It’s happened to even the most careful among us and it’s devastating. My confession: I am a hazard to my mobile. I can’t count how many times I’ve dropped my phone while rummaging through my purse, and I’ve had plenty of cracked screens in my life. The worst by far, though, is losing it in the water, which I did on my recent trip to Canada. It was the middle of February and I was having a cocktail at the heated indoor pool at the Sheraton Centre, making plans for the night ahead. Lucky for me, I’m a pro at rescuing drowned phones.

Cut the power

Once I fish it out of the pool, I always fight the instinct to see if it still works or, god forbid, finish the text I was in the middle of sending. The first thing I do is take the battery out ASAP to prevent a shortcircuit that will really do the phone in, then dry it off as best as possible. I’ve used dishcloths, paper towels, and even my own shirt when I’m in a pinch.

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Ice or rice

The rice trick is a classic: after taking out the battery and the SIM card, usually I just bury my phone in a bowl full of dried rice. It takes several hours to several days, but rice is one thirsty grain. It usually sucks out all the moisture and put your mobile back in working condition. One time, I was even out at a restaurant when it happened, and the kind server was more than understanding when I asked for my rice “extra al dente.” But here I was at a hotel pool in downtown in Toronto.That’s when I remembered another trick: wrap it up in paper towels and toss it in the freezer. The only problem was that I hadn’t thought to rent a fridge for my hotel room.What I did have was a balcony, a Ziploc bag, and a wicked Toronto winter.

Second hand replacements

Okay, so in the end, it turned out the circuits had already shorted long before I managed to run down to my hotel room. I was ages away from my contract coming up, and I was still in Canada in for a week. Online classifieds have always been my go-to for everything from bicycles to patio furniture. After asking the ex-pat friend I was visiting, she said that Canadians all use Kijiji. I usually take my time comparing prices (in this case I used Kijiji’s handy phone price checker which saved a ton of time!) and hold out for a good bargain, but I was on vacation, so I let distance be my deciding factor. If it wasn’t in downtown Toronto, it was someone else’s deal to snap up.

No more texting in the stall

After burning through bags full of rice and a couple of iPhones, I’ve learned that the best way to save a wet mobile is to keep it dry in the first place. As much as I’m married to my phone, I’ve learned to leave it alone on those poolside afternoons. The whole point is relaxing anyway, and I find spending some time away from the screen is the best way to decompress. The hardest task I’ve set myself, though, is to stop retreating to the restroom to text. If you can’t text at the table, maybe it just has to wait. When the itch to get in touch takes over, take it out to the sidewalk.

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