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The power button on my smartphone (Samsung Galaxy Note) stopped responding after carelessly using the phone outside on many rainy days. It would not come back so over time I got used to alternative tricks to turn on/off the display as well as the device as a whole.

After a year or so of using these workarounds, I noticed a few days ago that the button miraculously started working again. I would like to restart using it normally but I'm afraid it might now be in some fragile state I could easily break for good.

Is there a simple and safe way of cleaning the button (with its contacts inaccessible within the phone) and protecting it for the future? Like letting a small drop of engine oil through the hole around it? Obviously I don't want to break my phone by pouring something conductive into it but I don't want to accidentally cover the contact areas with some insulating film either. Just something that would remove the remaining bits of rust if there are any.

  • Engine oil is to allow movement between moving mechanical parts (e.g. metal), you don't want to use that on an electronic device. You'd need to take it apart to examine it really and see what extent the damage is (or someone else if you're not comfortable doing that). It might not be damaged or rusty (etc) and you just need to keep it dry from now on. Is it under warranty? – James Aug 21 '15 at 18:35
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Most likely you could clean the contact area using canned air, and blow it clean. After cleaning it I would consider closing it of for protection.

One option springing to mind for protection is to use SugruSugru is mouldable glue. Stick it, shape it and it will turn into rubber. I'm not affiliated with them, and have not actually tried it, but read a little about it, and it should fit your need here. It will not, as I understand, be so runny that it ruins your contact, but after it has turned into rubber it is still flexible enough to use the contact.

Another option could be to use blank tape, but I recon that will not stick for very long. And if using hot glue to cover the button would would loose flexibility and risk damaging the contact.

Edit: See How can I fix my car key when the rubber buttons fall off for a related question.

  • Both sound like great tips, exactly what I need! – The Vee Sep 5 '15 at 18:40

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