How To Save a Wet Cell Phone

September 2016


As a smartphone owner, having your phone fall into the toilet or realizing that you accidentally jumped into a pool without emptying your pockets is likely one of your worst nightmares. Unfortunately, there is no "cure-all" solution for a wet cell phone, and depending on the amount of time that it spent underwater, the only solution may just be to get a new one. However, if you act fast, there are some things that you can try to save your phone from permanent damage.

Here's a non-exhaustive list of what to do and what not to do if your phone falls into water. Please note that none of these methods are foolproof, and as previously mentioned, if your phone has spent too much time underwater, there may not be anything that you can do to save it.

What To Do If Your Phone Falls in Water

It may seem obvious, but the first thing to do when water hits your cell phone is to act fast and get your phone out of the water as soon as possible. You should then turn it off immediately to prevent it from short-circuiting.

If your phone is connected to a charger and completely submerged, do not attempt to unplug it or to turn it off. In this case, it would be safer to turn off the main power switch before attempting to disconnect it. If your phone is connected to a charger and has just had liquid spilled on it, remove it from the charger and dry it off with paper towels or soft cloths as soon as you can.

As soon as you get your phone out of water, remove all protective casing, as well as your SIM card and any microchips that you may have inserted. Use a cloth or paper towel to dab the phone dry. Do your best not to spread the water around, and try to keep your phone as steady as possible.

Once you've removed all of the water you can, we recommend that you draw out any remaining liquid by using materials with high absorption capabilities. Some common suggestions are to place the phone into a bowl of uncooked rice or wrapping it in paper towels. Desiccant packets (those small white bags of silica gel that are often found in shoeboxes) are also a highly effective means of drawing out water. Leave the phone submerged for a few hours (or overnight) and turn it every so often to ensure that every area is equally treated.

It may feel like an eternity, but it's best to wait 24 hours before attempting to turn on your phone and see the extent of the water damage. You should only try to turn on your phone if every area of the device appears to be completely dry. If it appears to function correctly upon booting up, you may be in luck, but be sure to keep an eye and ear out for any strange noises or bugginess.

If your phone does not boot up, you can attempt to plug it into the charger. (Again, this should only be done if every area is completely dry).

What Not To Do If Your Phone Falls in Water

The internet is chock full of "quick fixes" or "miracle fixes" that are supposed to be fast-acting and efficient, but are actually quite dangerous. It's best to use common sense when weeding through the information. With that said, here are some things that you should never do to "save" your phone.


Do not attempt to dry your phone with a hair dryer or put it in direct heat (such as on a radiator, near an oven, or under the sun).

Do not attempt to remove water from your phone by shaking it. This could potentially spread water into smaller areas and damage parts that were previously untouched.

Image: © suwatpatt - Shuttertock.com

Related :

This document entitled « How To Save a Wet Cell Phone » from CCM (ccm.net) is made available under the Creative Commons license. You can copy, modify copies of this page, under the conditions stipulated by the license, as this note appears clearly.