Last summer I was hanging out with the kids in the yard. My 9 year old son was playing with my cell phone, while my 2 year old daughter was playing with her water table. At one point my son approached my daughter to take some pictures with the cell phone. When I looked over again, my son had submerged my cell phone in the water. He said he wanted to take underwater pictures. I wasn’t impressed. I was left with a one month old wet cell phone that didn’t work. A cell phone, I might add, that didn’t have a cell phone insurance. I needed to fix it, and fast.

Fortunately, it’s not that difficult to fix a water damaged cell phone. These steps don’t always work, but before shelling out money for a new phone, this process is worth a try.

cellphone in water

Step 1: Remove the Battery, SIM Card, and Accessories

As soon as you get the phone out of the water, remove the battery, so you don’t short out your phone. Also remove your SIM card, to avoid damage that might result in losing your contacts, and remove any accessories, such as earbuds or a case.

Step 2: Dry with a Soft Cloth

Once your battery, SIM card, and peripherals are removed, dry your phone with a soft cloth. Get as much water off the phone as possible.

Step 3: Place Phone in a Bag of Rice

Once your phone is relatively dry, bury your phone in a Ziploc bag full of rice. The rice will absorb any extra moisture that is left in the phone. Leave your phone in the rice bag for at least 24 hours. Move your phone around in the bag of rice every once in a while, so excess water can drain out at different angles.

Step 4: Test Your Phone

After your phone has dried out in the rice for at least 24 hours, insert the battery and see if it works. Hopefully it will. Mine did.

Step 5: Use Last Resort Options

If your phone still doesn’t work, there are a couple of last resort options. First, you can take apart your phone and dry any components that are still wet. Just make sure you know how to put your phone back together.

Another option is to submerge your phone in rubbing alcohol (make sure the battery is out and the battery cover is off) for 5 minutes or so. The theory is that the alcohol will displace the water and dry the phone out. Remove the phone from the alcohol and let the alcohol evaporate for a couple of hours. Put the battery back in and hopefully your phone will work.

When my phone was submerged, the rice method worked for me. It’s a year later, and my phone is still going strong. You’d never know my son took underwater pictures with it.

The next time your phone is damaged by water, try to fix it. You have nothing to lose, and fixing the phone is a lot less expensive than buying a new one!

Have you ever damaged your cell phone with water? Did you fix it? What worked?

Photo by brokinhrt2.