November 4, 2006

How To Fix A Wet Cell Phone...

Got A Wet Cell Phone?
Here's How To Fix It...

If you've ever accidentally (or even purposefully) gotten your cell phone wet, or dropped it into a liquid (one of the main phases of matter whose shape is usually determined by the container it fills) and would like to fix it, then you're in luck. Thanks to WikiHow, a wet cell phone doesn't necessarily mean a dead cell phone.

Here are some great tips on how to fix your cell phone if it ever gets wet or water-logged.

How To Fix A Wet Cell Phone

1. Remove the cell phone battery - Removing the battery is is one of the most important steps. Electricity and water do not mix, and cutting power to your cell phone is the crucial first step in saving it. Next, remove the SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card; some or all of your contacts could be stored on your SIM card, along with other important data.

This could be more worth saving than the cell phone itself. SIM cards survive water damage fairly well, but some of the following steps are unnecessary. For example, don't heat a SIM card. Just dry it off and set it aside until you need to connect your cell phone to your cellular network.

2. Dry your cell phone - Obviously, you need to remove as much of the liquid as soon as possible in order to prevent it from getting deep into the phone and damaging it. Use a towel or a paper towel to remove as much as liquid possible.

3. Allow your cell phone to dry out - Of course you don't want to ruin your cellular phone or lose the phone numbers stored in your phone book, so you need to let the cell phone dry out completely.

Don't try to put the battery back in until you're sure the phone is completely dried out. Doing so would risk damaging the cell phone with a short circuit.

To expedite moisture evaporation, you can leave your cell phone in a bowl of dry rice. The rice will draw any moisture to itself, and thus, greatly aid in the drying process.

4. Heat your cell phone - Apply enough heat to your cell phone to cause the water to evaporate without water-logging your digital screen. One of the best things you can do to save a cell phone is to set it on the back of your computer monitor or TV screen (over the heat vents). This is usually the perfect temperature needed to dry and fix your wet cell phone, and the convection action of the heat vents will help carry away the moisture in your cell phone.

Just leave the phone on the heat for at least 2-3 days. Another option is to leave it overnight in the oven on the "warm" setting.

NOTE: make sure to remove the cell phone battery first!

5. Test your cell phone - After you've waited 3 days, make sure that everything is clean and dry. Then, reattach the battery to the cell phone to see if it works. If your cell phone does not work, repeat step 4. If it still doesn't work, take your cell phone to an authorized cellular dealer as sometimes they can fix it.

Alternative: The Alcohol Soak
To save a wet cell phone, you can also soak your cell phone in alcohol. Alcohol is hygroscopic (absorbs water from its surroundings). This process will dissolve the water in the cell phone. The water will then flow out of the cell phone, and any remaining alcohol will evaporate.

NOTE: Alcohol will not harm your cell phone, but may disrupt glue (from stickers and such). Use 95% alcohol, NOT rubbing alcohol, which is 50% - 70% alcohol by volume. And use it outside! Also, be sure to remove the battery first. After you've soaked it in the alcohol, leave your cell phone outside for a day or two to dry.

How To Fix A Wet Cell Phone
Additional Tips and Warnings

Additional Tips:
• Don’t put the cell phone battery on for at least 3 days or longer if your digital screen is foggy.
• The best way to dry out your wet cell phone is to place it in front of an air conditioner or air conditioning vent. Cold air won’t damage your cell phone (hot air can warp, or in extreme cases, even melt plastic), and air from an air conditioner will evaporate water quickly.
• Warm air from a reverse-cycle air conditioner works even better. If you dry your cell phone in this way overnight, it should be fine by morning.
• Use a hairdryer set on "warm" - it doesn't melt your head, so your cell phone should be safe as well.
• Use a food dehydrator to dry out the cell phone.

• Don’t heat the cell phone battery or it could leak battery acid! If you use an oven or hairdryer, make sure to remove the battery first!
• If you use alcohol, be sure to do so outside, and do not apply heat in any form - not even the gentle heat of a monitor. Do not hook up the cell phone battery until the alcohol smell dissipates.
• Do not apply heat to your cell phone other than mentioned above. You don’t want to melt or burn your phone.
• Even if all these steps are followed, minerals dissolved in the water can precipitate on solder and cell phone component pins, causing corrosion or shorting. The component pins are packed so closely together in a modern cell phone that even minor corrosion can create a short circuit, rendering your cell phone inoperable.


  1. Awesome tips. I'll have to remember them if my cell phone ever gets wet or drenched.

    Nice blog btw. :)

    The Trish

  2. Hi, found your blog through Google. I agree with Trish, definitely some good information here on your blog.

  3. Thanks Trish and thanks Tyler! My apologies...somehow I completely missed your comments until now.

    Shine on,

  4. This is excellent info. Thanks! I found this article via a Google search, btw.