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I dropped my phone into some water, immediately removed battery and soaked in rice (all I had at work). The phone dried, but the keyboard (G2) had some bad keys that have never corrected, and there seems to be some kind of residue on the screen, and the backlight is not uniform across the whole thing.

This all happened 2 months ago, but I would like to fix it.

Question is:

Do you think I could soak the phone in alcohol, and then dry it in an airtight container with Damp-Rid or silica gel or something similar to help fix the existing problems?

Some people seem to think this would cause more damage, I would love to hear the reasoning why though, as alcohol evaps clean...

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4 Answers

How I remove consequences of water damage?

  1. Disassemble device. You need to disconnect every power supply such as batteries.
  2. Carefully look on every component.
  3. Wash plastic details with cleaning agent likes 'Fairy', 'Mr.Muscul' and so on in water. Dry them.
  4. Wash PCB in water as plastic details before. I use toothbrush. You need to take off any sign of corrosion. Then I wash PCB in isopropyl alcohol. After that I take air pump and blow compressed air on every electrical component on PCB. In such way I remove water. Then it is good idea to give ability PCB to become dry by natural conditions. If there are some troubles with traces on board, I repair them with special soldering equipment (beginning from common soldering iron and ending with BGA soldering station because ICs on PCB is soldered by such way)
  5. Assemble device.

If you have troubles with your LCD, the only quality way is to replace it entirely. LCD is a set of number of transparent films. So it is very difficult to reassemble it without issues.

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Most people recommend removing battery as soon as it happens and barry it in a bowl of dry rice for a day or two. I have never personally had to try it but I know of people who have and it has saved them from having to replace there phone...

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Ricing won't fix old water damage. –  Broam Mar 23 '12 at 16:54
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I think you'd be fine doing that. Next time, try to vacuum out the water by holding the vacuum in the same spot (in the back where batt. was...) for 15 minutes, then moving it again for 15 minutes...

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I wouldn't recommend this (don't have enough rep to down vote, though). Once there's water in there, you don't want to encourage it to move around any further, as that can cause further damage. –  scottishwildcat Aug 15 '11 at 14:57
    
The whole point is to get the water (and moisture) out the way it came in... Check thiese out: Popular Mechanics article and (check out step 7 of this) WikiHow –  wizlog Aug 15 '11 at 17:32
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The reason that water damages a phone is because water conducts electricity and this causes short circuits; pure alcohol is non-conducting so it should not harm electric circuits. It is possible to create a computer cooling system by soaking a whole computer in a non-conducting mineral oil (and the computer runs great soaked in oil), they do not choose alcohol probably since alcohol evaporates quickly (which is undesirable for permanent cooling system).

However, I doubt that soaking an already damaged phone will fix it. There is no reason that a burnt circuitry will magically unburnt because it is soaked in alcohol. Alcohol may help to clean the circuitries and the residual materials, but it is unlikely it will fix the phone.

Disclaimer: This is not an encouragement to soak your phone in alcohol, do it at your own risk; be prepared to buy a new phone if you decided to do it.

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pure water is not conductive either ;) –  Power-Inside Jun 23 '11 at 4:38
    
There aren't pure alcohol. It acts as silicagel: takes as much water from environment as it can. And then it will be solution. Also there are different types of alcohols. Most common is ethanol (or pure alcohol, drinking alcohol etc). But for technical purposes isopropanol is better (isopropyl alcohol). –  George Gaál Aug 13 '11 at 23:48
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