How to Test a Waterproof Phone Case

Apartment Therapy Tutorials

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Water-resistant, water-proof and life-proof cases can open up a world of freedom for phone addicts. But before the case ever makes the journey to the lake or the pool, it should be tested to ensure that the case and its seals are in working order.

You don't want to run the risk of damaging your phone when you test it, so instead, you're going to put your water-resistant or water-proof case through the ringer with something less delicate (and expensive) inside. 

How to Test Your Phone Case

  • Inspect the case and seals for cracks, dust and dirt. Check that the seal or o-ring is clean an in place.
  • Take a piece of paper, paper towel or anything else that will show when it gets wet, and close it inside the case. Make sure it's smaller than your phone and doesn't get caught in the seal. Bonus points for writing on the paper with a water-soluble marker that will run when water soaks in.
  • Make sure all of the snaps, covers or plus are in place. Some cases snap open to reveal the charge port or headphone jack.
  • Hold the case under a faucet for a few moments. Check to make sure the paper is still dry. 

If your case is billed as water-resistant (it will hold up to splashes, but not being totally submerged underwater), stop here. If not...

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  • Fully submerge your case (with paper still inside) into a bowl or sink full of water, weighing it down with a cup. Leave it submerged for an hour.
  • After an hour, remove the case from the water and dry it off thoroughly before opening the case to inspect for wetness. You don't want any water from the outside of the case to soak your paper.

If the paper and the inside of the case are both dry, you're good to go! Lock your phone up inside and head for wet, muddy fun knowing your phone is safe from drowning!

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Keeping Your Case Waterproof

The snaps and seals in your case might wear down over time. To keep the case in tip-top shape (and keep your gear dry) it's important to practice a few habits.
  • Keep the seals clean. Check for dust or anything out of place before each time you use your waterproof case. Check the seals on any doors, snaps or plugs, too.
  • Rinse with water after each use. If your case is exposed to salt water or chemicals like soap or chlorine,rinse the case with fresh water.
  • Repeat this test at regular intervals, and after major drops. Test your case (sans phone inside) occassioanlly, depening on use. And repeat the test after major impacts, like dropping yourt phone, to check for damage to the seal. 

(Images: Taryn Fiol)

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