Introduction: How to Dry a Cell Phone

About: Building design/consulting in Vancouver, WA. Resource based problem solver... in other words, I always take a minute to look in construction dumpsters :) ---the way some have to workout everyday... i have to …

There are many approaches to drying out wet electronics. A wet cell phone in '07 went through the wash... after a trip through the dryer the sturdy little flip phone lit right up.

A common trick is to put a phone in a bag of rice. This trick has worked in the past but takes time. The worst thing you can do is turn on a phone when it's still wet.

  • Rice Approach or Silica Packets (do not eat packets)
  • Compressed Air - here's a pack on amazon
  • Inhaling at speaker / ports

Here's a trick to dry out phones or electronics.
See how 4' of twine gets you to 40MPH

Shout out to WS and Randofo for the inspiration.

  • WS has consistently reused mesh grocery bags and other household items in inspiring ways.
  • Randofo's recent spinning camera technique had me thinking about using centrifugal force on cell phones.

General Warning: Note that it is a general assumption that any sensitive data stored on a device is backed up online. If you have sensitive material please contact the device manufacturer for the best way to recover information from a damaged device.

Step 1: Create a Sling

Household items...

  • used plastic mesh bag from a sack of onions
  • twine picked up from home depot
  • a wet phone :(--not the most popular but the Motorola G4 was my 3rd Motorola since switching from Blackberry... Droid 2 was also fantastic.. to quote a moto engineer... "we are not the best at marketing but these are solid phones :)

Camping options...


  • Whatever approach you take be sure to remove the battery. Removing the battery stops electrolysis between delicate conductors -thank you framistan for sharing the comments
  • Best to weave the twine through the mesh to ensure the phone doesn't slip.
  • When using a sock try knotting around a small stone to ensure a better grip.
  • Thanks to Andre for sharing in the comments how he has rescue'd phones using this approach but simply wrapping the phone in a towel. Great use of limited materials!
  • Be sure to remove the battery and phone cover. You'll need to allow space for the water to exit.
  • In advance of any approach (rice/centrifugal) to remove water the best option is to draw air by inhaling from the speaker or device ports.

Important Fact: Know that device manufacturers make the power button as the most vulnerable part of the phone's electronics... Too easy to think your phone is dead when it only needs this less than $10 item. (Apple or Samsung or Droid)

Step 2: Getting to 40 MPH

With a 4' piece of line... here's how to reach 40MPH

  • Distance Traveled per Rotations - 2*pi*r (2*pi*r) = 25.13
  • Time Rotations... 38 Rotations in 16 Seconds
  • Rotations per Second - 38 / 16 (rotations / sec)= 2.38
  • Distance per Second - 2.38 * 25.13 (distance * (rotations / sec)) = 59.69
  • Distance per Minute - 56.18 * 60 (dist / sec * 60) = 3581.42
  • Distance per Hour (feet) - 3,370*60 (dist / min * 60) = 214884.90
  • Distance per Hour (miles) - 40.70 MPH

This was accomplished with a casual rotation. You could easily get up to 60 or even 80 MPH. I'm a little rusty... any have the moment of inertia calc for the outward force?

Thanks for reading - Jeff
Follow @jprussack for more instructables!

In '14 a friend and I put together a cell phone rescue bag... we called it RapidDryer - it looked exactly like the Lifeline Dry Bag

Have a look at a few other recent hacks:

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