5 Steps to Take When Your Phone Drops Into Water


Accidents happen. 
If you’re ever in a situation where your phone is giving you problems because you got caught in the rain, or dropped it in the sink or toilet, here are 5 steps you can try:

  1. Turn the device off and do not charge it – You want to keep the phone non-operational while it dries out.
  2. Drip dry and shake off as much water as possible
  3. Dismantle whatever you can – If you are able to remove the battery and cover, do so.  The more you expose the better it will dry.
  4. Cover your phone in a bowl of rice – Rice will help absorb moisture (at least it did for this Washington Post writer) like how it does in salt shakers.
  5. Draw it away with a vacuum cleaner held over the affected areas for up to 20 minutes in each accessible area, having already removed the majority of liquids and moisture manually and dried all visible moisture by hand, so that none enters the vacuum cleaner. This method is preferable to leaving it to dry naturally as it halts any oxidation from occurring deep inside, such as can result in functional issues later on. This is the fastest way (less than thirty minutes after your phone drowns, it can be completely dry and working, especially if you are able to also partly or fully disassemble it) to quickly get all the internal moisture out of the phone effectively and stop the internals from ‘rotting’ away. Remember that the goal is to suck all the moisture and humidity out of the phone not to blow it even further in and create even more evil humidity deep inside

All in all, the idea here is to get it as dry as as possible – in as quick a time as possible.  You’d be surprised how many phones spring back to life once they are dried out.  Speaking from experience, I once completely submerged my trusty old Nokia 3315 several times during a camping trip (I forgot it was in my pocket).  I just dried it out, and it was just as good as new :)

Note: Fans and hair dryers are not a good ideas as they tend to force moisture further into the small components deep inside the phone eventually causing corrosion.

Update: 17th April 2008: Point 5 changed from refrigeration to drying with a vacuum cleaner (Thanks WikiHow)

On a related note, here’s a video on how to fix your laptop should you spill liquid on it.


Have you ever dropped your phone into water?  Tell us about it in the comments!

1,661 Replies to “5 Steps to Take When Your Phone Drops Into Water”

  1. I put my phone on to listen to music, then it fell into the bath tub and filled with water. It started getting fuzzy when I turned it on (which I shouldn’t of done) so I immediately turned it off and blow dryed it. There was still condensed air in the screen and wouldn’t go away so I put it in a cool place which after 2 days made it work fine

  2. Hahah my phone fell on runing sink water while I was brushing my teeth n since I dnt really care I just put it faced down next to me when I was going 2 sleep n then it worked good the next day I mean this phone has been through a lot in less than a yr lol

  3. i drop my phone in water 2 days aqo.and it was working fine until today. The first thing i did was blow dry it, witch actually didn’t work. And now every time i try texting it turns off? if you guys can help me with my problem please e-mail me -Stephani Rodriguez

  4. I spilled a can of 7up on my laptop on accident when i was playing on it. I was panicking and it worked 2 weeks later i just left it by itself i know i shouldnt have but i didnt know how to dry it it still works fine (:

  5. I am 11 years old and i had my swimsuit on and i have this habit of puttingmy phone in my bra so i forgot to take it out and i got in the the water and my friends like jamie your phone and i was like oh c*** so her mom help me take it apart and ya

  6. Dropped my phone in kool aid today and it turns on, I don’t have rice but the screen doesn’t work. Took it out of water the screen flickered while I attempted to fix it nothing worked so I blow dryed it didn’t work. Let it sit in sun for atleast 30 minutes, didn’t work. So my last resort is to just let it sit..

  7. I dropped my phone in a lake and it sat in their for a good minute. So I got it in a bowl of rice right now, and im hoping it’ll work. :[

  8. I dropped my phone in the shower 2 days ago and i tried to turn it on immediately after and it didnt work. So i tried charging it but then it started flashing from the camera so yesterday I blow dryed it and now its in rice and has been for a day. Is there anything else i should do?

  9. If your phone is not working even though you dried it, soak in 91% or higher Isopropyl Alcohol for about a minute then dry it. I know you think I’m crazy but what happens it there are metal in the water and when the water dries it leaves the metals and the corrosion, the Alcohol washes away the water and the metals PLUS it dries faster! After that use a vacuum to try and suck the alcohol out of the phone, let it air dry. Don’t use rice, it doesn’t help. Leave it to dry over night. The next day you phone WILL smell like the Alcohol so take a damp towel and gently rub the outside of your phone. Your phone should stop smelling. Dry with a dry, soft towel, put in your battery and SIM turn it on and, WELL-AH!! )P.S Put your battery in the Alcohol too.

  10. hi, i forgot my fone in the washing machine on tuesday, and i didnt know what to do, but i first remioved the battery, then dried and removed the water. i also put it out in the sun and a heater. then i put the battery back after it had been dried, i charged it but when i turned t on, it didnt work. wat should i do, im not working and its rily my mum fone and i havent told her yet. im scared

  11. So i dropped my phone in water a few days ago.. I put it in rice like 2 hours later but it didnt work. Then today the guy at the store told me to do it again to see if it works.. My question, does it matter how many days you wait untill you put it in the rice? Or do you have to do it immediately?

  12. damnn mann i droped my fone n da tub bt it had only a lil bit of water n nw im soakn dat shy… i waz n here cryn lke a big ass bby lol but i pray 2 god it stil wrk

  13. i was at the beach and i tripped on the sand and my phone fell into the ocean and i got it back but it was soaked… i tried to get as much water as i could out of it but its still not working the touch screen doesnt work but the buttons do and the screen goes on then off then on and off so kinda like blinking… and it turns on and off at random times.. wat do i do? i got the sand and water mostly out but its still not working.. i havent tried the rice thing yet but before i do anything i would like an idea of what i might need to do.. ps my parents dont know this happened and i need to fix my phone before they notice.. help plz?

  14. i dropped my pda in the toilet ,clean water but i grabbed out took apart shook out and wiped off most water now i have it in rice so we shall see in a day or two if its okay.

  15. For the second time in my life, I have dropped my phone in the toilet. & I’m not even at home so I can’t try anything right now. FML.
    Oh wait, wrong website.

  16. My Mini Galaxy just slipped out of my shallow pocket from my trainer pants into the toilet… (clean water within fortunately) Just a few days before I had seen a youtube clip explaining what to do… dismantling as much as possible, shaking water out, vacuuming through all holes then covering the phone and parts in rice… I left it in rice for 36 hours, put the battery, sim card and memory card back in place and it was dead…. after charging the battery it sprang back to life a little slowly… the screen was a real mess… it’s now a week later and everything is working again… even the screen is much better… not perfect , a bit stained but very useable.

  17. Forgot that I had my Sony DSC w70 Cyber shot camera in my pocket when I waded into salt water. Did not know that I should not turn on right away and dry out first.

    Camera takes pictures OK but LCD screen is black.

    Anything I can do to recover LCD image?

  18. forgot i had my phone in my back pocket, and i let it dry out, i got it to turn on, and i can text, but i can’t see what I’m typing or see whats coming up, i see the rice thing, so i will try that, how long should i put it in rice for

  19. My son thought my Samsung Freeform II needed a swim, well I  dried it off immediately, tried the next day, everything comes on, works and all, I can just barely see my screen. It is like a light pink/ blue/ green color. I tried the Rice method for a couple of days..and it is still doing the same thing

  20. you can go back to were ever you got the phone and say the screen is broken and they will give you a new one and if you have an old one have him use that for now. 

    1.  @CrissyFletcher
       except that they can (withe the sony xperia s for example) now tell a water damaged phone by some water sensitive colour changing thingy visble in the back. by any , even the dumbest of, sales asst

  21. SO i spilt water in my iphone 4s speakers and now when i ring people, they cant hear me:( i put in the airing cupboard over night and thought it worked but turns out, only one speaker works and people still cant hear me. this was about 3 weeks ago now. i know i shouldve done somthing sooner but i didnt know what to do! if i put it in rice now…will that fix my phone or am i fu’#ed and in need of sending it off to get repaired?!! helppppp

  22. well it was just yesterday i went to the beach with a couple of mates we where all having fun but just when we where about to go home me and a friend wanted to jump in the sea forgetting phones in pockets i jumped not in water on a stone but my phone jumped out of my pocket since then i took everything apart when my mates house to blow dry it i then came home and kept charging it but it didn’t work what do i do 

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