Instructables

How to Save a Wet Cell Phone

Step 4: Method 2: Freeze It!

Picture of Method 2: Freeze It!
The second method consists of freezing the water inside the phone. This is by far my favorite method if your outside temperature does not go over 80 F.

Again, we start by taking out the battery.
Place the phone on two or three layers of paper towel to prevent frost damage.
Leave it in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes and take it out to test it, if it still doesn't work, leave it out for about 5 to 10 minutes then try again. Electrical components are fairly tolerant to cold, however depending on your screen, it is best to play it safe and just leave it out of the freezer for a bit to keep from damaging it. I haven't researched LCD or Plasma screens, so if anyone knows what temperatures they hold up to, let us know!

That's cool, but why does it work?

Freezing the phone works a little differently on a technical level than heating it up does.
When the water molecules inside become Ice or frost, they are less conductive (I believe due to the spacing of molecules?) thus preventing the phone from "shorting out."

This method my also lead to the problem acting up again as the phone thaws, or a worse problem acting up as the phone thaws and the water moves to a different spot.
It is also of note, that some electronic components are 'surface mounted', which results in tiny space between the component and the circuit board it self. This means that if water manages to get underneath the components and is then frozen, it can expand and cause further issues. However, in my opinion, the possibility of water getting under there with the phone only being submerged for a little while, is pretty slim.

 
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wow this totally works and i honestly didnt think it would. MY phone was in the water for 5 min and works. the only problem was my keypad doesnt work. should i freeze it agin?
I had a problem charging my S4. But when i tried this, whew, it works! Thanks!