Ever dropped your cell phone in the sink,
or even worse... the toilet? Did you ever leave it in your pocket and
run it through the washer? Did you ever swim with your cell phone in
your pocket? It usually means you have to replace your phone, but
sometimes if you're fast, you can save the phone! It's not being wet
that kills a cell phone, it's being on and wet at the
same time. This can short the circuitry out. If you're able to turn
your phone off before it fries, you may well be able to resuscitate
your drowned phone!
Get it out of the water as soon as possible.
The plastic covers on cell phones are fairly tight, but water can enter
the phone in a short period of time, perhaps only 20 seconds or less.
Grab your phone quickly! If you can't get to it in time, your best bet
is to remove the battery while it is still under water. Water helps
dissipate heat from shorts that can damage the phone, so most damage
occurs when the inside of the phone is wet and connected to a power
source. This can go both ways. Being under water is more likely to
short the battery to even more sensitive contacts, so be careful.
- Don't panic. Your phone will probably not be too damaged if you take it out of the water right away.
- 3Remove the battery. This is one of the most important steps. Don't take time
to think about it; electricity and water do not mix. Cutting power to
your phone is a crucial first step in saving it. Many circuits inside
the phone will survive immersion in water provided they are not
attached to a power source when wet.
- 4Try putting your cell phone, with battery removed, in an oven on warm and hold. The dry heat will dry that ish out in no time.
- 5Remove the SIM card if you have a GSM carrier, .
Some or all of your valuable contacts (along with other data) could be
stored on your SIM. To some people, this could be more worth saving
than the phone itself. SIM cards survive water damage well, but some of
the following steps are unnecessary i.e. don't heat it. Just pat it dry
and leave it aside until you need to connect your phone to your
cellular network. (This step does not apply to CDMA carriers such as
Verizon, Alltel, US Cellular, Sprint, etc.)
- 6Dry your phone.
You can put it in a bag of rice. Obviously you need to remove as much
of the water as soon as possible, so you can save it from getting into
the phone. Shake it out without dropping it, then use a towel or paper
towel (ideally trying not to clog the wet paper in the gaps and grooves
of the phone) to gently remove as much of the remaining water as
possible. Dry the excess moisture by hand.
- 7Remove any covers and external connectors to open up as many gaps, slots, and crevices in the phone as possible.
- 8Use a vacuum cleaner if possible. Do not use a hair dryer
(even on a "cold" mode) to dry out the phone, as this may force
moisture further into the small components and likely melt them, deep
inside the phone. If moisture is driven deeper inside, corrosion and
oxidation may result when minerals from liquids are deposited on the
circuitry. Using a hairdryer might be a temporary fix, but this will
eventually cause component failure inside the phone. Instead, remove
all residual moisture by drawing it away with a vacuum cleaner held
over the affected areas for up to 20 minutes in each accessible area.
This is the fastest method and can completely dry out your phone and
get it working in thirty minutes (however, unless the exposure to water
was extremely short, it's not recommended to attempt to turn
your phone on this soon). Be careful not to hold the vacuum too close
to the phone, as a vacuum can create static electricity, which is even
- 9Use a substance with a high affinity for water to help draw out moisture.
Leave the phone in a bowl or bag of uncooked rice overnight. The rice
would absorb any remaining moisture. If available, it is preferable to
use desiccant instead. Desiccant will absorb moisture better than rice.
Turn the phone to a different position every hour until you go to
sleep. This will allow any water left inside to run down and hopefully
find an opening to escape.
- 10Let the phone sit on absorbent towels, napkin, or other paper.
Remember that the goal is to evacuate all the moisture and humidity,
not to trap it or add even more. Check the absorbent material every
hour for 4 to 6 hours. If moisture is evident, repeat the vacuuming
step and desiccant steps.
- 11Test your phone.
After you have waited a day or so, make sure everything is clean and
looks dry, and re-attach the battery to the phone. Try turning it on.
If your phone still does not work, try plugging it into its charger
without the battery. If this works, you need a new battery. If not, try
taking your cell phone to an authorized dealer. Sometimes they can fix
it. Don't try to hide the fact that it has been wet. There are internal
indicators that prove moisture.
- 12Take the phone apart if your phone doesn't turn on at all.
If you feel comfortable doing this, try taking it apart. First, make
sure that you have ALL the right parts and know exactly where they go.
Be sure to put everything back in its proper place once finished. As
you're disassembling it, pat each individual part dry with a small
towel and use the vacuum cleaner once more on the crevices. If this
doesn't work, go to the professionals.