Dry out your cell phone if it gets wet

Edited by Rich, Charmed, Eng, Maria and 17 others

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This article will help you save a wet cellphone. The instructions will guide you through the steps necessary to remove water from the insides of a cellular device.

If you act fast and follow the procedures outlined in this how-to, you may be able to save a cellular phone that has been immersed in water. Water threatens a cellphone in two ways. First, water can cause the phone to have an electrical short when it interacts with the inner components. Second, water corrodes electrical components when it gets inside the case and rests there for a long time. Removing the water is imperative.

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Heat will warp the components and frame of phones, so you cannot use direct heat to force the water to evaporate. Instead, the cellphone must be dried and placed within materials which will draw the water out of the internal components of the device. Any type of desiccant will perform the job of absorbing water best. The most commonly used is silica gel. Silica gel is inside the white packets encountered in new shoes and pill containers. It may be bought in bulk from home and garden stores or through online businesses. If you do not have enough silica gel on hand to cover a phone entirely, rice can also be used to absorb the water.

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Remember, time is critical in saving a drenched phone. If you do not have silica gel on hand, then use rice. If you do not have rice, then use a soft, super-absorbent bath towel until you get rice or silica gel. Never pick a phone that is charging and is in the water. You could electrocute yourself. Instead, turn off the electricity then unplug the charger and phone. Don't panic, stay calm, and do try save your phone but not at your personal safety.

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Tools

  • Rice or silica gel
  • Vacuum
  • Towel
  • A medium-sized container

Instructions

  1. 1
    Pick it up!
    Quickly, and safely, remove the phone from the water source.
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  2. 2
    Remove the battery.
    Some phones do not have a removable battery cover but if possible remove the battery cover and take out the battery.
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  3. 3
    Turn the phone off.
    If the phone is on then, turn it off. The longer power is supplied to the circuits the greater the chance of a short circuit. A short will destroy your phone. Turn it off!
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  4. 4
    Gently shake.
    Gently shake the phone a few times to displace surface water.
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  5. 5
    Check the wetness indicator.
    Most phones have a sticker underneath the battery which will change colors when exposed to moisture. If the sticker is red, then moisture has gotten in the phone. The upside to this is that the warranty is most likely void now. Most warranties do not cover water damage. Feel free to take the phone apart if you have experience with that and the warranty is void.
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  6. 6
    Remove SIM card.
    Remove your SIM card, if possible. Dry the card off while being careful of the exposed connectors. Save your personal information!
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  7. 7
    Remove peripherals.
    Fancy chains or cellphone straps will hold water. Remove them from the device and dry them separately. Remove any plug covers as they will hold water inside the device.
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  8. 8
    Pat the outside dry.
    Use a towel to dry the area where the battery resided. Pat gently. Do not rub, only dab with the towel.
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  9. 9
    Vacuum the phone.
    Use a vacuum to pull water out from the front of the phone and the seams. Use a low setting but do not place the vacuum directly on the phone. Instead hover the nozzle close to the frame and try to draw some water out. Be especially careful not to scratch the screen with the vacuum nozzle.
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  10. 10
    Place in the container of rice or desiccant.
    Fill the container with the desiccant or rice. Place the phone in the material. Fully cover the phone and close the lid.
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  11. 11
    Wait.
    The water absorption process will take time. Leave your phone in the material for a full day or two. It is important to wait at least 24 hours for the phone to dry. Turning it on when it is not fully dry can result in further damage.
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  12. 12
    Check for moisture.
    Remove the phone from the container and check for moisture. The process can take a few days. So, check the phone for moisture each day. Moisture might be visible as fog or distortion on the screen.
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  13. 13
    Power on.
    When the phone is dry, replace the battery and SIM card then try to power the phone on. If the operating system loads and the phone performs as expected, then the phone has been saved! Congratulations!
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Tips Tricks & Warnings

  • Is the warranty void? If the warranty is void, there is no reason not to open your phone if you have the experience. Open the phone and dry the parts together in a big container. This will help you see if moisture is still inside the phone. If you don't have experience taking phones apart then don't risk breaking the device.
  • Never use a hair dryer. You may think that running a hair dryer on cold or hot mode would help dry the phone out. This is incorrect. In actuality, the dryer will push moisture deeper into the phone.
  • Heat at own risk. Some people express success with low-temperature heating for a long baking time in the oven. Try at your own risk as heat will destroy some screens and components.
  • Another note about heat. Heating the phone will not just affect the components. Heat will cause the internal adhesives to weaken which reduces the durability of your phone. The heat could make glue evaporate and the phone to come apart.
  • Saltwater. If you dropped your phone in salt water, then you need to douse the phone in fresh water to remove the salt first. Afterward, return to begin at instruction number one.

Questions and Answers

I have an Android first phone it got wet anyway I can open this phone up?

Anyway I can open this phone ... don't think the battery is removable tried to charge it but does nothing.

When a phone gets wet, do not try turning it on or charging it because you risk getting the phone burned on the inside. This also depends on how it got wet. If it went fully submerged or the charging areas were soaked, I strongly suggest you visit an accredited technician to dry out the phone for you and fix it if you burned out any part of the phone because you charged it.

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I was wondering how long to keep it in the rice?

I dropped my ZTE Sonata 2 in the toilet for a couple of secs. I quickly pulled it out I was just wondering how long I needed to keep it in the rice.

Remove the battery and remove the cover. Shake the smartphone vigorously to get out as much water as you can and carefully submerge it in instant rice (not to get rice anywhere inside the smartphone) and add silica gel. You can also use non-wooden cat litter. Usually 24 hours is enough, but it is recommended to keep it for a week that way, as you cannot shake out all of the water sometimes.

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Is it possible to dry out a phone in which the battery can not be removed?

My phone was dropped in dishwater. It did not stay immersed in water that long. Is it possible to dry it out on my own?

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How can I dry out my phone when it's wet and the battery is non removal?

Hi, I dropped my Alcatel C pop on a toilet then afterwards It won't turn on? I just used the rice solution but still won't work. Help me!

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See more questions like this: My phone dropped in water 3 hours back. It has non removable battery. What should I do now?

Hi Reckit, My name is Allison and I had dropped my cellphone (Moto e and the service is through Boost Mobile) and I was wondering if there were easy steps that you could guide me through quickly then the whole rice thereory that everyone else uses?

I would love for you to help me with a quick and possible solution of fixing my we cellphone that had fallen into the toilet yesterday

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Would the battery in cellphone that was wet 8 months ago be good to use now?

The phone hasn't been used in 8 months due to getting wet. Would the battery be okay to use in another phone?

Some batteries may have a small sticker that becomes pink, red, or white with a red stripe when there is water damage. You have minimal damage to your battery if you remember taking it out as quickly as possible out of the phone when it had become wet. Over the course of eight months, the battery has dried up; and you can put it into a new phone and test if it works.

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Hi sir, how can I charge my mobile?

Sir, yesterday morning my cell got wet & yesterday noon it worked properly, but it does not charge, I don't know what to do

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I have an LG G stylo and I dropped it in the toilet earlier today. I have it in rice now but is my phone already ruined?

I have an LG G stylo and I dropped in the toilet earlier today. I turned it on but the screen has all these lines that shake. I have it in rice now but is my phone already ruined?. I have tried: It happened at work close to the end of my shift so I put in it rice for only 2 hours got stuck in traffic for two hours and then I put it back in rice it has been 4 hours since it has been put back in rice. I think it was caused by: Dropped in toilet

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VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

See more questions like this: It rained on my Samsung 4, what should I do?

I have a Boost Mobile ZTE Speed non removable battery fell in toilet

Pulled it out right away, ran downstairs and put it into rice, it wouldn't turn off, I then removed the back and put it into the rice, the phone keeps vibrating every minute. Still won't turn off. I read that I should put it in paper towel and plastic into fridge? but I am a single mom and I need my phone, please tell me all hope isn't lost. I have tried: Put it into 3lbs of rice, wrapped in paper towel and put in fridge. I think it was caused by: I dropped it into toilet

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VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

Phone sunk in water but display is on?

The touch is not working but it turns on and display is clear. Will there be an issue in the board? how much it will cost to replace the board of Huawei phone.

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See more questions like this: My phone fell in water, now it is not working?

My phone has been wet for over 24 hours can it be saved?

I just want to know if it can be saved. I have tried: Air dryer, letting it sit. I think it was caused by: Dropped it in the sink

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I have a Galaxy S5 Edge and I dropped it in the dog's water bowl?

I turned it off, removed the SIM card and it is sitting in a bag of rice. Is there anything else I should do? How long should I wait before trying to turn it back on?

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Is it safe to charge a mobile phone off a 9 V battery?

Hi, sir! This is about my investigatory project. Can you help to make a questionnaire for my classmate about that question? Thank you. I have tried: I have just tried charging my device, but I don't know if it is safe

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In short: no, it is not safe. To operate with that kind of a charger, you will need to be under constant supervision of an adult who knows how electricity works and will give you tips how to insulate the charger and hold it correctly before you connect it to the phone or battery. Remember: no current is safe! We shall explain why. The overall maximum safe operating voltage (the voltage when you can get away from the source of current by yourself) of direct current is 8 volts at 0.1 mA! This is less than the battery provides.

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While nine volts of direct current is considered harmless for electricians, it can cause injury if it is put by mistake against wet mucous membrane (tongue, for example) as water is a good conductor. In other words, you have to explain in your questionnaire that the battery itself can pose danger, especially in high-humidity, high-temperature, and metal-floor areas. Electricians are instructed that anything over 12 volts of direct current in high-humidity, high-temperature, and metal-floor areas is dangerous. Notice how it is close to nine volts! The battery in the phone is around six volts, which means that the whole circuit with charging becomes potentially unsafe even for electricians (one can reach over 12 volts with the created circuit as connecting the batteries in series will increase voltage!) Safe conditions should be created: the air should be dry, the temperature should not be high, and the floor where the electrician stands should be covered with rubber or wood. This will allow electricians (not unqualified personnel) to operate up to 42 volts. Again, electricity is not a game; and you should always have supervision of an adult.

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How to fix a Umi Touch that was in water for about 2 seconds?

It won't turn on. It is a Umi Touch. I have tried: Nothing yet, I don't know what to do. I think it was caused by: Pool

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