Preventative Measures for Wet Devices
Does your smart phone seem to get all scratched up, no matter how careful you are? Have you dropped your camera in puddles, pools, or other waters? Has your laptop been stepped on, or has your iPhone been knocked out of your hands and run over? Do you want to know how to protect your device while traveling? We here at Wet Phone Fix have answers!
If your device has been soaked with water, every second you fail to act increases the chance of water damage. We have [a guide that may help you right now], and some suggestions of products to [prevent damage], and to [help restore functionality] to your phone in case of future accidents.
For everything else, we have some tips and tricks to make sure your devices last - which you should definitely practice, especially in the age of planned obsolescence, which is a corporate strategy utilized by technology companies to ensure your device doesn’t last too long.
For example, if your device is so well built that it lasts a decade, you become a one-time customer. If your device is expected to fail in three to five years, you become a repeat customer. Sometimes the expected-to-fail part is a poorly-designed hinge on a laptop, or a second-rate speaker system, or just a flimsy plastic shell that makes your phone extremely susceptible to water damage. Whatever the problem, it’s usually enough to make you go out and buy a new device.
Dodgy, right? If you plan to have your electronics around for a while, we recommend the following tips:
• For ultimate protection when traveling, visiting the beach, attending a music festival, or running your daily errands, store your device in [a resealable Mylar bag]. Mylar bags are more durable than your standard clear-plastic sandwich bags, meaning less holes and broken seals when jostled around in your bag, and more reusability! If your device is sealed in an airtight Mylar bag, it will be safe from water damage of all sorts, as well as sand damage.
Screens on modern devices tend to be scratch-resistant, proving superior to the keys and coins in your pocket. However, [some screens are no match against grains of sand], which can slightly scratch your phone repeatedly over time, leading to a build up of small scratches that ruin your screen, camera lens, and the whole surface of your device in general.
• To protect your device from sustaining too much damage when it’s dropped, consider purchasing a hard shell case. These cases tend to be much more durable than the surface of your device, so the cases absorb scratches, dents, and even serve as a sort of shock absorber, mitigating the kinetic energy that could knock parts loose on the inside of your device.
They may be bulky, but that minor inconvenience is nothing compared the inconvenience of having a broken phone. Get one now, before an accident. They’re generally inexpensive and can save you lots of money in repairs or replacement!
• Screen protectors are incredibly affordable and a great way to preserve your touch screen device. If you drop your phone and the screen shatters, the thin plastic covering may hold all the glass together, keeping the device somewhat usable.
The only downsides to these screen protectors are that they can be tricky to apply and can sometimes reduce the sensitivity to your touch screen. They also only cover the screen, leaving the rest of the device vulnerable to scratches.
However, combined with a hard shell case, you should have a decently protected device.
• Prevent your device from falling out of your hands by using a wristlet loop that tethers your device to your wrist. Some phones already have a place to attach them, which are often used to hold decorations instead. If your phone doesn’t have a place to attach a wristlet, some hard shell cases have one, or can be modified to attach one. They’re also commonly included with handheld cameras.
So if you’re trying to take a picture or video at the zoo and don’t want your device to fall into the lion’s den, use a wristlet loop.
• Never leave a device on the ground where it can be stepped on, kicked, or crushed. This includes standing a laptop up on its side as it leans against the bedside table, where liquid could be spilled on it, or where it could be accidentally kicked. Save yourself the headache and put your device on an elevated flat surface.
• Similar to the above tip, watch out for where you place your wires. If you’re laying a charging wire across a place where people are going to walk, you’re almost asking for your device to get yanked on to the ground, for the cord to be damaged, or for the charger itself to be damaged. Depending on the set up, sometimes the charging port of your device can be rendered inoperable.
Laying wires in the open is also a tripping hazard. Safety first!
• If you’re going to have a beverage while you use your device, use a container that has a screw-cap lid. While lids in general are better than no lids, non-screw cap lids are simply less secure.
For example, carry-out cups tend to have only a light plastic lid. They’re great for preventing splashes, but largely worthless if the cup is knocked over. Plus, if they’re designed to fit in cars’ drink holders, they can be top heavy and more prone to fall over when sitting on a desk.
This tip is especially important around laptops, keyboards, and speakers. A glass full of water can turn your device into nothing more than an expensive piece of plastic. Sugary drinks are even more perilous, since crystallized sugar on circuitry can short-circuit devices when exposed to humidity and cause corrosion.
Also, sticky devices are no fun for anyone.
• Preserve your speakers by keeping the volume below the maximum level. Some devices, such as the iPod touch, allow you to raise the maximum level of the volume control, but doing so can cause damage to your speakers. Leave them on the factory settings!
If you want to amplify the sound output of your device without peripheral speakers, place your device in a tall, empty glass container.
(Make sure it fits and that you can remove your device out without breaking the container.)
The glass container creates a positive acoustic environment for the built-in speakers and can increase the volume of your music. You can even preserve your battery by lowering your speaker volume and using this amplification trick to achieve the same level of sound that you would have had without the glass cup/container.
Similarly, when using peripheral speakers, you can conserve your battery by lowering the volume control on the device and turning up the volume on the speakers. This lets the speakers bear the brunt of the energy demand.
• Don’t leave your device in the bathroom as you shower, as steam can condense on the inside of your device and cause water damage. It can also void the warranty on your device, since heavy humidity causes the warranty sticker (typically near your battery) to change color.
• Don’t text on the toilet. You know why. Even if you salvage it, your device is never going to be the same.