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Repair a Wet Cell Phone

Updated on July 17, 2013

How to Repair a Wet Cell Phone

Do you need to know how to repair a wet cell phone? Maybe you dropped your cell phone phone in the sink or bath? Accidentally put it through the washing machine? Don't panic! It IS possible to save your wet cell phone! Follow these tips as soon as you can, and you stand a good chance of getting your phone working again.

Why I Needed to Repair a Wet Cell Phone

OK, so this was the scenario I was met with a couple of years ago - I opened the washing machine door and - eek! My phone? What is my mobile phone doing in there??

Yup, I was in such a hurry to get my muddy jeans washed for the next day that silly old me had left my phone in my jeans pocket. So how do you fix a wet mobile phone? Is it even possible, I wondered? I vaguely recalled reading somewhere that if your phone got wet, you had to put it in a bowl of rice, to draw out the moisture. A bit of research later, and I had a list of tricks to try.

Did it work? You bet it did! Read on to discover how I did it, and with a bit of luck, you'll be able to repair your wet cell phone too!

Photo Credit: Image used under a paid license from JupiterImages Corporation

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How to Repair a Wet Cell Phone Step 1:

Don't Panic!

When faced with a scary scenario like this one in the picture... don't panic!

The most important thing is to get the phone out of the water and drying as SOON as possible. Obviously if it's been in the washing machine then it's most likely been in the rinse and spin cycle so it will be pretty dry-ish anyway. But you will still need to get it apart and drying asap.

The longer the phone has been in the water, the less likely you will be able to save it. A phone that has had a quick dunk is much more likely to survive unscathed than one that has been through a washing machine. BUT! All is not lost if yours has been slowly soaking... my phone went through a 1 hour 46 minute stain cycle... and lived to tell the tale.

IMPORTANT! DO NOT attempt to switch your phone on to see if it is still working. If it has been in water, it is going to need to dry out regardless of whether it works or not. Turning it on while wet runs the risk of it short circuiting.

Photo Credit: Image copyright of the author

How to Repair a Wet Cell Phone Step 2:

Take it all apart

OK, so now that we've stopped panicking, we try to save the phone! Yes, I know what you're thinking. What were you still doing with an ancient Nokia 6100 and why bother saving it? (especially when the ring sound no longer works!)

Well, at the time, it was coming up to my daughter's birthday, and Christmas, and I couldn't afford a new phone. Plus, it had all my contact numbers on, and messages that I wanted. So, saving it was a priority! I now have an iPhone, and tried the same rice method when my 3 year old spilled her juice on it recently. The phone still worked, but the sound didn't - however the next day, after sucking out that moisture, it was back as good as new!

So, here's what to do next.

Dry the exterior of your phone with a cloth, and then take it apart as much as you can.

Remove the back, the front casing, the keypad, the battery, and the SIM. Take more pieces apart if you can. Moisture will have crept up into all the nooks and crevices, so the more surface area you can expose, the better.

The most important thing is to remove the battery. Many circuits within the phone will survive water intact provided they are not connected to a power source, so taking this out quickly is vital. It is also important to take out the SIM, and dry this thoroughly. At least if the phone does not survive, you will still have your vital details stored on the SIM to be retrieved later.

Photo Credit: Image copyright of the author

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING

is to get your phone completely dry.

Dry your cell phone with a mini vacuum cleaner
Dry your cell phone with a mini vacuum cleaner

How to Repair a Wet Cell Phone Step 3

Dry it thoroughly

Now to the drying part. This is important to prevent corrosion inside the phone caused by water damage.

I confess, when trying to save my phone, a little panic set in, and while I was googling my theory about rice, my other half set upon the phone with a hairdryer.

Bad move.

Blowing air into the phone will force moisture even further inside. You want to suck it out. So dry as much as you can, carefully, with a paper towel, and then, if you own one of those superb little mini vacuum cleaners that come with attachments for cleaning computer keyboards and so on, go fetch it, and start sucking up that moisture!

If you don't have one, don't worry. We made the hairdryer mistake and still came out the other end of the tunnel victorious. But they are certainly worth having around, as they always come in handy...

Should you Use a Hairdryer to Repair a Wet Cell Phone?

It didn't do too much lasting damage for me... but was that a fluke? What do you think... to hair dry or not to hair dry?

If you DO decide to risk using a hairdryer, DON'T let the phone get too hot, or you could end up melting parts of it as well as drowning it! Ideally, use the cold setting.

I think using a hairdryer is...

How to Repair a Wet Cell Phone Step 4: - Get out the rice!

Rice draws out moisture from a wet cell phone
Rice draws out moisture from a wet cell phone

Photo Credit: Image copyright of the author

Now for the part that popped into my brain at the very beginning of this whole debacle!

Once your phone is in pieces and you have dried as much as you can by hand, put some uncooked rice in a bowl or bag (enough to cover all the components of the phone) and place your phone parts in the rice. Cover them completely, and leave for several hours, ideally overnight.

Why does this work? Simple - rice is a product that has a high affinity for water, and consequently draws moisture out of an object that is submerged in it. You can use anything that works like this.

The best thing to use is said to be any form of desiccant, such as the packets of Silica gel found in packaging, shoes etc. But if you don't have this to hand, rice is the next best thing.

Afterwards, leave your phone on absorbent material such as a paper kitchen towel. Move the phone around from time to time to dislodge any remaining water. Check the towel after around 4 hours - if moisture is still evident, repeat the vacuuming and rice steps again.

How to fix a wet cell phone
How to fix a wet cell phone

How to Repair a Wet Cell Phone Step 5:

The Moment of Truth!

Finally, the moment of truth! Ideally, you should leave your phone drying for 24 hours before testing it.

Put it all back together, and turn it on. If nothing happens, try connecting it to the charger without the battery in - if the phone switches on, then you need a new battery.

As you can see - mine sprung to life! Phew.

If yours doesn't, try taking it to an authorized dealer, and explain fully what has happened. They may still be able to fix it for you.

Photo Credit: Image copyright of the author

Did you manage to repair your wet cell phone?

Did these tips help? Were you able to save your phone? Tell us here!

Did you save your wet cell phone?

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If you Couldn't Repair your Wet Cell Phone... - Browse for your Perfect New Phone!

Sometimes the phone is just too wet, or has been submerged too long. If that is the case, or if your phone isn't functioning as well as you need it to, then you can find lots of phone bargains on Amazon and eBay.

Additional drying may be needed if the phone suffers glitches
Additional drying may be needed if the phone suffers glitches

Repairing a Wet Cell Phone - Troubleshooting

If your phone revives, but starts acting strangely, there may still be moisture trapped inside.

The contacts on my keys were sticking and so the phone kept randomly keying 9 by itself. Further drying out solved the problem.

If weird things are happening to your phone, take it apart and pop it back in the rice again, leaving it for as long as possible. It may also indicate that corrosion has already started to take place. If the rice still doesn't work, corrosion may be the culprit, in which case you should completely disassemble the phone and clean it with a toothbrush and appropriate solvent. If you don't fancy doing this, then find a skilled technician or phone expert who can.

Photo Credit: Image copyright of the author

Protect your Cell Phone with a Waterproof Case

OK, so this won't save your phone from every scenario... but when you know you'll be in or near water, take protective measures!

More Useful Tips and Handy Hints!

Bet you didn't know that rice could save a phone, did you? If your curiosity has been piqued, then find oodles more extraordinary uses for everyday things in this fabulously fascinating book!

Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things: 2,317 Ways to Save Money and Time
Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things: 2,317 Ways to Save Money and Time

Save the day with over 2,300 clever, ingenious, smart ways to use everyday household products—all guaranteed to save you time and money!

Did you know that tea can hide gray hair? Or that aspirin can revive a dead car battery? How about the power of table salt to make panty hose last longer? Or that shaving cream can remove rug stains? Yes, there's a treasure trove hidden in your pantry, medicine cabinet, garage, and basement. This remarkable book shares amazing secrets to save you time and money, and shelf space in the process. Fully illustrated and written in a clear, down-to-earth style, this practical guide contains over 2,300 handy tips about using more than 200 common household items like aluminum foil and dental floss in exciting new ways. Don't spend your hard-earned money on expensive store-bought products. Restore, replace, repair, or revive practically everything in your home with this indispensable handbook that features:

There are also sidebars throughout to add to the wonder and fun of this easy-to-use reference. From Alka-Seltzer to baby shampoo, pepper to pillowcases, vinegar to yogurt, discover the untold value of hundreds of everyday items with Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things.

 

Got more tips on saving a cell phone? Did this lens help fix your phone? Share your thoughts here.

Did this Page Help you Fix a Wet Cell Phone? - Please leave your own tips, comments and feedback here!

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    • profile image

      Phones need to be waterproof 

      3 years ago

      My phone went into the wash overnight. It was completely dry when it came out but the ringer stopped working. :(

      Also, it makes noise when it turns on?!?!?!?

    • radharenu profile image

      radharenu 

      3 years ago from India

      The most important thing to do in such a situation is to get the phone out as quickly as possible so that the damage can be minimal. Great hub with useful information for iphone users! Here is a good post on related subject-

      http://www.the-tech-addict.com/iphone-fell-in-wate...

    • profile image

      sarabjit 

      3 years ago

      my phone wet in washing machine idont know your tips is working my phone

    • profile image

      allflashfiles 

      4 years ago

      its important to remove the battery immediately. If you didn't remove it the cell phone may sometimes be beyond repair.

    • MissRubyStars profile image

      MissRubyStars 

      5 years ago

      I once dropped my phone in a sink full of water all i did was remove the battery and case and let it dry out for a few hours. I guess I got lucky it was still usable!

    • pbrandon65 profile image

      pbrandon65 

      5 years ago

      Everyone will have had this problem, or will have in the future, so a great lens with great advice, thanks for sharing!

    • Missmerfaery444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Missmerfaery444 

      5 years ago

      @anonymous: Excellent news! Glad it worked for you! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      Followed your instructions to the T and saved my Bro's phone after being in the washing machine for 30 minutes!

    • tedwritesstuff24 profile image

      TedWritesStuff 

      5 years ago

      Rice.. will your wonders never cease?

    • profile image

      miaponzo 

      7 years ago

      I wish I had known this stuff BEFORE I fried my phone!!!!!

    • capriliz lm profile image

      capriliz lm 

      7 years ago

      That is amazing that you were able to save your cell phone. So glad you took the time to share your success with everyone.

    • profile image

      Joan4 

      7 years ago

      This is very helpful information for all of us with cell phones -- and now we know exactly where to find the solution when they get wet!

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 

      7 years ago from New Zealand

      Great ideas here. I am forwarding this on to my friend who could have used it last week :)

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Great idea to use rice! If my daughter drops her phone in a really big puddle (again!) I'll tell her to try the rice trick.

    • piedromolinero profile image

      piedromolinero 

      7 years ago

      It happened to me some years back that my 2 days old cell phone dropped from the pocket of my shirt into a bucket of water. Luckily it worked again after keeping it for a while on the heater, I should have known of your surefire tips that time already.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      Yikes! Definitely something we don't want to do, but hopefully having this info will help, it surely makes sense! - Kathy

    • profile image

      tssfacts 

      7 years ago

      Great information. I knew rice works in my salt shaker but never thought about using on phone parts. Hopefully I won't have to try to fix my phone but I will have this information if I do.

    • profile image

      aishu19 

      7 years ago

      This is such a relief to know. Now if I do put the phone in the washing machine, I would know how to save it

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