How To Save a Cell Phone that's been Dropped in Water

Dropping a cell phone in the water is a cause of panic, because it might mean an expensive repair or replacement. But a wet cell phone doesn’t always equate to a damaged system. In fact, if you act fast, you can save a wet cell phone from an early retirement. Here’s what you should do.

  • Retrieve the cell phone. The longer it is immersed in the water, the more damages the cell phone can incur. So as soon as you can, salvage it from the water source. This is easy if the cell phone was dropped in a glass or pail of water. But if you accidentally dropped it in the toilet bowl or in a pool, make sure to use implements to remove it out. Remember to never put your health or safety on the line just to retrieve a cell phone.
  • Disconnect the battery. The battery is a source of power, which, if attached to a wet cell phone, can cause serious damages. So remove it as fast as you can. Dry it with paper towels and set aside. Remove the SIM card and dry it completely as well. In general cases, SIM card has a good chance of survival.
  • Remove as much liquid as you can. You can do this in two ways. First, dry the cell phone with paper towels. Make sure to reach all the parts. You can use Q-tips for the holes, corners, and hard-to-reach areas. Second, shake the water off the cell phone. But make sure not to shake vigorously to prevent the remaining water to seep into the other parts. When there is no more water coming out of the phone, proceed to the next step.
  • Use a vacuum. The vacuum will help wick away the moisture, but make sure to keep it several inches from the cell phone. Vacuum the cell phone for around 20 minutes or longer if it is submerged in water for a longer period. Remember not to use a blow dryer, as it allows the moisture to leak into other parts of the cell phone which can cause more damages.
  • Put the phone in a bowl of uncooked rice. Uncooked rice can dry the moisture that remains inside the cell phone. To use, simply put the cell phone in a bowl and cover it with uncooked rice. Let it sit there for at least 12 hours. You can also use desiccants in place of uncooked rice. Put desiccants in a bag together with the cell phone. Just the same, leave the cell phone in the bag for 12 hours. Desiccants can be found in medicine bottles, shoe boxes and food packages.

Dry the cell phone for as long as it is necessary. If the phone was severely wet, dry it for more than 12 hours. When you are sure that the internal parts are already dry, attach the battery and turn the cell phone on. It should work again after drying. If it doesn’t, let a professional take a look at it. Never try to open up and fix the cell phone by yourself, unless of course you very well know how to do it.


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