What to Do If Your Cell Phone Gets Wet

It has happened to us all. We have dropped our cell phones in puddles, toilets, sinks, bathtubs, pools, cups of beer; you name it and a phone has been there. So what is the next step after witnessing your iPhone 5 or Motorola drowning in water?

The answer is to remove it right away! This is the obvious first reaction any phone owner would have after dropping their cell in a body of water. The information you need is what to do after the phone has been dunked. Continue reading to learn what steps to take after a cell phone gets wet, and what not to do if the same accident happens to you.

Saving a Wet Cell Phone

When it comes to a wet cell phone, the first thing you want to do is turn it off and remove the battery. If you cannot figure out how to remove the battery, refer to the owners’ manual. Once this is done, also remove the SIM card. Implement all these steps as fast as possible. The longer they are saturated or damp, the more damage is likely to occur. Even if the phone was submerged for an extended period of time, like in a washing machine, there is still a chance it can be saved. In this case, still attempt the steps outlined here.

It is important to be advised that a cell phone connected to a wall charger and submerged in liquid is an emergency hazard. Never try to remove a plugged-in cell phone from water. In this case, call a professional technician for instructions right away. Solutions for this may include turning of the main power switch to the property.

While removing the battery and SIM card, have the remaining parts (i.e. covers, ear pieces, memory cards, etc.) soak on something very absorbent. There are various options a person has at this stage of rescue. For example, many people recommend using a pile of silica gel packets, while others suggest submerging it in a bowl of uncooked rice. If either of these materials are not available, try using a bundle of paper towels or napkins instead. This is one of the most crucial steps in saving a water-damaged cell phone. This step relies on the hopeful chance that the phone circuits will not experience any damage because they are not connected to the battery while wet.


Most phones have a white square or circle on the corner of the device near the battery. Some have red lines while others do not. If this area is pink or red, you can assume your phone is water damaged.

Once the entire phone is disassembled, be sure that all plugs and plug covers are open to allow air drying. These plugs are the places we insert head phones, chargers, and other additional cellular devices.

Next, use a soft dry towel or rag to wipe down the surfaces of the phone. Even one single drop of water can damage a phone beyond repair. During this step, avoid shaking or moving the phone as much as possible.

Once this is complete, some people suggest using a small vacuum cleaner to attempt extracting any remaining water or moisture within the device. Never use a blow dryer! The heat can cause extensive damage to the inner parts, as well as, the screen of a cell phone.

Be sure to wait at least twenty four hours before reassembling your phone and powering it back on. If there is any moisture left inside, the battery can burn out immediately. Also ensure all components are completely dry before going any further. You may have to wait an additional 24 hours to be sure that parts are water-free.

If None of this Works…

After waiting 24 hours, if your phone doesn’t work, you are likely at the end of the road. But this does not mean your phone has no value! You can recycle your old or broken cell phone to a local scrap metal company for cash on the spot. Since getting your phone wet is not likely covered under your phone’s warranty, you can use the money you earn from recycling your cell phone towards a brand new one!