Home > Gadgets, Mobile Phones > How to drop your mobile phone in water and keep smiling

How to drop your mobile phone in water and keep smiling

Wet Mobile Phone

Wet Mobile Phone

It is possible to drop your phone in water, and with a little bit of effort on your part to still have a working phone after the event.  As with many of these things, the advice is obvious when you see it written down, but a little less obvious in those first few moments of blind panic.

The most important thing is remove the battery, don’t pause to think about it – just do it !  The battery can be put to one side and dried off with a cloth.  It is not a good idea to apply a source of heat to ‘encourage’ the drying process.  At the same time remove the Sim card, the contents may be as valuable as the phone itself.  If the phone was dropped in sea water, remove the battery and Sim card and rinse the phone in distilled water.  Tap water will have to do if distilled water is not available, but it is important to remove the salt crystals.

Gently shake your phone to remove excess water.  Dry it off as much as possible with a towel.  If you have to use a paper towel, be careful not to clog up crevices with wet paper.  Remove as many covers and plugs as possible to allow drying.  Continue the drying process with a vacuum cleaner and NOT a hair dryer.  You want to pull water out of the phone, not push it deeper in to every crevice.

NEVER attempt to dry your phone in a microwave oven.  You had realised that anyway, hadn’t you?

If you have access to any desiccant material, small beads which absorb humidity, you should place your phone in a sealed jar of the material.  If not use rice.  Do you need to be told it should be uncooked rice?  The phone should be left in the sealed jar for at least 24 hrs.

When you take the phone out of the jar make sure it is completely dry.  If not, put the phone back in the jar again.  If the phone appears to be dry re-assemble it.  Turn it on to see if it works.  If not, try taking the battery out and turn the phone on connected to the charger instead.  If you still have no joy, and you are confident and have the right tools (probably Torx screwdrivers size 4, 5 and 6), take the phone apart and dry out every crevice.  Phones are designed to be water resistant so can be used outside in light showers of rain.  The very seals designed to keep water out, will keep the water in if it has got passed the seals.  If you know a physics teacher, placing your phone in a vacuum jar for about 30mins will help it dry out thoroughly.

From the time you drop your phone in water to the time you start taking the remedial action listed above is about ten seconds.  However, don’t panic and with a bit of luck you may be able to rescue the situation.  If not, you always have your household insurance policy.

Categories: Gadgets, Mobile Phones
  1. AJ
    16/03/2010 at 2:11 am

    Great advice! For people looking for a desiccant, there is a product that is designed to do exactly what you are recommending! http://www.irecoverycellphonedryingkit.com/ I used it after my husband left his phone in his pocket and it went through the wash. You are absolutely right that you should take out the battery as soon as possible! So many people fry their phones because the first thing they do is to turn it on to see if it works.

  2. Caitlin Hazell
    23/03/2010 at 5:42 pm

    Sophie gave me your web address, because i wanted to see your blog, it’s really good, especially this article 🙂
    I love your daughter, she is so cute and funny.

    • 27/03/2010 at 9:00 pm


      Thanks for the nice comments. Please publicise my blog on your Facebook account. My last post was about a new system designed to detect adults lurking on young person’s social networking accounts.

      best wishes


  3. harry
    09/11/2011 at 3:30 am

    Thanks for the great article! I was fortunate enough to have my phone survive. The $6 for the reusable(!) desiccant pack might have been the factor that saved me from having to replace a $600 SGS2.

    Just be careful choosing a desiccant as some may be doped with cobalt chloride (http://desiccantpacks.org/) which is toxic and may be carcinogenic.

  4. Haliey whiter
    09/07/2012 at 9:19 pm

    I love droping my phone in water because I get a new one anyways

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