What To Do When Your Phone Gets Wet (PLUS What Not To Do)

Dropping your phone in water is a horrible feeling, and to limit water damage, you need to act fast. Learn what to do below.

What To Do When Your Phone Gets Wet (PLUS What Not To Do)

Whether you’ve dropped it in the toilet or it’s accidentally fallen into a swimming pool, water is the enemy of your smartphone (or any phone really). It’s at this moment when you can really feel your stomach drop. All your data, contacts, messages and photos could be lost, not to mention the money you spent on the phone itself. It’s especially bad when you consider that most phone warranties don’t cover water damage.

If you’re unfortunate enough to find yourself in this scenario, here’s what you should be doing to limit any water damage to your phone.

What to do when your phone gets wet:

1. Take it out of the water immediately

This is crucial. The more time your phone is in the water, the more damage will be done as the liquid works its way in.

2. Turn it off

As soon as you have taken it out of the water, turn your phone off.

3. Strip it down

Remove your phone’s case or cover and then take out the SIM card, battery and SD card.

4. Pat it dry

Use a paper towel to gently pat your phone, SIM, battery and SD card dry. The patting is to avoid spreading the water around. Just hold the towel against each component to soak up the moisture.

5. Vacuum it (optional)

If your phone gets really wet, you can also (carefully) vacuum it to suck out the water inside. Make sure small parts like your SIM card and SD card are out of the way first though. You don’t want to add to your misfortune by losing anything.

6. Bury your wet phone in rice

Fill a zip lock bag or Tupperware (something you can seal) with uncooked rice, and then bury your phone in it. The rice will absorb all the moisture.

If you think dunking your phone in some water is something you are likely to do, you can also buy special phone drying pouches and have them lying in wait for your wet cell phone.

7. Leave it in there for a couple of days

This may seem like a long time to wait before finding out your phone’s fate, but it is important to dry out the phone thoroughly. It will be worth it if you can avoid having to shell out for repairs or a whole new phone.

Your SIM card should be OK to use, so you can put that in an old phone. Ask family or friends if you don’t have one lying around.

8. Take the phone out of the rice and put everything back in

After the wait is over, it’s time for the moment of truth. Take your phone out of the rice and put the battery, SIM card and SD card back in. Cross your fingers and try turning it on.

9. Try charging the phone if it doesn’t turn on

It may simply be out of power, so try plugging it in to charge. If nothing happens when you plug it in, all is not lost, it may just be the battery. Try a replacement battery if you can but if that fails, you will have to ask a professional to look at it and see if it can be repaired.

10. If it has turned on, keep an eye on things

If your phone turns on and seems to be working, you can let yourself bask in the happiness, however, you should keep an eye on it over the next few days, watching for lingering signs of water damage.

What NOT to do when your phone gets wet:

  1. Do not turn it on (if it isn’t already on)
  2. Do not start pressing buttons (except for turning it off)
  3. Do not tap or bang the phone. You might transfer water into areas that had previously stayed dry
  4. Do not blow on top, for the same reasons as above
  5. Do not take it apart beyond removing the battery, SIM and SD card. Unless you really know what you’re doing, you’ll likely do more harm than good