Rescue your Wet Cellphone

Do you know someone who has dropped their cellphone in the sink, toilet, or a pool? Have you ever spilled a drink on your cellular causing it to malfunction? Would you like to know a cool way to save your wet phone?

I have heard about being able to save your wet cellphone using rice before but was never sure if it actually worked.

This short video illustrates the method of rescuing your cellphone by placing it in an airtight container filled with rice. Although the video seems like a cheesy commercial, it goes on to explain what to do as soon as your phone gets wet, and why this is actually supposed to work.

Since I didn’t want to drop my cellphone in water just to prove this method works, I ask you…has anyone tried this before? Does it work, or is it just a myth?

19 thoughts on “Rescue your Wet Cellphone

  1. Pingback: mental_floss Blog » January 17th, 2008

  2. sean.

    My friend dropped his cell phone in the toilet. He used DRY-ALL for cell phones(dry-all.com) it works great now. In less than 48 hours it was as good as new. DRY-ALL can be used over & over.

    Reply
  3. DonB.

    Dropped razr in toilet while flushing it and it went down with the…..you know. Took toilet off, couldn’t find phone. Check sewer main, no phone. Re installed toilet. Mom used toilet….and yelled…..it is overflowing!. Took toilet off again and removed tank. Shook toilet like hell….out comes my Razr……plop….still in the leather case that WAS clipped to my belt. Glad to find phone….SIM card needed. Had heard dry rice trick………took cover off and battery out…….placed phone in rice and in oven on really low heat. Left in rice for 6 hours or so….tried it..NO LUCK. Crap. Oh well…..set phone on night stand and forgot about it for 2 days. Dreaming of buying I-phone. Noticed cell phone on night stand, installed battery and SIM card…….hit the ON [off] button…….it vibrated and CAME ON!!! Yahoo. Flew from NY to Arkansas and it worked until I got in Arkansas. I think Clinton screwed up the atomosphere here. Tried to recharge battery. Wouldn’t charge in phone. Took battery out and tried charging it in another Razr…..charged OK….put in my Razr and it works again. I think when it fully dries out it will charge too. I am an optimist, tho. The motto of this story: Don’t drop your phone in a flushing toilet unless you have really fast reaction time or are ready for a new phone…….BUT if you do……..dry it out and keep trying. Persistence paid off for me.

    Reply
  4. Tim.

    i just washed my phone in the laundry washer, and its been in rice for about 12 hours, everytime i go to check on it, something new start working.

    Reply
  5. karel zeman.

    Alcohol is hygroscopic (attracts water), it will dissolve all the water in the phone, which will then pour out of the phone with the alcohol. Any remaining alcohol will evaporate. Alcohol will not harm your phone but may mess up glue (from stickers and the like). Use 95% alcohol, not the regular 70% rubbing type. Do it outside!. If you use alcohol, do not follow the rest of the advice here, instead leave your phone outside for a day or two to dry.

    Reply
  6. zendoo.

    There is no way to repair a phone that has been water damaged. You may be able to dry it out and it will work for a short time, but it will eventually (quickly) shut down.
    However, you can easily upgrade or replace your current cell phone without having to renew your contract. Buy used cell phones from http://www.zendoo.com

    Reply
  7. Steev.

    Immediate action ONE – Remove the battery
    Corrosion (driven by the battery will eat circuits in seconds

    All other tricks to dry out FAST after that are valid –
    I’ve picked up the idea of flooding with alcohol (meths) and then let dry in very warm place for at least 48 hrs

    Reply
  8. Iris.

    My phone went through a cycle in the washing machine. Afterwards, I took it apart and blasted everything with a hair dryer for about 20 minutes. It took about a day for the screen to come back, but now it works as well as the day I got it.

    Reply
  9. Elliott.

    I recently dropped my cell phone in a drainage pipe. I didn’t use rice, but I did put it on the mantel above the fire place and everything worked fine. The screen needed a few more days to completely dry out but once it did the phone went back to normal. I did have to buy a new sim card but other than that, no big deal. I guess it’s hit or miss. My phone was completely submerged for 2 minutes. Gotta love Motorola!

    Reply
  10. kari.

    i did it and it worked! i dropped my razr in the toilet and reluctantly plunged my hand in to retrieve it. my brother knew the rice trick, so i left my phone, battery, and sim card in the rice for about 36 hours. that was on thanksgiving, and today, january 17th, my phone works just as well as the day i got it.

    Reply
  11. grazza.

    The big problem when you drop your phone into water is that copper contacts on the circuitry will corrode. The best advice when you drop your phone in water is to quickly drop it into as pure alcohol as you can get (60% or higher). The alcohol will displace the water and as it isnt a corrosive agent it will leave the contacts in good condition. Plus the alcohol will dry considerably quicker than water. I havent tried it, but have been reliably informed that it does work as long as its done as soon after the exposure to water as possible.

    Reply
  12. Eran Abramson.

    Hello everyone, thank you for your comments.

    It seems that this trick is not full proof and will work only in some cases. Probably depends on the severity of exposure to water, and time lapsed until it has been “treated”.

    If any know of other tips, please share them with us.

    Reply
  13. asta2.

    This does actually work but I think it works better for the older phones. I’ve done this twice. Take the phone apart as much as possible then put in a zip lock baggie full of white rice. Seal the baggie and leave it in there for a day or two. My phone lasted another year after dropping it in the pool! But it was 3 years ago.

    Reply
  14. Elisabetta.

    Ha! I had heard this before….my stepdaughter dropped her cell phone in a puddle while walking her dog one rainy day. We immediately put it in rice, etc. when she got home. Even left it longer than anyone had said to, hoping to dry out every remaining vestige of moisture…It would take charge for a short while, but you never could see anything on the screen…it croaked completely after only about one day of semi-operation. Sure didn’t work for us…

    Reply
  15. T.E.Chester.

    It just might. Around areas like where I life, near the Texas Gulf coast, it has been a common practice to put dry rice in salt shakers. The rice absorbs the moisture. That way the salt does not clump up.
    Having had my phone get wet, if I’d thought about it I’d have tried it myself.
    By the way, putting rice in salt shakers is something people have been doing for well over a hundred years.

    Reply

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