Dry out your cell phone if it gets wet

Edited by Rich, Charmed, Eng, Maria Quinney and 19 others

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This article will help you save a wet cell phone. The instructions will guide you through the steps necessary to remove water from the inside of your cellular device.

Drying Out A Wet Cell Phone

If you act quickly and follow the procedures outlined in this how-to, you may be able to save a cellular phone that has been immersed in water.

What Happens When Your Phone Gets Wet?

Water threatens a cell phone in two ways.

  1. 1
    Electrical Short
    Water can cause an electrical short inside the phone when it interacts with the inner components.
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  2. 2
    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. Your cell phone must be dried by placing it within materials that will draw the water out of the internal components of the device. Any type of desiccant will perform the job of absorbing water. The most commonly used is silica gel. Silica gel is inside the white packets you find in new shoes, purses and pill and vitamin containers. You can buy it from home and garden stores or find it easily online. If you do not have enough silica gel on hand to cover a phone entirely, rice can also be used to absorb the water.

Remember, TIME IS CRITICAL when saving a drenched phone. If you don't have silica gel on hand, then use rice. If you don't have rice, then use a soft, super-absorbent bath towel until you get rice or silica gel. Never pick up a phone that's 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 the expense of your personal safety.


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


  1. 1
    Pick it up
    Quickly, and safely, remove the phone from the water source.
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  2. 2
    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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  3. 3
    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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  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 into the phone. The downside 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 cell phone straps will hold water. Remove them from the device and dry them separately.
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  8. 8
    Remove any plug covers, as they will hold water inside the device.
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  9. 9
    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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  10. 10
    Vacuum the phone
    Use a vacuum to pull water out of 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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  11. 11
    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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  12. 12
    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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  13. 13
    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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  14. 14
    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 your 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 the container of rice or desiccant. 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 will 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 only 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 cause your phone to come apart.
  • Saltwater. If you dropped your phone in salt water, then you need to turn off the phone immediately, and dip the phone in fresh water to remove the salt first. Afterward, return to begin at instruction number one.

Questions and Answers

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

I dropped my ZTE Sonata 2 in the toilet for a couple of seconds. I quickly pulled it out, but 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 in for a week as sometimes you cannot shake out all of the water.

Hi Reckit, my name is Allison and I had dropped my cellphone (Moto e and the service is through Boost Mobile) into the toilet.

I was wondering if there were easy steps that you could guide me through quickly, other than the whole rice method 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 become wet. Over the course of eight months, the battery has dried up; and you can put it into a new phone and see if it works.

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. Is my phone already ruined?

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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I have a Boost Mobile ZTE Speed with a non-removable battery that fell into 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? 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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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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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.

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.

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 the supervision of an adult.

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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Hi, my name is Janai. I lost my phone a couple days ago, and it was found in my neighbor's grass?

It was raining a couple days ago, so my ZTE phone got wet of course, and it was dry when I got it back. But, it wouldn't charge or turn on. It just vibrated when I tried to charge the phone and showed the little red light at the top of my phone whenever it would begin to charge. The screen for showing the battery wouldn't show up at all, so I didn't know if my phone was charging or not. What should I do??? I didn't read the article yet, your recommendation to ask you for help just popped up, so yea I asked you for help instead. I have tried: Charging the phone, and took out the battery, tossed the phone to see if the battery would come out, and it didn't. I think it was caused by: Leaving my phone in the grass while it was raining and didn't realize it .

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I accidentally dropped my ZTE blade max in the toilet.. took it out immediately.. it was still on I answered a call it shut down.. its been in rice for a couple of hours keeps trying to power on.. led white lite on the front keeps coming up.. I need this phone?

I have the SIM card out.. what else can I do to dry it

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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Categories : Tech

Recent edits by: nicoleL1988, Nuance, Umi

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