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:
- Turn the device off and do not charge it – You want to keep the phone non-operational while it dries out.
- Drip dry and shake off as much water as possible
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.