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Your phone charger is one of the most important accessories you own. It ensures that your phone charges before you need to use it and can extend the life of your battery. Learn what to do with a charger that fell in water before you try to use it.
Can You Use a Phone Charger That Fell in Water?
The only thing worse than dropping your charger in a sink full of dishes is when you drop your phone in a puddle. Keep in mind that your charger consists of two different things. The first part is the charger itself, which is the adapter that you plug into the wall.
There are also adapters designed for use inside your car. The other part is the charging cable, which usually has a USB-C or a similar end that plugs into your phone.
You can still use it no matter how long the charger was in the water. Any type of liquid can damage the adapter, such as a glass of soda or juice that someone spills or the water in your tub or sink. If you want to keep using the charger, you need to make sure it is fully dry before you plug it in again.
What Do You Do if a Charger Gets Wet?
While some chargers are cheap enough to pick up a new one for $10-20 or less, some are much more expensive and require you to buy a new one from a website.
As you can’t always wait days or weeks for a new charger to arrive, you can try some tips to give your charger a second chance at life.
1. Unplug It
When you drop your phone charger in any type of liquid, you might feel tempted to give it a shake and return to using it. Never plug in your phone charger or phone without ensuring the charger is 100% dry.
If the charger is even slightly wet when you plug in your phone, you can get water inside its charging point and short it out. You should also take a moment to unplug the charging cable before trying any remedies to dry the charger. Charging cables are cheap to replace.
2. Air Dry
Before you try anything else, let the phone charger air dry. You usually want to wait at least 24 hours before you try to use it again. If it was submerged in water or you aren’t sure how long it was in liquid, you should give it at least 48 hours to dry out.
It’s fine to leave the charger sitting outside in direct sunlight as long as you place it in a safe spot and you know it won’t rain. If you have access to a fan, try aiming it toward the phone charger. Let the fan run for a few hours or longer to dry out the case and the internal parts.
3. Try the Rice Method
The rice method is a popular trick that many people use to save wet electronics. All you need is some fresh rice and a bag, but you can also use an airtight container. Fill the bottom of the container with a small amount of rice and then add your phone charger.
Add enough rice to cover the charger before you seal the bag or put a lid on the container. Place it in a safe spot that is warm and dry. You’ll want to wait a minimum of 24 to 48 hours before you use the charger.
4. Consider a Food Dehydrator
Food dehydrators are fun appliances that help you make some yummy and healthy snacks like dried fruit and beef jerky. As long as you have one handy, you can also use it to dry out a wet phone charger.
Set the food dehydrator to the lowest, usually around 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Once you put your charger inside, set the timer to go off in a few hours. You want to keep an eye on the charger and ensure that it doesn’t get too hot if you use this method.
5. Use Silica Packets
When you buy certain types of foods, they come with silica packets that have warnings on the front that you should not eat them. If you’re like most people, you probably toss these packets in the trash without thinking twice.
Keeping those packets will give you an easy way to dry wet electronics. All you need is a few silica packets and an airtight container. Toss your phone charger and the packets in the container before you seal the lid. Within 24 hours, the silica should remove the excess moisture from the charger.
6. Get Water Out of the Charging Port
The charging port is the charger section where you plug in the charging cable. It connects the cable to the internal parts that send signals through the cable to charge your phone. Exposing the charger to water can cause liquid to stick inside this port. Getting water out of the port is one of the keys to ensuring the charger will work.
Use a soft towel to remove as much water as possible. Do not use a wiping motion as this can push water into the port. Use a blotting or dabbing motion on the charger.
You should then turn the charger over so that the port faces down and leave it in this position to let the water drain out. It’s helpful to keep the charger in the same position as you try one of the drying methods, too.
What NOT to Do
Learning what NOT to do is equally important because you want to avoid causing any other damage to your phone charger. Do not attempt to charge your phone, even if you think the water only hit the outside of the case. You risk carrying water over to your phone, which can damage its charging port and even cause water to seep inside.
Though some claim you should give the charger a good shake, this is risky because it can cause water on the outside to get into the charger. You can give it a solid whack against your head, but you should not shake it. Do not blow into the charging port to dislodge water either, as this can send the liquid deeper inside.
Will a Phone Charger Work After Getting Washed?
When you leave your charger in your pocket and send it through the washing machine, your heart will sink when you spot it mixed in with your clothing. If you plug it in before letting it dry, you risk shocking yourself and shorting out the charger. While a washed charger may still work, you need to let it dry and look for damage signs.
Should You Replace Your Phone Charger?
This is a judgment call on your part. Charging cables are quite cheap. You can usually get a handful for $12 or less when you buy online. Even if you buy from an electronics store, you can get a good one for less than $20. The charger itself is more expensive, but it’s often cheaper to buy a new charger than a new phone.
Remember that water damage can include the droplets you see on the outside and residue on the inside that you cannot see. While water usually doesn’t leave behind any residue, other liquids can.
Fruit juices and sodas have a lot of sugar that can dry inside the phone charger and damage it. Even if you think the charger looks great, you risk damaging your phone when you try to charge it. If you aren’t sure you removed all the moisture or worry about residue left behind, go ahead and replace the charger.
When you drop your phone charger in water or any other liquid, you can take some quick steps to preserve and save it. Avoid using the charger for as long as possible to let it dry. Don’t be afraid to spring for a new one if you don’t want to put the life of your phone on the line.