It doesn’t matter how it happened, when it happened, or who made it happen. If your phone gets wet, the result is usually the same; a soaked brick. I’ve been there before, and not just with phones. No matter what the electronics it is that gets wet, you always feel the same sinking feeling when you reach to turn it on.
Is it okay?
Will it turn back on?
Does my warranty cover this?
Did I even get a warranty?
Well, worry not, I know a few ways you can avoid that sinking feeling after watching your phone sink into the mess that caused this in the first place.
First and foremost, before you do anything else make sure you:
- Don’t turn on your wet cell phone. I know the first thing that anyone wants to do when they see their phone drenched is to turn it on to see if it still works, but don’t! Turning the phone on its current state could fry it before you can even attempt a fix.
- Take out the battery. You’ll want to remove the battery as quickly as possible and either wrap it in a paper towel or gently pat it dry and then set it aside for now.
- Remove the SIM card. Just to be safe, you’ll want to take this out too since this will have a lot of your important data on it. If you don’t manage to save your phone, hopefully, you can at least save this.
- Wipe everything down gently. You’ll want to make sure to try to dry your phone, battery, and SIM card off as gently as you can before you attempt any of these methods.
If you made sure to do those four things, I have a few tried and true ways to still save your phone from a watery demise.
Method 1: Silica Packets
Do you remember seeing one of those little packets at the bottom of a box of new shoes or in the box of some other product with electronics in it? You know, the ones marked “Do Not Eat” that you just end up throwing away with the packaging that look something like this.
Well hopefully, you still have some lying around because they’re just one way to save your phone. If you don’t there’s another similar method right below this one.
Those little packets work wonders when it comes to absorbing moisture, and that’s just what you need in this case.
The first step here is to gather up as many of these little packets as you can. You can usually find them in pill bottles, packets of beef jerky or pepperonis, and even some electronics. How many you’ll need will depend on how large your phone is, but generally you shouldn’t need more than ten and even that number is a little on the generous side.
Once you have the packets you need you’ll also have to find a plastic or paper bag to hold everything. Everything meaning the battery, SIM card, the phone, and anything else that managed to get wet along with your device.
Now that you have everything together, place the phone and everything else related along with it into the bag before surrounding it with silica packets. Make sure you don’t close the bag, as you’ll want to leave it open.
Once everything is in the bag you’ll want to leave it somewhere around the house that will constantly stay at room temperature. Don’t place it on a windowsill, in direct sunlight, or a microwave. I’m serious about that last one as it’s an infamous trick that’s famous for completely destroying your phone.
Now comes the hardest part of this method, waiting. It could take anywhere from twelve hours to a few days for your phone to become dry this way, which is an agonizingly slow period that you have to wade through without your phone.
There really isn’t any way to speed up the process using this method, so you’re looking at anywhere between 12-72 hours before your phone is safe to turn on again. If after twelve hours and you no longer see any signs of moisture move on to the next step.
Now that your phone is dried out all you have to do is reassemble the pieces, close everything up, and then turn your phone back on to see the fruits of your effort. If it doesn’t turn back on, go back to Step 3 and keep trying after five-hour increments of drying until you get the desired result.
Method 2: Uncooked Rice
The first step here is to gather some uncooked rice, it doesn’t necessarily have to be white rice but if you have the option, it would be preferred. Much like in the first method, you’ll also need a bag to hold all of it.
If you don’t have a bag for the rice, a large bowl could work just as well. You’ll want a second container as well just like the first. Make sure you also followed the precautions listed above the methods and removed your battery and SIM card. Once you have everything gathered it’s time to move on to the next step.
Before you just dunk your phone and all of its parts into a bowl of rice, you’ll need to do a few things first.
First, you’ll want to give the container you have the rice in now a few shakes. This is important to get everything to settle. Then if you have a bag, you’ll want to place the phone and all of its accessories inside. If you have a bowl instead, you’ll want to scoop a thin layer of rice from your first container into the second.
Now for both types of containers you’ll want to scoop the rest of the rice on top of everything else in the bag or bowl. It’s better to scoop rather than just shove your phone into the rice. This way you’re much less at risk of rice getting stuck in different ports in your device.
At this point, it becomes a waiting game again where you’ll have to wait 12-24 hours depending on the severity of the water damage. It’s recommended that every hour you turn the phone over in the rice, which will help speed up the process.
After twelve hours have passed, all you have to do is take your phone out of the rice, clear away any grains that are clinging to your device, and then reassemble everything. If you didn’t see any moisture left behind when you were putting the phone back together turn it back on.
Now your phone should boot back up just fine though I wouldn’t use that pile of rice for anything else after this.
Method 3: Wet Phone Rescue Kits
One of the quickest ways to save a wet phone is with a specially made rescue kit. However, the problem with this method is that, to save a phone quickly, you would have had to purchase one in advance.
That being said, there are still a few viable brands when it comes to rescue kits that would be good to have around in case of the worst. These are just a few.
- Kensington EVAP
- Mach Speed Yikes!
- Idea Mia Jet Bag
Rescue kits like these work much like Method 1 & 2, but are definitely more professional than drying your phone in a bag of rice or silica packets. And much like how these kits share the same drying principles with the first two methods, they take around the same amount of time: 12-24 hours.
If you don’t trust placing your phone and accessories into a bag of rice or silica packets, you can’t go wrong with the brands above.
Method 4: Freezing
Yes, you read that right. Another way to save your phone from a wet encounter is to freeze it. Now this method is a lot faster than using rice or silica packets, but it also isn’t a permanent fix. Freezing the moisture locked away in your phone may get it working temporarily depending on the severity of the water damage, but you could quickly find yourself back at square one again or worse.
This is definitely not the safest method available to fix a wet phone, so please follow these steps at your own risk.
The first thing you should do after removing the battery and SIM card from your phone is to gently wipe everything down with a soft cloth or a paper towel. Gently is the strong key word there, don’t let your panic get the better of you when dealing with a wet cell phone.
After you have everything removed wrap your phone in a few thin layers of paper towels and place it in the freezer. Anywhere is fine, just preferably somewhere near the middle if you can, and probably not on top of the chicken.
Wait at least ten minutes and then take your phone out of the freezer again. When your phone is safely out of the freezer put your battery back in and try to power it on. If it doesn’t respond, place the phone back in the freezer for another five minutes until it can manage to boot up.
At this point, your phone should be back in working order, but only for a short amount of time as this is only a quick fix. While the frozen moisture won’t interfere with the phone, it will eventually melt back into the problem you had in the first place.
This is why this method can be somewhat problematic, but quick if you’re looking to get access to your phone again in just a few minutes. There’s also the potential that this method could cause damage beyond what it fixes if your phone is left in the freezer for too long, so make sure your phone doesn’t start to get frostbite.
These are all the methods I know of that will actually work when it comes to saving a wet phone from disaster. Aside from sending in your phone to be worked on by a professional, these are your only options to get your phone dry relatively quickly.
Method 1 is a viable method because of the silica packets ability to absorb moisture, but if you are using packets that you found around the house there is the chance that they had already valiantly performed their duty and are no longer as useful.
Method 2 is much like Method 1, except it doesn’t carry the risk of the rice already absorbing as much moisture as it can handle. However, you still run the risk of getting rice stuck into one of your phone’s ports, causing a new problem altogether.
Method 3 works off the same principles as Method 1 and Method 2, but don’t run any of the risks that either of them has. The only downside is that these rescue kits can take some time to get a hold of if you hadn’t bought one before your phone took a dip.
Method 4 is by far the riskiest of the four but also takes the least time to work. While the other can take up to 72 hours for a result, freezing your phone can put it back in working condition in mere minutes. The only problem is that this fix is temporary, and could potentially put you right back at square one with your waterlogged problems.
As always these methods should be run at your own risk, and if you have the option, you should take the issue to a professional.
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And if your battery has problems charging for reasons other than it being dropped down a porcelain throne you can read 11 ways to fix charging problems.