How to Rescue a Wet Phone




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In this tutorial, I will tell you and show you how to save your iphone from the depths of the deep, whether it be a pool, the sink, the ocean, or some other water reservoir, this should help. If you find that you can't save your phone, I'm sorry for your loss. About a month ago, I dropped my iPhone, well I fell into the pool with my iPhone, but thats pretty much the same thing. Anyway, when this happened, I figured,"Oh, why don't I just set it on the table and let it dry off, it should turn out fine!". Don't do that! Whatever you do, don't do that! I let it set, and two days later I found myself looking up ideas for phone replacements. When I went online to find out what to do if this happened, I couldn't find anything that was particularly helpful, but then i realized that each article or blog told to do something, but left out other things. Even the other instructables didn't do the best job explaining it. This brings them all together, plus some tips I learned, all to help you and your phone make it through the tough moments after you drop it in water or any liquid. This technique should work for all phones and not just the iPhone, even though the phone that I dropped in water was an iPhone, and the pictures I'm using are of an iPhone.

Disclaimer:  I do not guarantee that your phone can be saved. May the odds be ever in your favor.

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Step 1: Turn Off Your Phone

Yes, I know it sounds silly and basic, but this is the very first thing you want to do before anything else. If you decide, oh, my phone will be fine if i leave it on, don't come crying to me about how your life is ruined because you can't text or call anyone. Turning off your phone stops the battery from frying the phone, and prevents the phone from trying to restart over and over again.

Step 2: Dry Off the Exterior

This is another basic step, but it all helps in the end. Just use your shirt or a paper towel or anything that can get rid of the water just on the exterior. Feel free to shake some water out, but do it gently, so as not to damage the phone any more. Also DO NOT USE A HAIRDRYER. This seems like a good idea at first, but heat damages electronics just as much as water does, so unless you want to wreck your phone twice, don't use any sort of heat, and that includes the sun.

Step 3: Remove the Battery

If possible, get the battery out of the phone as soon as possible. For the iPhone, this requires unscrewing the bottom and sliding off the back, and other phones work the same way. Some phones just have pop off backs though, which can help a lot in this situation. Removing the battery helps to prevent the phone from being fried, and if you can get it out, the chances of your phone surviving for years to come is greatly increased.

Step 4: Remove the SIM Card

The SIM card, for those of you who don't know, is a little card in your phone that allows you to call people and text them. It is important that you take this out so as to make sure that you don't damage it any further, and also so that if your phone doesn't survive, it will at least be easier to set up your new one, being able to have all you contacts synced.

Step 5: Dry Off the Interior

If you were one of the lucky people who got the back of your phone off in time, be sure to dry off the inside with your tshirt or paper towel or whatever you used to dry off the exterior. This helps to stop the water from frying the phone anymore than it already has.

Step 6: Place Your Phone in Rice

Yeah yeah, this sounds silly, but it works! Many a cellular device have escaped death by being placed into a bag of rice. Any type of rice should work, but I used jasmine rice. Be sure to leave it in the rice for at least 24 hours, maybe longer if you have lots of patience. Whatever you do though, dont take your phone out and try to turn it on before that 24 hours, it significantly reduces the chance of your phone being used for its phone-like purposes again. The rice is meant to soak up any of that water you may have missed, and it dries out your phone extremely well. If you don't happen to have any rice, silica gel packets also tend to do the trick. Make sure that you are putting your phone into the rice without the battery and SIM card though, because you want to keep those out to dry separately.

Step 7: Wait

This is the most difficult part, but chances are that after going through the stages of panic after getting your phone wet, you have calmed down. If it has been 24 hours, feel free to check if your phone and see if it is working ok. If it has been 23 hours and 59 minutes, sorry, but youll just have to wait that extra minute. Just remember that a phone worth a few hundred dollars is worth sitting around those extra minutes. I wish you the best and hope everything turns out alright between you and your LCD friend.

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    11 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I open my phone got a toothbrush and achol open my phone and brush the motherbord and all the little parts make sure you disconnect


    4 years ago

    Lectric Wizard & SuperTech-IT's comments are adding very valuable information missing in this tutorial. Take notice.


    4 years ago

    I'm a little concerned about you suggesting the removal of an I phone battery. It's not quite as simple As unscrewing the screws and sliding the back off. Most likely since the phone has been dropped in water the warranty is now void anyway, but if it's not, by removing the back of the phone, it will be. It's also not a very easy thing to do. You have to separate the glass from the rest of the phone, and that's very difficult to do. In fact, I completely destroyed my phone while attempting to do that. So, that's just a word of caution to our readers.

    Living on the coast & being in the electronics industry, I would not recommend this method for salt water emersions. Drying out the water only concentrates the salts causing more short circuits & corrosion.Only thing to do is try flushing the phone with distilled water before it drys out (after removing battery & SIM). Then you can try drying it out this way. Great idea for fresh water though !!

    5 replies

    Excellent point. I have seen phones that would short out on a humid or rainy day simply because the salts on the board only needed the moisture in the air to become conductive. Plus this will also corrode the board.
    If you have the phone disassembled to the point of disconnecting the battery (in the case of non-user-removable battery packs like the iPhone, iPod, etc) I recommend you rinse the board with distilled water and then bathe it in alcohol before setting it aside to dry. since you have the board removed at this point, there's no reason to use the rice method for absorbing the moisture. For phones that have easily accessible and removable battery packs, I would recommend your method.


    Reply 4 years ago

    I shorted out my phone by carrying it in my bra when I worked up a sweat and it got too wet! :-/

    Just as well. Although unproven, some are trying to prove a link between carrying your phone there and breast cancer.


    Reply 4 years ago

    Yes, I no longer carry my phone there routinely. But it seems that if that were true, men would be coming down with cancer of the buttox or groin from carrying the phone in their pants pockets. As you saod, umproven. But I'd rather not take the risk. Thanks. ;-)


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    The phone does not have to be assembled, because the rice works either way, so its your choice.