Technology: How To Save A Phone That Has Fallen In Water

Phones in water. Image from

Ever wondered what is the most effective way to save a phone that has fallen in the water? You probably know about the rice method, or is it the rice joke? They say once you drop your phone in water put it in a bowl of rice, the Chinese will come and work on it overnight (I assume they will be more concentrated on the rice than the water) and voila, you will have your phone back. Bad joke. But here’s what you do immediately your phone falls in the water.

  1. Act fast to prevent damage

Remove it from water obviously, shut it down if it’s on. Some phones will shut down immediately while others will stay on for a few minutes. Open the case then take out the battery. You want to give way so that the excess can drip off and that is why you will have to remove the sim card and memory card if any.  Do not put the case back on. This only works if your battery is detachable which nowadays is a rare thing.

A person removing battery from phone. Image from
  1. Rinse away

Only if your phone has fallen in clean water can you start the drying process immediately. If not, rinse out your phone with clean water then start flushing out the excess water. You could wipe off using paper towels or air it out using a fan. You want to speed up the drying process as fast as possible to avoid damage on the speakers, ports and other parts.

  1. Use a drying agent/Desiccant

Silica gel is an example of a drying agent. You may have seen some in a small sachet stashed in a new shirt. (I too wonder why they put that tiny sachet there as if it could dry out a whole shirt). Note that you need plenty to bury your phone in.

Another example is instant rice. A drying agent is known to work best as it sucks out the moisture from areas that are compact. Therefore before using a drying agent try as much as possible to shake off excess water before you can immerse the phone in a drying agent. Other drying agents include couscous, instant oatmeal, classic oatmeal and cat litter. If you don’t have silica gel to assist you in the drying process, proceed as follows.

  1. Rice method
Image from

White rice exhibits qualities of a drying agent and that is why it revives a wet phone. Unfortunately, this magic trick does not work with all phones. An iPhone is made different from a Samsung phone, and so on and so forth. Hence rice effectiveness will vary with resilience and the compactness of different phones. Therefore, it is good to dry out as much water as you can before dipping your phone in a bowl of uncooked rice.

Personally, I have tried this method and it worked. However, it took almost a week before my phone stopped hallucinating – you know what I mean.

  1. Open air drying

Leaving your phone open will maximize air exposure speeding up the drying process. Therefore depending on the humidity, air drying might be effective in some cases even better than rice could. Regardless of the drying method, you should start by extracting as much water as possible by shaking, blowing or vacuuming the device. You should also open it as much as possible, and remove the battery if that is an option. Remember some phones have an inbuilt battery.

Things to avoid

  • Do not switch on your phone until you are certain that it is dry. A day or two is enough to dry a phone buried in a bag of uncooked rice.
  • Do not leave the battery, sim card or memory card on the phone as it dries.
  • Do not use a hair dryer on your phone. It can warp components and melt adhesives damaging the innards of your phone.

Now since you are well in the know on how to save your phone, clean house and add these 5 mobile applications that will make your life easier

Related: How to prolong your phone’s battery.

Featured Image via Muo

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I am a writer with interest in hair, beauty and fashion. I also like telling stories, but most of all I enjoy listening and reading them. If I'm not doing any of the above, I will be trying to crack a game of chess or monopoly. My biggest fear is being ordinary.