How to save a soggy cell phone

Last summer, my daughter dived into the lake with her cell phone in her pocket. Oy!



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This summer my cousin Van was telling me about how her daughter’s cell was swamped when a bottle of water opened in her purse. Water is anathema to a cell phone. But it doesn’t have to be a permanent loss, as long as you take the right steps right away.

First, don’t turn that puppy on to see if it’s working. That’s just about the worst thing you can do. If you even think it’s damp (cos you left it on the back deck to get covered with morning dew you dope!) do NOT turn it on.

Take the back off the cell and take out all the individual components. Make sure you remove the battery first thing since water and electricity do not mix. Cutting power to the phone is the first step in saving it. Remove the SIM card. Towel-dry all the pieces gently. Again, you’re trying to avoid the water moving around and doing more damage. No hair-dryer, which may just blow the moisture closer to where it shouldn’t be.

Fill a bowl or plastic bag with uncooked rice. Bury the phone. The rice should draw out the moisture.

If you’ve been saving those desiccant packages that come in new products this is the perfect time to pull ‘em out and use them. They’ll work even better than rice. (So maybe you’ll start saving them now.) Seal them in a plastic bag with the phone.

Wait at least 24 hours before trying the phone. The more patient you are, and the more time you give the phone to dry out, the more successful you may be.

If you’ve tried everything and you still can’t get that puppy to turn on, see if you can find someone who isn’t afraid of taking your phone apart and brushing out whatever corrosion has occurred. My cousin found a guy who does this for a business. I guess there are a lot of dopes who like to go swimming with their cells!

2 comments on “How to save a soggy cell phone

  1. Thanks for the tip Gail. My husband was one of those dopes! Twice! Could have used that info. Read your articles every day, keep them coming.


  2. If something is yucky in there from the lake, you can use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to carefully clean it, too. My husband saved our netbook that way, actually, after it received some water damage (and to think Geek Squad wanted $300 to replace components, which would have been wasteful in parts and money, since the netbook itself retailed for about that much!)


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