It’s a glorious day with the sun shining in all its glory, with its rays penetrating your skin, giving you vitamin D and that tan you’ve been after. The deep blue water of the sea is glistening in front of you, you have a refreshing drink in your hand, life is good.
Until you drop your phone into the grainy sand. You pick it up to find those tiny grains have entered into the crevices of your device.
Or if you are a mom to sand-loving kids who play for endless hours with kid-friendly sandpit sand, and their hands touch your phone and sand gets everywhere!
The slits for the speaker, the charging port, and even the holes which open up the sim card slots, have all been infiltrated by sand which feels great in between your toes, but not in between your mobile’s mechanics.
So now you have a few choices, book an appointment (when an availability comes up) with the aftercare services of Apple, Samsung or whichever company you bought your phone from. Take the risk and take it to a mobile phone repair shop, or, try and fix it yourself.
I’ve got sand in my phone, what should I do?
So you’ve gone for the latter option first. Don’t worry, we have some practical and effective ideas for you to get your phone back to its technological best.
Before you do anything, switch off your phone! You don’t want the sand, or anything you do to fix it, to start affecting the performance of your phone.
1 Paper clip or safety pin
Grab a safety pin or a paper clip and open it up. Gently insert the pin inside the holes and try to scrape out the granules. You have to be very careful though as if you push too far, or with too much force, you could cause even more damage! Be sure to have a steady hand and a mild touch and as soon as you feel any resistance, don’t push further!
If the clip is thin enough, you can also wrap tape around the pin inside out before inserting it into the holes. The adhesive will stick to anything which is not meant to be there and come out with the pin.
Alternatives you can use, provided they are thin enough, are toothpicks, earrings, push pins, and even the key provided to open up the slim card slot.
2 Vacuum it out!
Another unconventional, yet effective method, is using your household vacuum! You’re already using it to suck up the dirt from your house, so why not the stubborn grains from your phone?
Most vacuums come with a few separate heads which are designed for different purposes. A useful head to use is the crevice tool. It’s specifically created to get to hard to reach places and concentrate the suction power.
Run this over the sand affected areas and turn the power on. This should remove most, if not all of the debris stuck inside. Give it short, sharp bursts, to avoid doing any long term or permanent damage.
3 Compressed Air
A different option is buying a compressed air canister from your local hardware store. One can shouldn’t cost you more than a few dollars and is quite useful for a number of reasons, not just clearing your phone.
Look for a canister which comes with a long, straw like tube. Attach this tube to the nozzle of the spray and aim the other end into the holes with the trapped sand. Give it a quick blast and that concentrated pressure should dislodge any remaining granules.
It’s a fairly harmless option as it’s simply air, however use in moderation as smartphones can be delicate devices.
4 Sticky tape
If you can see the grains of sand quite clearly and they are not lodged deep in the crevices, grab a piece of tape and place the sticky side over the affected part.
Just like you do with waxing, grab one end of the tape and yank it off in one motion with speed. Whatever is near the surface will come out with the tape.
Prevention is better than cure!
Why wait until you’ve already dropped your phone on the beach to take preventative steps. It doesn’t take much to sand proof your smartphone. You will see that a little goes a long way in avoiding sandy situations!
1 Waterproof Case
If you’re a surfer, have a beach house, or are just a regular beach go-er, this is the option for you. Essentially a robust, plastic wallet, can cost as little as under ten dollars, it’s a no brainer if you’re always in and around the beach.
This case will not only stop you from getting sand in your items, it will also keep out the arch nemesis of all technological devices; water. Sand and water proof, you can get a transparent case so you can be sure all your belongings are in there without having to open it. Alternatively, you can get an opaque one so that no one else can see what’s in there!
The same way sticky tape can help remove sand, it can also stop it from getting in. Super simple and effective (for as long as it stays on!), just rip off a piece and cover any parts of your phone which can be damaged or affected by the sand.
This is a quick and easy solution to a spontaneous trip to the beach, though keep an eye on when the tape starts to peel, as it’s not foolproof.
3 Sandwich bag
There’s more to sandwich bags than picnics and school lunches!
Similar to many waterproof bags, though nowhere near as robust, a sandwich bag is a great option. Particularly those which are zip locked. Cheap and easily found, drop all your belongings into it, zip it up and put it away.
Whenever you need your phone, pull it out, use it, and straight back in. Water and sand proof, you’re sure to find one in your kitchen cabinet.
What should I do if I get water in my phone?
Water to technology is kryptonite to Superman. It’s sure to destroy or at least, heavily affect the performance of your device. The most sensible thing to do, is to take it to an expert who has the knowledge and tools to fix it correctly.
However if that’s not possible, you can use an age-old trick of dropping your phone into a bowl of uncooked rice. Rice absorbs water, so if you leave your phone in rice for a 24 hour period for example, the rice will do its best to absorb the water in your device.
What should I do if my headphone jack snapped in my phone?
There is nothing worse than listening to music, moving suddenly, and phone headphone jack snapping off. You can’t put anything in, you can’t get the piece out, and you can’t listen to your music!
Giving it to experts is the obvious solution, however if you want to try something else, take a cotton bud and apply super glue to it, insert it and keep it in the headphone port till it’s stuck well. Once set, grab the other end and pull it out with speed and force, and if the glue is set well enough, the broken piece will come out.