Water Under Screen Protector: How to Fix It?

This is how to fix water under your screen protector.

Did you just apply a new screen protector, and now there are water residues?

So if you want to know how to get rid of water under your screen protector, then you’re in the right place.

Keep reading!

Screen Protectors and Water Residues

Water damage can be the kiss of death for your smartphone.

Moisture seeps into the hardware of the phone. The more impurities there are in the water, especially salty water, the more corrosion there will be in your phone. 

Dropping your phone in water will often ruin your phone. Although there are things, you can do about that we’ll mention later.

Moisture under your screen protector is a different kind of problem. The worst damage to your phone you would normally expect from moisture under the screen is a darker screen, poorer screen resolution, and dirty, faded colors.

Frustrated woman reading message on her smartphone, inside the living room.

Dropping your phone in water is almost always an accident. Still, moisture under your screen protector is almost always something you bring on yourself. This is because film screen protectors require a wet application. 

Make the screen too damp when you are applying the screen protector, and moisture bubbles result.

Fortunately, moisture under your screen protector is something you can take care of on your own. However, there’s one simple method that almost always works.

Two Ways of Dealing With Annoying Moisture After Wet Application

There are two ways of dealing with moisture bubbles after wet application of a screen protector:

  1. Wait and see. Moisture under a screen protector can dry up on its own after a week. Or two weeks. Or longer.
  2. Apply suction to move the moisture under the screen protector to the edges of the screen, where it will drain off and evaporate.

Suppose the moisture bubbles on your phone are driving you crazy, or you are concerned about having a permanent watermark on your phone. In that case, you will want to use the second method.

Suction to Remove Moisture Under a Screen Protector

To use the second method to remove moisture, you will need a small suction cup. You may have a suction cup in your bathroom for hanging up a toothbrush. You may use them for hanging up decorations. They are common home aquarium equipment.

By “small,” we mean a suction cup that is no more than 1 inch (25 mm) in diameter. Half an inch diameter is usually better. The suction cup should be about the same size as the moisture trapped beneath your screen protector.

You don’t need a “heavy-duty” suction cup. Small suction cups are available in home improvement stores, hardware stores, and online in packages of six to 25.

Place the suction cup over the wet spot under your screen protector. 

Apply suction (there’s a lever you turn to increase suction) until the wet spot is smaller. Then, remove the suction cup with a toothpick or tweezers, or something similar.

The dampness under your screen protector probably won’t disappear with your first try. However, you can “chase” smaller areas of moisture under your screen protector to the edges until they are gone.

When a wet spot is tiny, you can try swiping it with your fingernail. This technique works for wet spots about 1/10 of an inch (2 to 3 mm) wide.

This approach also works with moisture trapped under a colored tempered glass screen protector. Colored tempered glass screen protectors are attached only at the edge, so they can accumulate moisture when you use the phone in humid conditions.

Wet Spots Sometimes Dry Out by Themselves

Does this sound like too much trouble to get the moisture out from under the protective screen of your phone? Then you can go back to the first method for getting rid of a wet spot under your screen protector, wait and see.

Most of the time, water bubbles will come out eventually.

The problem with using the wait-and-see method is that you shouldn’t use your phone while waiting for wet spots to dry. Pressing the screen can drive moisture into the screen. It can permanently damage the display, even if it does not damage the communication electronics in your phone.

Most of the time, a little dampness under a plastic screen protector isn’t a big deal. No immediate damage to your phone will occur. But chances are that using your phone while the screen’s surface is a little damp will shorten its useful life.

When Is It Time to Put Your Phone in Rice?

There are other times that your phone is a good example of why water and electricity don’t mix. Anytime you have water running off your screen, or you have dropped your phone in water, or your phone got caught in the rain, stronger measures are needed.

The first thing you need to do when your phone is dripping wet is to make sure it is not plugged into a charger. You can get a potentially dangerous shock when your wet phone is connected to a wall outlet. 

If your phone did not power automatically, the next thing to do is to turn it off immediately. Take out the SIM card and microSD, if your phone has one. Remove the battery if you can. These can all trap water inside your phone, as well as suffer water damage themselves.

Then dry your phone as best you can with a lint-free towel. If you have a digital SLR camera or if you wear glasses, chances are that you have a lint-free towel at home already, but most pharmacies will have one.

Get rid of all the water you can. By the time you are finished, the back and front of your phone should be completely dry. Next, you should get a dry lint-free cloth into the SIM slot, the headphone jack, and every other nook and cranny you can find.

Only after all of these steps is time to time drying out your phone in a container of uncooked rice. Put your phone and the dry rice into a closed container (Pyrex with a plastic lid is ideal) and the container in a warm, dry place. 

Phone in a bowl of uncooked rice.

The longer your phone sits in the rice, the better. If this method is going to work, your phone will be as dry as possible in 48 hours. 

Take your phone out of the rice. Then make sure you have all the rice out of your phone. Reassemble it. 

Now comes the moment of truth. Try turning your phone on. If there is no response, try recharging it. But if there is still no response, there is a next step.

When Is It Time to See About Using Your Protection Plan?

Dead phones have to be replaced. Screens that are too dark to see also call out for a new phone.

Cash in on your protection plan, and enjoy your new phone!