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How to fix a wet mobile phone

Lynn Wright / 05 July 2016 ( 30 July 2018 )

Has your mobile phone taken an accidental dip into a bath or swimming pool? Act fast and use our helpful tips to save a wet mobile phone.

Wet mobile phone in a puddle of water
Follow our steps and there’s a good chance you can revive your drowned mobile phone

Accidentally dropped your mobile phone in the bath, sink or even the loo? Spilled your drink over it at a restaurant or left it in a pocket when washing your clothes? 

Follow our steps and there’s a good chance you can revive your drowned mobile phone.

Act quickly

First of all, fish your mobile phone out of the water or liquid straight away. The longer it’s submerged or soaked, the greater the possibility of damage.

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Don’t press buttons

Resist the urge to see if it still works by pressing buttons, as this can push liquid further into the handset causing more damage. Don’t press anything, and don’t switch it on.

Remove the battery

Lay the phone on some paper towels while you remove the battery cover and battery, if possible. 

Do this quickly, as cutting off power to the handset will help avoid a short circuit that could ruin it for good. 

If your phone has a fixed battery, as with Apple iPhone and Nokia Lumia handsets, then you’ll have to risk pressing buttons to turn it off. 

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Remove your SIM card

Remove the SIM card and any microSD cards from their slots in the handset. If your phone has removable back panels or port covers, open them up to help air to circulate.

Don’t blow dry

Although it’s tempting to get the hair dryer out and give your phone a quick blast of hot air, doing so could damage your handset’s internal components permanently. 

Dry the exterior of the handset with paper towels, taking care that water doesn’t seep into the phone’s openings.

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Store it in rice

Even once the exterior is dry, latent moisture inside the phone can cause damage. 

To solve this, bury your phone container full of uncooked rice (a sealed bag filled with uncooked rice is equally good) and let it sit for a couple of days. 

Rice is a desiccant that sucks up water moisture, so it’s ideal for drying out a wet phone, but if there’s too much water, your phone could end up covered with a starchy goo. Wrap it loosely in a paper towel before placing it into the rice.

A less messy and more effective solution is to use silica gel packets – the kind that come with new shoes and handbags. Place them in a container or plastic bag with your phone and leave for several days.

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Turn on and test

Once your phone is completely dry, put the battery and SIM card back in, then turn it on and test it to make sure it works. 

If it doesn't turn on, try charging it. If it won’t charge, the battery may be damaged. Try a replacement battery, or consider taking it to a repair shop to be checked by a professional. 

If all else fails, you may need to buy a replacement phone.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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