How to Dry Out a Cell Phone

Wet cell phone (paid from iStockphoto).pngHas this ever happened to you?  Wanting to multi-task you decide to wash the dishes while you are having a great conversation on your cell phone. MISTAKE! Ker plunk…. in goes your cell phone for a nice little swim.

Julie Naumer, our Social Media Specialist, here at Barker, Beck, Collins & Kronauge Agency, found out the hard way that talking on an iPhone while doing dishes is not necessarily good for the long-term health of the phone. (By the way, if you haven’t already experienced it, the other favorite haunts of wayward cell phones are toilets, surprise rain showers, ponds and washing machines.)

Here are the first steps of DIY fixes for drying out a cell phone:

  • First and foremost, after you have retrieved your phone, resist the temptation to turn it on to see if it still works. Doing so could short out the circuitry when the phone tries to boot up.


  • Act quickly and cut the power to the phone by removing the battery. If your phone is like Julie’s, it will have tiny little screws that will need to be removed to access the battery.


  • If you have an AT&T or a T-Mobile phone, you will also need to take out the SIM card found inside your phone.  This is important because the SIM card holds information like the contacts in your phone book. So even if you can’t save the phone, saving the SIM card will take some of the sting out of the loss.

The next step is to dry out your phone as quickly as possible. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when drying out your cell phone:

  • Wipe off any visible moisture on the outside and inside of your phone.


  • To remove the remaining moisture, do not use heat in the form of a hair dryer, an oven (microwave or conventional) or the sun.


  • Do suck the water out of the phone with a vacuum. When using the vacuum cleaner make sure to hold the nozzle far enough away from the phone to lessen the risk of creating static electricity. The electricity could damage the internal workings of your phone.


  • Once it looks like the phone is dry, continue to resist the urge to turn your phone on to test it. There is another step yet to do.


  • Once you have removed all the visible moisture, then place your phone in a small re-closeable plastic bag to which you have added a desiccant that will absorb any leftover moisture. In a pinch, you can use dry, uncooked rice. Julie used dry rice and then, added the little silica packets that come inside shoe boxes or vitamin bottles. Those packets are originally placed in the packaging to absorb any moisture that would damage the item, so they will do the same for your cell phone. Also helpful is a product is called DampRid, which can be found in stores like Walmart Home Depot or Lowes or online through Amazon.  Leave your cell phone in this mixture for 2-3 days.

With any luck, these steps will have you up and running again. Using these DIY tactics, Julie’s cell phone booted back up but it still needs to be reconnected via an Apple Store. Keep your fingers crossed that their re-boot does the trick.

As always, look to the Barker, Beck, Collins & Kronauge Agency for Trusted Advice ~ Reliable Solutions.