Summer is in full swing and that means potential trips to the beach, outdoor sports, and maybe even a lake trip or two. We take our phones everywhere and in summer it’s no different.
But do you know how to keep your phone performing to perfection when hot weather hits and you’re in the sun, near the water or dealing with sand? Here are five summer phone safety tips to keep your phone going through the hot months.
1. Prevent Your Phone From Overheating Before it Happens
The sun can be a phone’s worst nightmare. Direct sunlight can damage screens causing the screen to pixelate or become unresponsive to touch and facial recognition. Internally, circuit boards can flex or warp and batteries can overheat.
To prevent your phone from overheating:
- Keep your phone out of direct sunlight. Whether at the beach or on a picnic, never let your phone sit directly in the sun.
- Never leave your phone in a hot car. Phone manufacturers warn that the maximum temperature to safely operate a phone is 113 degrees F, but if it’s 80 degrees F outside, a closed car can quickly reach over 130 degrees F.
- If keeping your phone close by while relaxing outdoors, protect your phone under a towel or in your beach bag.
- If your phone does overheat, turn the power off immediately, remove the battery and case, and let the device cool slowly. If your phone cools too quickly, it may get condensation inside. Never put your phone in a fridge or freezer.
2. Protect Your Phone Against Sand & Dirt
Sand and dirt can be a real problem when it comes to summer tech safety. Not only can they scratch your screen, but particles can get into ports and openings. Once debris gets into your charge port that unfortunately means no more charging.
To avoid damage from sand, dirt, or debris:
- Try a smartskin, which is a thin layer of plastic that seals around your phone. It’s thin enough that you can still use your touchscreen even while it’s under wraps. You can also just use a plastic sandwich bag to protect your phone, too. (These solutions are also good for use near water.)
- Use port plugs, which will allow you to close up openings, preventing dirt and debris from getting inside your phone.
- If you do get debris in the ports or openings, try using scotch tape to get the sand out of crevices—it has a similar effect as a lint brush for fabric. Most phone manufacturers do not recommend using compressed air to clean ports as it runs this risk of pushing the dirt further into the phone.
3. Keep Your Phone Out of the Water—Even the “Waterproof” Phones
We’ve all had it happen. You are being careful (or not) and you lose your grip, dropping your phone into the water. During the summer, the opportunity to get your phone wet seems to grow exponentially.
The reality? Even waterproof phones aren’t meant to be submerged for long periods of time.
So, how do you avoid a water catastrophe?
- Waterproof phone cases and pouches can keep your phone safe if it lands in the water. Remember that when using a sealed cover or pouch, it will be especially important to keep it out of direct sun to avoid overheating. Again, you can’t go wrong with a sealed plastic sandwich bag if you don’t have a waterproof case.
- If your phone does land in liquid, force out as much water as possible using a blow dryer or wet/dry vacuum with attachment. It’s recommended to air dry your phone removing all obstructions including the back cover, battery, and SIM card. You can also try burying the phone in silica gel, although instant rice or couscous may dry out a wet phone, too.
Remember: All phones have a Liquid Damage Indicator (LDI) strip in the SIM card tray that changes color if the phone has been exposed to water or excessive moisture. If your LDI indicates moisture damage, it may void your phone manufacturer’s warranty.
4. Avoid Phone Trauma From Outdoor Sports With a Sturdy Case
Summer is a time for outdoor sports and activities, but these may be dangerous for your phone.
That’s why this summer is the perfect time to invest in a rugged phone cover that can stand up to the hiking, camping, biking and anything else you plan to do outside.
5. Keep Your Phone Clean & Sanitized
When you get home from the great outdoors, give your phone a gentle cleaning to ensure it’s germ-free. These tips will help prolong the life of your phone:
- Use a soft, somewhat damp cloth to wipe all surfaces.
- Try a 50/50 mix of 70% isopropyl alcohol and water or disinfecting wipes to clean exterior surfaces.
- Do not use bleach.
- Be sure to keep moisture away from ports or openings.
- Skip using compressed air because it can damage the phone and drive debris deeper inside.
Enjoy your summer—and your tech—safely.