The Truth about Cell Phone Water Damage

iPhone / iPhone

Most cell phone user’s worst nightmare is the thought of seeing their phone plop into water. It could be falling into the pool, getting dropped in a lake or the ocean when trying to capture that perfect sunset picture or the worst of all, into the toilet, but all strike fear into the owner’s heart. Water and electronic circuits just are not compatible. But it is important to know that not all accidents involving a cell phone and water are fatal.

Act Quickly

It seems silly to say but you need to snatch your phone out of the water as quickly as possible and not just stare at it in disbelief. Immediately remove the battery if you can or turn the phone off to protect the electronics. Also remove the sim card if you can and carefully dry the card, battery and the phone with a towel. The process of placing a wet cell phone in a bag of uncooked rice is for the most part an urban legend. The rice will provide little benefit over leaving the phone in a room temperature or slightly warm place to dry.


  • Do not push any buttons as that can force water deeper into the phone.
  • Do not use a hair dryer to dry the phone as the heat can cause additional damage.
  • Do not move the phone any more than you have to as that can cause the water to spread throughout the phone.
  • Do not turn the phone back on too soon. Wait at least 24 hours before attempting to turn the phone on.

The Big Reveal

Once you reassemble your phone, gently try to turn it back on. If it doesn’t turn on after you have waited a full 24 hours, then you should get the phone to a repair shop. At the shop they will be able to open the phone case, dry out any remaining water and access the damage. If the damage is minimal they can clean the mineral deposits left by the water and the phone should function again. But it is impossible to determine the damage without inspecting the inside of the phone. And it is also important to remember that even if the phone turns on after you have dried it out, it could slowly begin to fail.

Your Best Option

Your best bet for any phone that has been exposed to water is to have it checked out by a cell phone repair technician. It is far better to pay a small fee and know that your phone is in good working order.

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