How to Salvage Wet Electronics
Electronic devices (cell phones, computers, etc.) can sometimes be salvaged after exposure to water, heat, or extreme conditions during an emergency. If the device itself can’t be salvaged, the data stored on it can possibly be restored. This is especially important if the data was not backed up at a safe offsite location.
General Tips on Salvaging Electronics
Turn off – Unplug – Remove batteries!
The sooner you do this, the better chance you have for recovery. If the device is wet or full of ash or soot particles, components may short out, further damaging the device or causing shock or fire hazard.
Assess the importance of having use of the device as soon as possible. If the recovery attempt fails, the device may be damaged beyond repair.
Damaged battery-powered devices (DC) may still pose risk of overheating or fire. Test outside, away from combustible materials
Do not attempt recovery of AC (plug-in) powered devices yourself. Electrical shock from damaged AC devices can injure or kill you.
Electronic Record Retrieval
If initial salvage attempts fail, and your data is not backed up, don’t assume all is lost. If it is vital data, seek professional data recovery assistance.
Do not do anything that will further damage the device or media on which your data is stored.
Stabilize the equipment and properly store it until you can get professional assistance.
Water for Cleaning
When water is needed to clean an electronic device, distilled or deionized water is always preferred, then filtered water. Otherwise, use the cleanest water available but be aware that tap and bottled waters often contain minerals that may be deposited on your items.