My android device has been splashed/soaked by sea water

Has an accepted answer that says:

next, submerge the phone (without the battery) completely in water. Leave it there for 24 hours.

It doesn't take a genius to realize that putting a water damaged phone in water will just make it worse.

I suggested an edit that removed the parts of the answer that actually damage hardware. I cited a credible source that explains the proper way to clean water damaged electronics. I've worked in the small electronics repair industry and I personally know the correct way to clean electronics and also how to destroy them.

It is our duty to protect our visitors and users from destroying their devices.

I did the "recommended" action of providing the correct answer. Nobody will ever see this answer as it's buried beneath 3 destructive answers that destroy electronics.

The destructive answers receive more upvotes and the correct answer receives no attention.

It makes sense at this point to just edit the accepted answer and remove the parts that are dangerous and destructive. The answer owner doesn't lose any rep, everyones happy.

TLDR: This accepted answer is equal to delete System32 to speed up your computer.

This wouldn't fly on any other part of stack exchange why is it okay here?

Why isn't my edit accepted?

This is a citation for why rice is a myth and the proper way to clean water damage. Rice doesn't fix water damage or help at all in anyway. It's pseudoscience

  • I agree that 24 hours is insane, and that the answer ought to be clear that you need to use distilled water as one of the other answers is, but I'm not sure what the best way forward is here. Jan 25, 2018 at 20:52
  • @MatthewRead My suggested edit replaced "submerge in water for..." with "submerge in ultrasonic cleaner for 6 minutes" And the part of putting it in rice after taking it apart, I replaced with the word rice with "brush with alcohol." The whole answer didn't need to be changed. I just suggested to reword the dangerous parts. I don't see whats wrong with that. The guy keeps his rep and new users don't mess up their electronics. Jan 25, 2018 at 20:57
  • 1

4 Answers 4


If you have a better answer, post it. Explain what should and should not be done, and why. Downvote any wrong answers you see. Comment on their flaws when applicable.

But don't try to change someone else's answer to say what they did not intend to say. Respect the original author even while disagreeing with them.

Contrary to your claim, there are many dangerously wrong answers on other sites, such as Stack Overflow. Following someone's wrong advice regarding information security can be much worse than destroying a phone. Those answers still exist. When there's is a dangerous misconception around, it's better for it to be voiced and refuted than never be voiced.

  • That's what I did and it's not helpful. I posted an answer and it rests at the very bottom of the question and receives no attention. While the dangerous accepted answer receives more upvotes. There are 2 other answers besides mine and they also give destructive advice. Nobody is going to scroll down past 3 long answers that say the same thing to see the "correct" answer. Jan 25, 2018 at 18:52
  • 2
    +1. I completely agree. Gross inaccuracies or blatant incorrectness cannot be held as an excuse to go ahead and change the intent of the post. Post a competing answer and optionally, post a comment on the question highlighting why your answer should be considered first over others. The latter suggestion may seem like abuse of commenting privilege though, but it appears to be a better choice to me.
    – Firelord Mod
    Jan 25, 2018 at 21:08
  • +1 very similar views on Superuser Meta
    – beeshyams
    Jan 29, 2018 at 6:14
  • @Firelord That's a stupid idea because you have to read all of the incorrect answer and then happen to read the one comment that says that the accepted answer is wrong then scroll too the bottom of the page past 3 other wrong answers to get to the correct answer. Feb 8, 2018 at 14:14
  • @Firelord You're basically saying leave it up to chance that they might possibly see the correct answer but they probably wont. That's your suggestion. Feb 8, 2018 at 14:15
  • @LateralTerminal your stance on that idea doesn't have any bearing on the restraints fixed around the editing. You're implicitly assuming that the visitor is stupid enough to go ahead with the first answer without checking the underlying comments or the competing answers. I don't assume that and I believe neither did the folks who set out those restraints (reflected in the idea you considered stupid) which are enforced SE wide.....
    – Firelord Mod
    Feb 8, 2018 at 18:22
  • @LateralTerminal ...In person, as much as folks often prefers not to trust any information given from a stranger without at least verifying them from other folks, the visitors are supposed to verify the answer by checking the comments, looking at the accepted-answer mark, or by reading competing answers et al. I believe you should raise this as an issue on meta.se since the problem as you perceive it can exist on any SE site.
    – Firelord Mod
    Feb 8, 2018 at 18:23
  • @Firelord I respect your opinion but I disagree. I don't believe most people do what we expect/want them to do. Either way this particular problem solved itself with SE's methodology and I'm happy. I think abandoned accounts are a different matter though. But that's for another day. Feb 8, 2018 at 18:47

I disagree with the answers regarding both types of water. Both ionized or de-ionized water will essentially destroy your devices very quickly, as in "becoming inoperative". Batteries are damaged very quickly by any water that can get to the electroyte. LCD screen are particularly sensitive to water leaking in at the edges; they may be usable, but would definitively look damaged, and will likely become inoperative. Other electronic components like chips are more than likely going to be damaged by ingress of water molecules via their connection leads; at the frequencies that most chips operate, any water molecules will have detrimental effects such as "stop operation".

I don't know how that would have affected the consequential arguments regarding if the posting should be allowed, but it does change the technical basis for the arguments. We therefore have a good argument for not editing a posting to make it correct, but to add comments or answers that point out the error(s).


First to read: What is the etiquette for modifying posts? and Why can people edit my posts? How does editing work?

The first link is an FAQ from Meta Stack Exchange (aka the main meta), and the second link is an article in the Help Center. It is clearly stated that

Edits are expected to be substantial and to leave the post better than you found it. Common reasons for edits include:

  • To clarify the meaning of the post (without changing that meaning)

Things about the answer itself

TLDR The answer is right.

Fairly sure I know what will go on... (I will expand this later) It does need a genius to realize that the answer is CORRECT.

The current revision of the answer has an emphasis on deionized water, which is the key that makes the answer correct. You'll actually destroy the device if you put it in some random solution, or water collected directly from your tube.

Deionized (or distilled) water contains the minimum amount ion possible in chemistry. Random ion in normal water like Calcium and Magnesium and Carbonate is going to react with the material on the PCB and the chips, which is the core cause of water damage. On the contrary deionized water is NOT going to do the same. It does not contain random ion at an amount sufficient to cause chemical reaction. Submerging an affected device in such water will lower the concentration of ion in the sea water (or whatever solution) that's already inside. This will clean off and slow down chemical reaction caused by that sea water, before the device is getting dried.

Then the answer requires you to put the device in dried rice, which is nothing wrong.

I left out the part that random ion increasing the conductivity of water because that's a really minor factor compared to the damage mentioned above.

Blah blah, whatever...aldjgskaksdhsgagkdlalajd

  • A comment thread on meta is not at all the place to argue about whether an answer is right or wrong; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Dan Hulme
    Feb 9, 2018 at 8:32

OP changed his answer a bit based on the citations I provided.

I still strongly disagree with any mention of rice as it is pure pseudoscience, but the answer itself is no longer harmful to devices.

Therefore, my problems with this answer are gone. I've given it an upvote.

I'd like to mention that this is only possible because OP still uses stackexchange. I think some system should be in place for maintaining harmful accepted answers from abandoned accounts. I respect and admire the rules of this site a lot actually. That's what makes this place amazing, but there should still be some exceptions to the rules for certain dangerous scenarios.

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