Tips for Waterproofing Your E-Reader

Many readers are heading to the beach right now, to take advantage of the last best chance to enjoy some fun in the sun, sand, and water before summer’s gone. If that includes you, it helps to know some ways to safeguard your e-reader along the way. Just as you’re advised to wear sunscreen to the beach to protect your skin, you also want to protect your gadget so that it doesn’t suffer unnecessary damage while you’re enjoying the water.

Emergency E-reader Waterproofing

If you don’t want to splash out on a special waterproof case for your day at the beach, but you get caught in the rain or take a spur-of-the-moment trip to the lake or beach, don’t fret. There is a quick and easy tip you can use for emergency e-reader water resistance and protection. Just keep some ordinary zip-lock bags on hand…you may even be able to stash them inside the cover of your e-reader. Then when you need fast water protection, just double or triple bag your e-reader.

It’s wise to do the same thing with other e-reader electronic accessories, such as the charging cord or your backup battery pack. You’ll also want to avoid getting the zip-lock bag wet, but it will definitely provide a good level of protection.  A sandwich bag can also do a good job of keeping sand, mud, or dirt out of your e-reader and offering at least minimal protection from spilled liquids or rainfall. If it’s bagged securely enough to be airtight, it might even offer you a few seconds of protection if you accidentally drop your e-reader into a puddle, pond, or swimming pool.

The Rice Trick

There are times when your e-reader may still get wet, no matter how hard you try to avoid it. Unless you have a special protective cover or a waterproof-designed e-reader like the Kobo Aura H20, that moisture can threaten to wreck your e-reader. If that situation, one thing you can do – which may save your gadget from permanent damage – is to plunge it into a bowl, jar, or bag of ordinary uncooked dry rice.

You’ve probably noticed many times that when you cook rice, the water or steam in the pot gets absorbed into the grains of rice. They swell up and become moist, soft, and easy to eat. The same idea applies to the water on your e-reader. The dry rice surrounding it will soak up that moisture…and it may soak up enough of it that your gadget will be rescued. Always get the wet e-reader into dry rice as quickly as possible. Pat it dry, then cover it in the rice. It’s also a good idea to remove the battery from the device first, if that’s possible. Leave the e-reader buried in rice for as long as you can…ideally for several days. Then pull it out and if the trick worked, your e-reader should also still work.

Safely Removing Sand from an E-Reader

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, and e-reader gets sand in it. That can easily happen, for instance, if you are reading on the beach and a gust of wind surprises you and covers your gadget with sand particles. Even if you have a special carrying case…unless it is one of the ones that completely envelopes your e-reader…grains of sand can find their way into tiny cracks and crevices. Or the screen may get dusted with sand, and if you try to wipe it off with your hand or a cloth the abrasive sand may scratch the glass as it rubs across it.

To avoid that scenario, the best way to remove sand is to use a can of compressed air that is sold especially for cleaning computer gadgets. You can find these at office supply stores and other places that sell computer accessories. Direct the air at the sand and it should blow it safely away, even if it is stuck in the nooks and crannies of your e-reader.

If the Sand is Wet

Just as wet sand from the beach is harder to remove than dry sand when it gets on your clothing or skin, the same goes for wet sand on glass or plastic. Damp sand tends to stick to the surfaces of an e-reader device and be a bit more difficult to remove. In that case, before trying to blow the sand off you should allow the particles to dry. Just place the device screen-side up on a clean towel or dishcloth and let the sand air-dry. You may want to place it on a sunny windowsill But be careful that you do not expose your device to high temperatures…even from solar heat…because extreme temperatures, especially heat, can damage it.

Roald Dahl

If my books can help children become readers, then I feel I have accomplished something important.