Our phones hold our memories, music, movies, and more, which is why we take great care to keep them damage-free. But accidents happen, and when water is involved, you can destroy your phone entirely. If you’ve dropped your phone in water—what do you do?
Drying out a phone is pretty easy, but it does take a bit of time, depending on the method you use. Regardless, you want to make sure the inside of your phone is totally dry before you try to turn it back on again. Here are a few methods to fix a phone that got water in it.
- Use a Cell Phone Water Damage Kit
After you’re done toweling your phone off, removing the battery, and disinfecting the surface, the best option is to use an emergency kit made specifically for wet phones. These kits use synthetic desiccants to absorb moisture from your cell phone, just like the little packets you find in snack bags or electronics boxes. You simply pop your phone into the bag, seal it up, and wait—usually around 24 hours.
2. Dry Your Wet Phone in Rice
If you don’t have a wet phone fix-it kit, the next best solution to prevent smartphone water damage—rice. This has been a tried-and-true method for years, but how exactly do you dry out a wet phone in rice? Find a container with a lid and fill it with dry rice. Bury your phone and battery (if separated) completely. Make sure it’s totally covered on every side, then place it in a well-lit area—on a sunny windowsill, underneath a warm and bright lamp, or any other place that will encourage the evaporation process. The dry rice will absorb the moisture out of the impossible-to-reach places of your phone and the sun’s heat will speed up the process. You want to dry your phone in rice for at least 24 hours, but expect this method to take longer
3. Air Out Your Wet Phone
If you don’t have uncooked rice on hand, either, the last way to fix your cell phone when it gets wet is to get it some airflow to prevent standing water from leaking further into its interior, leading to a completely destroyed phone. Place it on an absorbent cloth underneath a fan or next to a breezy window, and make sure it’s leaning at an angle so that water can leak out. Note that this is the slowest way to dry out a wet phone—it could take days to remove all of the moisture by air drying.
4. If You Can’t Repair It, Sell It
If your water-damaged phone costs too much to repair, or if it’s beyond hope, then you can sell it off to any one of dozens of online businesses that accept old, broken phones. Most of these companies don’t care if the phone is working or not; as long as you’re not sending a completely destroyed phone in pieces, all they care about are the precious minerals used to build the phone itself. Believe it or not, smartphones are a very rich source of gold, palladium, and other rare metals. There’s not enough in there to be worth your while, but you can sell it to someone for whom it is.