Rescuing Your Wet Mobile Phone

Uh oh–your mobile phone just took an involuntary bath. Not the ideal situation, but all may not be lost. Before you toss your mobile phone onto the heap of despair, try these tips for giving your mobile phone a little CPR (Critical Phone Resuscitation).

Whichever methods you try, the sooner you get your mobile phone out of the water and into Code Blue triage, the better your chances of success. Start by powering off your soaked mobile phone; then, remove the battery, wipe the pieces dry, getting into all the little crevices as best you can, and use a wet vac to suction out any last remaining drops.

Note to iPhone owners: If you remove your device’s battery, you will void Apple’s warranty.

Note to all mobile phone owners: Most mobile phones come equipped with an internal detector tab that changes color once it comes into contact with sufficient moisture, revealing whether your phone did or did not get wet.

DIY Methods

A popular approach is to pour dry, uncooked rice (not instant rice) into a plastic zipped sandwich bag or food storage container and plunge your mobile phone right into it, burying the device completely. Burp out all excess air and, if the weather is sunny and warm (but not hot!), place the rice cocoon in direct sunlight. Wait a few days with your fingers crossed. Mobile phones often emerge from this operation fully functional as if nothing had ever happened.

Or, pack your mobile phone in silica, the powdery substance sold at craft stores for drying flowers. Careful, though: silica is very fine sand; don’t let these gritty bits get into your device. Securely wrap and completely seal your mobile phone in a paper envelope. Paper allows the drying process to take place, while keeping grains from getting through.

Purchased Solution

Several companies manufacture products designed to come to the rescue in watery mobile phone emergencies. Of course, waiting until the sad event happens before ordering these products won’t be very helpful. The time to get one of these kits is now, before it’s needed. Then, keep the kit handy in the car or wherever you spend the bulk of your time, so that it will be ready when the moment strikes.

These products are basically heavy duty zippered-closure plastic bags filled with desiccant granules (absorbent material). After prepping your mobile phone with the initial drying instructions provided above, pop your device into the bag, seal it up and wait about 48 hours. Some companies package these bags as kits, including absorbent towels and other items to help in the rescue efforts.