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Saving a Cellphone That Got Wet

Category Cellphones
Smart Phone with large drops of water on and around it
This is a guide about saving a cellphone that got wet. There are a few things you can try to save a phone that has been submerged in water.
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April 29, 2010

Ever dropped your cell phone in a puddle, or worse, the toilet? If your cell takes an unexpected dunking, follow these steps to avoid a trip to the gadget graveyard.

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  1. Turn off the phone and remove the battery. And no matter what, do not turn it back on. The circuits may survive if the power is cut off quickly.

  2. Dry it off as much as possible to prevent more liquid from seeping in. Get into as many nooks as you can, inside and out.

  3. Put the phone and the battery in a dry, warm spot with good ventilation (say on top of the cable box or windowsill) so the remaining water evaporates.

  4. Let the parts dry for two days and not a minute less! It will be tough, but resist the urge to test your phone during this time. You may short-circuit the system if any wires are damp.

  5. After two days, reattach the battery, turn it on (and fingers crossed!) make a test call. With luck, your phone is back in working order.

Unfortunately, if your cell mixes with other liquids, these steps won't work - a technician should clean with distilled water and alcohol as soon as possible. Juice, coffee, soda or a grimy puddle will corrode the inside of your cell. The longer it dries, the more concentrated the substance will become.

Source:I don't know. It was passed on to me as a magazine clipping but no identifying source

By cailifouhnofthemist from Williams Lake, BC

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Comments

April 29, 20100 found this helpful
Top Comment

I second the rice trick. I put my husband's phone in rice for 3 days after a trip in the washing machine and it worked like always! We did have to get a new battery, but it sure beat getting a new phone!

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April 29, 20100 found this helpful
Top Comment

A friend of mine dropped his cell phone in a bucket of paint. He quickly fished it out and cleaned it up. He let it dry in the sun for about a day and a half. It still worked when he finally started to use it again.

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May 2, 20100 found this helpful
Top Comment

I have done both of these things, putting it in a ventilated spot, and also burying it in rice. One thing that is being forgotten here tho, is you should also remove the SIM card when you remove the battery so that it can dry along with the spot it was in.

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September 26, 20082 found this helpful

I have saved my cellphone three times from certain death and I wish to pass along the technique. I dropped it once into a puddle under a vacation home I had rented, a fluke happening as I was looking at the rainwater puddling under the home. Two other times I stupidly dropped the phone into the toilet because I bought the cheap belt holder and it flipped out as I stood up. You have to immediately pop the battery off of the phone, you have about 5 seconds before the water infiltrates the chip and fries the electronics.

Practice this ahead of time so you know how to do it quickly. You now have some time to locate a hair dryer, after you kick yourself for being clumsy. Set the hair dryer on medium and proceed to dry the phone and battery for about 15 minutes. Relax and time your rescue and consider how much money you are saving, not to mention the hassle of going to the phone store and paying to replace the phone. If the phone is too hot to touch you are too close, you aren't trying to cook it, just dry it out, back off and turn the phone around every 30 seconds or so. After the 15 minutes, reattach the battery and you should be good to go.

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There is a little white patch inside the battery compartment that turn colors if it gets wet. This alerts the phone company if you try to pass the phone off as faulty instead of admitting you accidentally dropped it in the toilet. This technique has not failed me yet. Good luck and buy the more expensive belt holder.

By Kenorri from MD

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 26, 20080 found this helpful
Top Comment

I have also heard that you can put a wet phone (with the battery off) and battery in a zipper bag with rice overnight. Apparently the rice absorbs the moisture. For those of us who don't own a hair dryer.

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 27, 20080 found this helpful
Top Comment

I dropped my phone in a full cup of Crystal Light just this week. I immediately opened it up and took the SIM card and battery out, and dried everything off as well as I could with a paper towel. We set the open phone and pieces in front of a fan for a full day and the next morning it was working fine. My husband says that it's very important not to try turning it back on too soon. It needs to be able to completely dry out first.

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September 27, 20080 found this helpful
Top Comment

My husband owns a company refurbishing old cell phones to be brand new again. They obviously get a lot of phones with water damage. Something we found sometimes works is, if you can, take your phone apart (most phones have torx screws, you can find screw drivers at sears) and take the circuit board of the phone and and take a toothbrush with denatured alcohol (rubbing alcolhol is not the best but will do) and brush the whole board softly and put it in the toaster oven. Big refurbishing companies have a fancy technical version of it called a reflow oven. Anyway, put the board in there and put the oven on the lowest setting possible for about half an hour. what happens is the water and alcohol is evaporated and the solder is reheated so everything reconnects correctly.

Hope you have the best of luck with your phones.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
September 8, 2011

Help! I just unloaded my washer and found my cell phone in a pants pocket. Is there any saving it, my whole life is in that thing? Thanks.

By FloraDee from TN

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
September 9, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Do NOT try to plug in the phone or turn it on. Take it apart and put each piece in raw rice completely covering every part of the phone. Yup, that's right, rice! Leave the parts in the rice undisturbed for 48 hours. The rice will help draw the moisture out of the components. After a few days, reassemble the phone, say a prayer, and try to charge it. Hopefully it will turn on again.

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September 9, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

My son has dunked his cell phone; he dried it out by placing it in front of a hot fan (the fan from his PS3). The phone worked just fine after it dried out. I know of others who have not only washed their phones, but run them through the dryer, and they have continued to work. I wouldn't run it through the dryer, as I am sure the tumbling wouldn't be good for it, but put in in front of some warm blowing air, and that should do the trick.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 10, 2009

How do I dry out a wet cellphone? My grandson dropped mine in a glass of water and it no longer works.

By sonyaswain from Athens, GA

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
September 12, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

Take the back off and let dry, after put one of those silicone packets in a plastic bag with the phone to absorb the rest of the moisture.

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Archives

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September 10, 20090 found this helpful

My husband dropped his cellphone in a mug of coffee. Has anyone experienced this, and is there any hope for it working?

Zoombit from Atlanta, GA

Answers:

Cellphone Got Wet

I would take it apart as much as possible and let it completely dry out. I once dropped my phone in my washing machine that was filling up with water. It was completely covered in water. After I let it dry out I turned it on and it worked again. Yours might be different because it was not just plain water, but I would give it a try. (02/28/2006)

By dpcw

Cellphone Got Wet

I used a blow dryer to dry it out. Works fine now. (02/28/2006)

By az2010

Cellphone Got Wet

My husband dropped his phone in the bucket of soap he was using to wash the car, and did not miss the phone for over an hour. He put the phone in the oven on warm and left it there all day. It dried out and has worked fine for months now. (02/28/2006)

By dse77

Cellphone Got Wet

I knocked my cellphone in the mop bucket. Tried all the above and mine still didn't work. Took it back to Altel and got a new one. I carry insurance on mine now. (02/28/2006)

By Pat437

Cellphone Got Wet

Take battery pack out. If possible, let in air outside (though not in direct sunlight) if it is pretty and warm outside.

This happened to me (bathtub of water) and I immediately took it out. Cloudy outside so I hit it a couple of times with blow dryer on low and let it sit unassembled, so to speak for 24 hours. Works like a champ. (03/01/2006)

Cellphone Got Wet

Two years ago, on the day that my husband got his new phone (new contract) he dropped it in the toilet! Luckily, the water was still clean. LOL! Anyway, he took the battery pack out, cleaned it as best he could and let it air dry. The next day he put it back together, crossed his fingers and turned it on. It worked like a charm. His contract expired a couple of weeks ago and he got a new phone. But his old one never gave him any trouble. Good Luck! (03/01/2006)

By Margaret

Cellphone Got Wet

Thanks for all the feedback. He took the phone apart as much as we could and placed it on the back of his computer monitor for two days to get dry air on it. It is working as of now, but one can only hope it continues. (03/05/2006)

By zoombit

Cellphone Got Wet

It will work fine if you do not try to turn it on after it happens, that will blow a fuse. Let it sit for 3 days, and it should give you no trouble. But, if turned on earlier it may give you problems. (07/17/2007)

By jim

Cellphone Got Wet

I dropped my phone in the toilet. First you take a bowl of white uncooked rice and let it sit there overnight. Apparently the rice will absorb the moisture. Then after letting it sit, use a vacuum hose and suck the air out while the battery is removed. (01/17/2009)

By shelbyyxD

Cellphone Got Wet

Mine fell in water. I tried to dry it out but finally took it to the store and they said it was fried. Got a new one but kept the old one, and lo and behold a few days later it worked fine! (07/21/2009)

By nancyintx

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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