Six Ways to Dry Out Your Wet Cell Phone


Tactics to Try to Get your Cell Phone Dry

From the iPhone 5 to the latest and greatest Samsung creation, cell phones are becoming more technologically advanced and indispensable. Our cell phones have become the ultimate device for everyday tasks. We use our smart phones as alarm clocks, address books, GPS navigators, cameras, hand-held game devices and other necessities.

Although the convenience of having so much information available at our fingertips is somewhat utopian, the small size of these devices makes them easily perishable. If you get out of the car with your phone on your lap your phone screen will shatter. If you forget your phone in the gym locker room it is lost forever (probably).

Some phones come with a GPS Tracking App by GPS for Today. This allows you to track your phone if it is lost. If your phone does not have a tracking app, it is easy to download for your own peace of mind, but if you get pushed in the pool at your brother’s birthday party you will have a water-damaged phone. It is not as easy to fix, but there are certain steps you can take immediately to help dry it out and get it up and running again soon.

Most major mobile phone companies offer insurance to cover your phone in the event it breaks, but insurance does not cover water damage. You may want to invest in a phone case, which can be costly, but worth the money if it saves your device just once. Life Proof has cases for just about any type of phone and provide the ultimate protection for your phone from snow, sleet, dust and water.

Drying Out Your Cell Phone

How do you salvage your $400 phone after you forget to take it out of your back pocket and it falls into the toilet? Here are six tips for drying out your cell phone, but act fast!

1.   Take it apart. Before anything else, remove the battery and SIM card. You may be able to save your information on your SIM card even though your phone is damaged. Resist the urge to turn your phone on to see if it still works. You will only damage it further. If you dropped your phone in salt water, rinse it with tap water to get salt crystals out. The salt crystals can further damage wet cell phone components.

2.   Compressed air can. Do you know how to use compressed air? The faster your phone is able to dry, the better your chances of salvaging it, preventing corrosion and water from seeping into tiny crevices. Compressed air cans safely dry out your phone without the added heat. Do not use hair dryers or ovens. Some parts of the phone are plastic and may melt or warp.

3.   Rice. After taking your phone apart, submerge the parts in a bowl or bag of uncooked white rice. Rice draws out moisture. Rotate the phone in the rice about once every hour to prevent water from hiding in small crevices.

4.   Vacuum it. A wet/dry shop vacuum is a good option for sucking out any air that may be caught inside the device. The key is to remember to avoid using the vacuum if it gets hot. Always avoid heat. Vacuums may also cause static electricity, which could short out the circuits in your cell phone. Be careful not to suck the phone into the vacuum device.

Major Edward J. Hawkins, a WWII veteran, invented the First Aid for Electronics, called “Dry-All.” This has been used by the Military and NASA for keeping their sensitive equipment dry. Dry-All has also been used for safes and hearing aids. Now it can be used on all and any cell phones. Dry-All is available at Home Depot, Lowes, Pep-Boys and Radio Shack.

5.   Bheesties are bags specifically designed to dry out wet cell phones and other small electronic devices. It usually takes 42 to 78 hours to dry out your cell phone with these bags. Simply take the phone apart, place it in the bag, and seal. You need to order them online, so those notorious for clumsiness or accidents should purchase Bheesties in advance and keep them on hand. The bags can last six months to a year.

6.   Freeze it. Indestructables, which is the largest informational web system, suggests freezing the phone. Place the phone between two or three paper towels to protect against frost damage, and leave it in the freezer for 15 minutes. Freezing the water makes the molecules less conductible, and can keep your phone from shorting out.

If you are particularly clumsy or have bad luck with cell phones, consider investing in the new water-resistant phones that are hitting the market like the popular Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, or durable Samsung B 2100, which is designed to be carried outside in any kind of weather. This phone is made from Urethane, an anti-shock material. The Durrocomm XWT5, a rugged waterproof phone used by outside workers (such as construction employees) and the Casio G’Zone Brigade, which was tested by military standards and passed the solar radiation test, are other popular models.

A cheaper and more immediate option is to purchase a waterproof case like those available from Life Proof, which has a military grade shell and is completely waterproof, dust proof and particle proof. The Otter Box, which can prevent your cell phone from breaking, is built for heavy duty protection, but it is not waterproof. Check out this water proof store to find your perfect waterproof case at the price that is right for you.

The best way to protect your phone against water damage is to protect your investment before it is damaged. Error control and protection from daily little mishaps is the key to uninterrupted communication.

It can be devastating to accidently drop your cell phone into a glass of lemonade mid text message, but it doesn’t mean game over. Remember to quickly remove your device from the liquid substance, and take it apart. Try the above methods, and if all else fails, bite the bullet and purchase a new phone.

Additional Resources



  • How to Save a Wet Cell Phone by Jeff King, $2.99 on Kindle only (ASIN-BOO9DK79T8), 20 pages and can be ordered on Amazon
  • Dry-All Cell Phone Emergency Kit $17.00, buy from
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