How to revive a wet smartphone

by | Mar 8, 2017

Editor’s note: This article was repurposed from Consumer, our consumer-focused child platform. Visit for more articles like this.

No matter how protective you are with your smartphone, sometimes you just cannot be too careful and you may eventually end up with a wet smartphone. Even though more smartphones are labelled waterproof these days, don’t be too confident; waterproof may not necessarily mean waterproof.  So that uneventful moment when you notice your phone in contact with water, quickly follow these steps for a chance to keep it alive.

Quickly separate phone from liquid and turn it off



Unless you use a phone with a high IP rating like the iPhone 7 or Samsung Galaxy S7 , it is pertinent that you remove your phone from the liquid as fast as possible as any delay will only cause more problem. Once your device is far away from the liquid, switch it off immediately even if it is still on to prevent short circuiting

Remove your battery and SIM

Your phone circuits stand a greater chance of withstanding liquid once they are disconnected from a power source. Remove your battery and lay it out on paper towels or on a soft cloth. Even though SIM cards are more resistant to water, you should remove it and pat it to dry

Also remove other peripheral devices like your Micro SD card, headphones etc.

Dry with a towel or soft cloth

Even as little as a drop of water can damage your phone, so you will need to get all the water out of your phone as quickly as possible.  Shake gently to remove water in any port but avoid shaking or moving the phone vigorously to prevent water from penetrating. Then use a towel to soak up as much water as you can.

You can also suck out the liquid in the inner compartment of the phone if you have a vacuum cleaner available. Just hold it over your wet smartphone for about 20 minutes but be careful not to hold it too close to your phone to avoid generating static electricity.  Sometimes this may be all you need to get all the water out.
Avoid using a hair dryer to dry your phone, it can push moisture further into your phone.

Dry with an adsorbent material

Placing your wet smartphone in a bag or bowl of raw rice overnight can do the trick, the rice will help absorb any ingrained moisture. Alternatively, you can enclose your phone with a desiccant overnight in an airtight bag. Silicon gel usually found in new items like shoes and bags is a good desiccant. There are also commercial bags solely designed to draw water out of electronics like the Bheestie Bag and Dry all.

Leaving the phone out in the sun can also remove residual motion

Now, Patience



You need to give your wet smartphone enough time to dry completely before attempting to power it on again. So regardless of the method of drying you chose, ensure that you leave your phone for at least 24 hours before hitting the power button. If you can see any sign of wetness after 24 hours, extend the drying time.

Test it

It is finally time to hit the power button. If your smartphone comes on, observe it for any odd behaviour. If it doesn’t, you may need to have it checked by a professional before you finally give up on it.

Onyinye Uche
Onyinye Uche

Writer. Interested in EdTech and tech careers

On January 22, 2022, be part of the largest gathering of innovators, startup founders, thinkers, programmers, policymakers, and investors in West Africa. Register free.

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