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How to fix a water damaged phone in 10 easy steps

Authored by: Loie Favre — 8 months ago

So you've dropped your smartphone into the toilet, sink or pool. Don't panic! If you act fast you can prevent your smartphone from becoming water damaged without spending a penny. Here are 10 simple steps to fix a phone dropped in water.

Moto G video agua 2
The Moto G is waterproof, but if your device isn't, it is possible to fix a phone that's been dropped in water. / © ANDROIDPIT

Remove the phone from the water as quickly as possible. The longer it stays there, the more water or liquid will seep through the cracks and openings of your phone. Once it's out of the water, there are certain things you need to do right away, and certain things you should absolutely avoid doing in order to prevent water damage.

What not to do

  • Do not turn it on 
  • Do not press any buttons or keys (unless this is to immediately switch off the phone. See below)
  • Do not shake, tap or bang the phone
  • Do not take the phone apart. Your device comes with a Liquid Damage Indicator (LDI) which, when activated, could void your warranty, and this could be triggered when you open your phone. Only take it apart if you absolutely need to and you have experience
  • Do not blow on it. This could send water into other internal parts of the phone that it hadn't already reached, causing more damage in the process
  • Do not heat it up (that includes using a blow dryer or microwaving it) 
  • Do not cool it down (that includes sticking it in the freezer)

10 steps to save your water damaged phone

1. Turn it off if, it isn’t already, and do so quickly. 

2. Remove any protective casing and, if your phone has them, remove your SIM and microSD cards from their slots.

3. Open up the back and remove the battery, SIM card(s) and microSD card if you are able to (note that this won't be possible with all phone models).

phone battery
Remove the microSD and SIM cards, as well as the battery. / © ANDROIDPIT

4. Use a cloth, sleeve or paper towel to dab your phone dry. Avoid spreading the liquid around, because that could push it into more of the phone's openings. Just soak up as much as possible.

5. If the water damage is more extensive, you can use a vacuum to carefully suck out water stuck from the cracks that are harder to get at. Make sure any small parts, such as the microSD card, SIM card, or battery, are out of the way before attempting this.

6. Bury the phone in a ziplock bag full of uncooked rice. Rice is great for absorbing liquid and this is actually a common method for drying smartphones and tablets. You can also buy dedicated phone drying pouches, which are worth having in reserve if you're a clumsy type. Don't wait to get hold of one if you don't already have one to hand though – get your phone in the rice!

androidpit save a phone
You can buy phone drying pouches anywhere. This one is from a company called Save A Phone. / © Save A Phone

7. Let your phone dry for a day or two. Do not be tempted to switch it on see if it still works. Put your SIM card in an old phone, or ask a friend or family if they have a spare that you can borrow. 

8. After a couple of days, you can remove the phone from the rice back, insert the battery into the phone and switch the phone on. 

9. If your phone doesn't turn on, try charging it. If it doesn't charge, the battery may be damaged. You could try a replacement battery, or consider taking your smartphone to a repair shop to be checked by a professional.

10. If your phone has turned on and it is running as it should, you should still keep a close eye on it for the next few days, to see if you notice anything out of the ordinary. Play some music to check the speakers and ensure the touch screen still responds as it should.

In the future, avoid taking the phone with you when you go to the pool, use the bathroom or do the dishes.

motog2014underwater
Some phones, including some from Sony, Motorola and Samsung, are water resistant. / © ANDROIDPIT

Water resistant cases

Hopefully these steps have helped your rescue your phone from an untimely death by drowning. If you want to protect your phone from water in future, you can also purchase a waterproof phone case. There are some good options available from brands such as Otterbox, Griffin Survivor and Catalyst.

Water resistant phones

A number of phones are advertised as "water-resistant". Be aware that when phone manufacturers say this, it only applies under a special set of circumstances. A phone's resistance to water often depends on the clarity of the water, the depth of submersion, and the length of time for which it is submerged. We wouldn't advise submerging any smartphone in water unless it is absolutely necessary.

Water hero
The Sony Xperia Z3+ is a water-resistant phone. / © ANDROIDPIT

Do you have any other tips and tricks for saving a phone from water damage to suggest? Let us know in the comments.

Loie Favre found her way to her present passion for Android and smartphone technology after experiencing an epiphany when she held her Galaxy Note 2. From that point onwards, you can find her with her nose buried in countless Android apps and different smartphone models, and thanking her lucky stars that she gets to work at something she loves.

50 comments

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  • I did some of the things it says not to, like turn on the phone multiple times. Could it still be salvaged?

  • Chin 1 week ago Link to comment

    My phone was soaked with water this morning, I saw it was still working so I just wiped the excess water off the case. Few minutes later when I'm in the bus, it wouldn't turn on so I opened the case to see water everywhere. I wiped everything then blow dried it. Still won't work. I wish I have read this article much sooner so I am aware what to do and what not. It's been 5 hours, is there any chance that my phone gonna work again? Please help I'm doomed

  • Kkelly 1 week ago Link to comment

    When I dropped mine in the sink, I took the battery out and put it in a plastic bag for 2 days. I tried to turn it on and it did but the screen was black and I could hear buttons pressing when I touched it. I put it back in the bag and put it in my car for an hour in the heat, then vacuumed the rice dust out of it. Put the battery back in and turned it on. It works, no problems! Hope this helps someone else too.

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  • I've noticed when enough people voice their concerns about a common (it would seem) problem and Not one person responds to address their issue it's time to go a different route people! I challenge the cell phone manufacturers to build us a phone that is WATERPROOF OR BETTER YET WATER FRIENDLY!!!!, My God we have a satellite in Jupiter's orbit but we can't make a phone that takes a little moisture!!Please! While you're at it how about creating an app that can automatically charge your phone ohhhh there's an idea....hang around I'm just starting on a roll.

  • I dropped my lenovo k4 note and removed it within seconds my phone is not turning on what should i do

  • Protect Accidental Damage and Liquid Damage instal Gopcpro app

  • Nice Posting............


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  • Can anyone tell me what to do next after my samsung phone got a soaking from my water bottle. And stupid me was in a state of panic, tried to turn the phone on & the screen went white. Then someone advised me to take the battery out & let it dry out.....about 6 hours later I've put the battery back in & tried the phone & the screen is still white....I have taken the battery out again & put the phone in a container of uncooked rice. My question is ....have I cooked/fried my phone & will I have to buy a new cell or can it be saved?

  • hello. Last night, I put my phone beside the sink and hets wet. Now, I can't power it off because the touchscreen don't work and when I press the power button, it restarts.I can't remove the battery either because it is built in.The screen bcomes defected, what should i do?

  • Should have read this article quicker, I did everything (except for the heat and cool thing) it told me not to do. I'm screwed :(

  • My infant son was chewing on my case and me not.realizing his drool got into the case and into my phone it will.not turn on it is a galaxy e5
    Any suggestions on what to.do?

  • can you help i have a phone with the battery mounted to the phone
    and i scared to do anything
    i recently dropped it in the toilet
    My phone is a Vodafone smart prime 6

  • So it was just a normal day and me and my family went to the pool next to are apartment. And I decided to bring my LG d415 in my pocket. So then we go there and I forget and walk into the pool with my phone for at least a minute or two and then get out realizing my phones in my pocket!! I was scared so I took apart my right away, take the battery out and grab my shirt and start drying it all over, but my dumb mistake I just realized was then I just set my phone down and wrapped in my shirt leaving it there for but 2 hours. So then I get inside and use blow dryer on it for a bit and then put in a bag full of rice. I hope it works but from the other comments it seems like it's working. So I'll keep it in there for a day or two. Help me what should I do?

  • Dubu Rin 3 months ago Link to comment

    I am scared right now. I actually tried to press the buttons and tried to turn on my phone after drying it with a towel. I also actually tapped and shook the phone. I didn't read this beforehand so I didn't know it was wrong to do it. Right now I really hope my phone would be fine after being in a container full of uncooked rice :( Also, my Samsung phone is really hard to remove the back cover so I cannot retreat the battery and sim card out of it :(

  • ok so i took a bath with my phone (moto g 2015 model ) just scrolling through assignments and the shower head turned on so i took all the cases off and put it in a bag of rice for a hour (im not the brightest person as you can see..) then spent a hour trying to get the rice out which actually only kindia failed then i tried to charge it but it isnt charging help please ;_;


    and i need my phone for college so i really cant put it back in rice for longer then a day considering all my assignments and notes are there NO WAY i can buy a new phone or really buy anything to that matter

  • I took my phone to the pool today... It was in a waterproof case and i was swimming with it for several minutes before i noticed that water was inside the case. I tried to turn on my phone and so did my mom. After a while it started vibrating so we took out the battery. I just barely placed it in rice and I'm praying it will work. Do I have any chances? Please respond...

  • I've drowned my HTC butterfly 2 and water seeped in the screen.. The phone is okay.. Just the screen is messed up.. I've placed it in rice and left it there for a week and magically.. It looks like new

  • I dropped my phone in water and I immediately put in rice its been a few hours so I decided to check on it (before reading this) I turned it on to see if it still works did I make it worse by doing that

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