A Simple Way to Save a Wet Cell Phone

A wet cell phone can set you back hundreds of dollars in replacement fees… but what if you had a way to fix it?

Sadly, Your Humble Writer has needed to replace more than one wet cell phone in the past. Let’s see, there was the one my niece dropped in the swimming pool, the one I left out in the rain, and, embarrassingly, the one I dropped in the toilet. If only I’d known the trick for drying them out!

A sweet customer service rep revealed this trick to me when I went in to have my latest phone checked, when the battery was on the fritz. Lo and behold, it worked!

A Quick Warning

I should point out here that I had no idea that my phone’s insides had gotten wet, until the young lady mentioned above pointed out the telltales on my cell phone interior and on the battery: white patches that turn pink when they get damp. If your phone ever acts up for no apparent reason, check this possibility first.

It’s possible that the phone got wet when I left it on the bathroom sink as I took a shower; steam may have condensed inside the casing. Or condensation from a cold drink may have gotten inside when I put it down on my desk. It’s equally likely to have gotten sweaty in my pocket as I exercised.

The point is, it doesn’t take much dampness to cause serious issues; so if your phone starts behaving strangely and you don’t know why, you may very well have non-obvious water damage.

The Trick

This simple method for drying your phone can work whether it’s sopping wet or just a little damp. First, get it out of the water immediately. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TURN ON THE PHONE. Instead, remove the battery right away, being very careful not to get zapped.

Next, remove the SIM card and all the peripherals, and then dry everything (including the interior of the phone) thoroughly with a soft cloth. Get as much of the moisture as possible; some sources suggest using a gentle vacuum cleaner for this. Do NOT use a hair dryer.

Leaving the phone open and the battery, etc. out, put the phone and battery in a bowl or bag of uncooked rice overnight. Make sure that all the parts that got wet are covered. If you prefer, you can seal the phone and battery in a plastic bag with a small packet of silicon desiccant instead.

The Verdict

Finally, after removing the phone from the rice, let it sit out on an absorbent surface for about 24 hours, then put it back together and test it. There’s no guarantee, but there’s a good chance that your once wet cell phone will now be healed and useful again!