sim card and I’ll be darned…I made a call!
I guess if you submerge your phone in the alcohol for five hours instead of one hour it takes six days to dry instead of two.
Tip No. 4- Skip home remedies. If your phone gets wet, avoid having to replace it and get to a cell phone repair store in your area.