Did you know you might be able to save a cell phone that has gotten wet? It sure would've been nice to know that was even a possibility the time I…
- was driving along minding my own business, and the car in front of me came to an abrupt stop, causing me to slam on brakes; and the cell that was sitting in the little cubbie hole under my radio and above my cupholder took a swan dive to the bottom of my 32-ounce Big Gulp of Mountain Dew.
- I left my car window rolled down, and for some incomprehensible reason, left my cell in the armrest of the door, so when it unexpectedly rained that night, I found a fogged up phone with indecipherable numbers…
And then there was the time…
- I visited a friend who was in the hospital following a car accident. I stopped in the restroom before going to her room…happened to be wearing overalls (clearly, this was back "in the day")…and when I slipped the shoulder straps off, forgot my phone was in the front bib pocket and SPLASH!–that sucker fell right in the toilet. Thank goodness I hadn't yet "gone"–reflexively, I reached to the bottom of the bowl to retrieve my phone before thought entered my mind what I was doing!
I think those same ninja-warrior reflexes would've had me reaching for it even IF I had "gone"!
Anyways…should you find yourself with a wet cell phone, follow these tips picked up from Joshua Fruhlinger's video at switched.com and you might be able to salvage your phone:
- Immediately rip the battery off. That keeps power from going through the circuit board and potentially creating a short circuit.
- Don't shake it around or press buttons; you'll get water where it wasn't already.
- Put your cell phone and its detached battery in a lidded container of dry, uncooked rice; the rice will act as a desiccant drawing the moisture out of the electronics.
I'd love to know if you've actually tried this, and if so, if it worked. For fun, if you have a cell phone story, please share it in comments; one of my most-landed-on pages is a guest post by Michelle, about her most embarrassing cell phone moment.
When my husband was at the papermill – he dropped his cell phone in a foot of water. We tried the rice trick and it didn’t work. He had to get a new phone. Of course, the phone was completely submerged for a good 5 minutes before he noticed. That may be why.
Mine went thru the soak cycle of the wash machine and STILL WORKED. But you couldn’t see anything on the screen. That part died.
A few years ago, my Hubby’s teenage sister was living with us. She forgot her cell phone in the pocket of her jeans & ran it through the washer AND the dryer. It still worked! She used it for almost a year after that!
We tried the rice trick and it actually did work. All because I leaned over and dropped it straight into a puddle, ugh! The phone wasn’t 100% afterwards, but it was usable. Sometimes the screen wouldn’t work properly, but I was always able to dial and receive calls.
Wow…am I the only girl that hasn’t dropped her cell in water? I’ll have to remember this as now I have opened it up for Murphey to come and throw my cell in the next public toilet I use. Joy.
My cell phone was dropped in the rain when I was trying to get my 4 year old out of the car and into the church posthaste. I didn’t realize it until two hours later, when we were returning to the car.
My first mistake was not taking the battery out immediately. But I did put it in rice for three days and it still works. I lost the display on the outside of the phone, but the display on the inside still works.
My sister also did the rice trick and her phone works to this day.
You mean you didn’t drop it in the Potomac River as you were jumping on a boat to catch some terrorists who were heading to take over the White House? (Oh, sorry, I’m still basking in the glow of Monday’s episode of “24”.)
This wasn’t a cell phone, but it was a cordless phone. The phone rang as I had a basket of laundry in my hand and was headed to the basement to put it in the wash. I finished the phone call, threw it in the laundry basket, and you know the rest of the story. About one hour later I had one dead, yet one very clean phone.
(P.S. Robin, can you explain why I have to put my information in every single time I want to leave a comment? It’s getting annoying. 🙁 )
A friend put his wet cell phone in the freezer and it worked perfectly.
My husband accidentally put his through the washer. It might have survived that, but he didn’t realize it was in there – and put it through the dryer, too. I don’t let him do laundry any more. Well, not much.
Wow, I really needed this advice…more than a couple times. Well, now I have it for the next time. Who needs cell phone insurance now? 🙂
We’ve tried the rice trick and it worked great. Daughter’s phone still works 9 months later. I also told the trick to my sister and she saved her son’s phone. Too bad I didn’t know this trick when I washed and dried my phone, maybe I could have saved it, too!
I’m shocked at the number of people who have done this and said it WORKED!
When my battery is closed to dying, that happens, too–no screen, just black
THAT is unbelievable. You should write the cell manufacturer; that’s better
than a Timex ad!
I almost want my phone to get wet again just so I can try this. A l m o s t
Ummm, Jenny…that’s reason to be THANKFUL!! 🙂
Two hours and you didn’t have to replace the phone? Yeah…you should write
the manufacturer, too.
I just watched the second half of “24” today; I’m totally tracking with you
;). (Still working on that Typepad comment issue).
Well, now…I haven’t heard THAT one before!
I know! I’ve had three mishaps, and NOW I hear this! Maybe we’ll both be
lucky from now on!
Even though this is an old video I linked to, the info was still new to me.
Hopefully, I’ll never have to put it to the test, but if I do…I’ll know
how to try to remedy the situation.
I entered a new venture in life in my 40’s and became a life guard for the first time. I went in for my first rescue WITH my phone on… and it fell to the bottom of the lake. It was recovered about 5 minutes later…
I took it apart…laid it in the sun for 4 hours… no life… dried it with a blow dryer on low heat… no life… 6 hours after submersion… laid hands on it… prayed, LORD you know I can’t afford a new phone right now… and with a little bit of jest and little bit of faith… said, “Come to life in Jesus name…” and immediately it came on. Two of my friends were there through the whole thing… and witnessed it.
I blogged about the whole story here… http://marybethsbackforty.blogspot.com/2007/07/my-first-rescue.html
It was quite a day of laughing and rejoicing and fun.
I have heard about the rice thing… although I have heard it is the next best thing after praying over it. LOL
btw… my phone worked… display screens and all for another year.
I haven’t flooded a phone yet, but I will keep these tips in mind…just in case!
good tip, who knew! i would have to say do they have anything to help fix a phone that your dog gets too (happened seriously 11 times!) i finally learned my lesson to keep it attached at my hip.
Great idea. ANy clue for finding the cell phone I lost in between the zoo and my mother in laws on the day after Thanksgiving? It would take a pretty big bucket of rice for that!
I need tips for a hubby who keeps DROPPING his phone…the cell phone company won’t even insure his phones anymore. (The nerve! ;))
I have another “Timex, takes a lickin, keeps on tickin” cell phone phenomena for you.
Embarrassing so….my cell phone dropped into the toilet (I flushed, stood up and due to the high pressure toilets my husbands installed…think Tim from Tool Time…..so I didn’t hear it fall out of my back pocket)
Well, it stayed in the toilet overnight……I even called it in the morning because I couldn’t find it. I can imagine the bubbles rising when it rang, well probably not, but I have a weird imagination as you will find out. Anyway….my daughter called me into the bathroom later on, and thankfully she looks before she sits.
I figured it was the end of the road for my phone. It had survived many ordeals (think of a cat with nine lives) that I won’t bore you with…..but I think this was it.
I took the battery off and let it dry out. We are talking days here….then, just for you-know-what and giggles…..I slapped that badboy together to see what would happen.
You guess it…..it powered up. Now my screen looked like a psychedelic acid trip, and as long as I didn’t need to call anyone with a 9 in their number, I was all set.
OK, that’s it for me! I am happy I stopped by! Great blog!
We’ve dropped phones in puddles, etc on several occasions. Usually expecting them to die. We take the covers off and let them dry out good, a day or two depending on how long it sat in the water & when there is no sign of moisture we try them. So far we’ve been pretty successful, but they have typically been retrieved from the water in a few seconds and not soaked through.
I did drop my phone in a bucket with 2 inches of rain water in it, after I was upset that the Carter’s Outlet store “lost” my debit. (Actually, they felt the need to include it into the bag of purchases, which I went through quickly, missed it but found only after it was canceled.) Only the week before I had read the article in Woman’s Day magazine on drying your phone out. I did pop the battery out immediately. I took a fluffy kitchen towel and patted the interior and key pad dry. (Pat only, not forcibly.) Then, I left it sitting up (like a Little People Fence) with the battery OUT and back off for a few days. It was fine.
Rice sounds like a lovely option, though! Thanks for sharing. Stop on by for my tip on CFL’s.
Thanks for the tip about rice. My daughters have ruined 4 phones over the years by dropping in toilets, puddles, cokes, etc.
My 16 y o son sent his thru the washer. We took the battery out & let it dry for a few days. Actually I figured we’d need to replace it & was in no hurry so we just “forgot” about it until one day he put it back together & it worked. I told him he was the luckiest teenager in the world!
OKAY….I needed this about 3 months ago (and about 6, 9, 12 months ago…well you get the point!) EXCELLENT TIP!!!!
My husband ran his through the wash and actually got it working again by drying in our daughter’s Easy Bake Oven! (The rice idea does sound safer)
Oh, I am so saving this tip. I hope I never need it, but I am, you know, related to my sister. She dropped her cell in the toilet *after* she had gone. So, she flushed it, thinking that surely something as big as a phone wouldn’t go down.
She did eventually get it back, but she didn’t really want it at that point. 😉
Very clever idea. We have left a regular cordless phone out in the rain but never a cell phone. However I drop mine ALL the time….my husband ran over his palm pilot with the car once (not on purpose). Clearly we need all the help we can get!
Mine (and my ipod) went through the washer. Both dried out and work fine