Any advice for how to dry off a cell phone?

A mishap landed my cell phone in my toilet. (An accident, but don’t ask.) Now it won’t work. I’ve pat-dried it with a towel inside and out but still no go. Any suggestions for anything that might bring it back to life?

First of all, you didn’t drop it in the toilet, it “Had an incident with a bowlful of toilet water and a bit of excess gravity.” (at least, that’s what I tried to tell people when I had the same experience a few months ago)

Turn it off. Leave it off. Wipe off as much water as you can.

Remove the battery, take off any covers that you can (battery, hands-free plug cover, etc.) If you’ve got a can of compressed air (like the stuff used to clean off computer parts), try to spray it into any openings you find. Hopefully this will blow out any water that got into the phone. Use a lot of air (You probably cannot overdo this).

Leave it to dry for a while (a few days at minimum), maybe in front of a fan. When you think it’s dried out enough, let it dry some more.

The bad news is that if you’ve tried to power it on since the incident and it hasn’t worked, it’s most likely fried. The good news, at least in my case, was that when I got a new phone, the cell phone store (Verizon, in my case) was able to transfer over my contacts for like $5 or something.

Good luck.

Microwave. It worked for the cat.
Or you could just let it dry out over night…(seriously man, how did it end up in the toilet?).

What jweb said (except for the powering up part - I’m pretty sure it’s still good). It will take way longer to dry than you think though, but let it. My co-worker’s keyboard drank a bottle of water and stopped working, but after 3 weeks of drying in the corner, it’s just fine.

My cell phone slipped out of my shirt’s breast pocket when I leaned over and fell into a bucket of water (I was washing my car). I quickly reached in and grabbed it, but not before it had sank directly to the bottom.

I shook it and shook it and blew in it. Then I tried to turn it on. Absolutely nada. On similar advice, I took it apart in to the most/smallest components as possible – face plate off, battery out, SIM card out, etc. Let it stand for about 2 or 3 days, then tried it again. Now there was stuff lighting up, but the screen appeared to be all jacked up and it wouldn’t receive calls.

Disassembled it again and let it sit for another 2 or 3 days. Put it back together and it worked flawlessly – can’t even tell there had been an issue.
If I were a betting man (and I am), I guess it’ll end up alright for you if you’re patient.

You can speed up the drying process considerably, if you’re willing to go against your intuition. Drop it into some liquid again. Only this time, use rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl) or better still, pure anhydrous isopropyl. This will do two things: First, the alcohol will displace much of the water particularly in tight spots, like underneath IC chips, where water would tend to sit for a while. Second, it will help flush out any corrosive chemicals which may have been present in the water, like chlorine. Iso is used heavily in the electronics manufacturing industry for cleaning freshly-soldered circuit boards and assemblies because it is fairly benign to most surfaces and it does an excellent job of cleaning. After you’ve dunked the phone thoroughly in the alcohol, shake it out as well as you can and let it sit in a warm, dry place for the rest of the day. It should be all dried out by tomorrow afternoon or so, at the latest.

What QED said.

But besides that you could use distilled water, or even tap water, if the water in the gravitationally challeged toliet was less the pure, just to flush out salts.

You could do like the Bus Kid did when hers fell in the toilet.

Make a sad face to me and I’ll cave in and buy another one for ya’.

Hey, she’s an only Princess, I spoil her and it was worth the comedy of getting to tell the story for years.

Damn, Q.E.D. already said what I wanted to suggest. It works for all sorts of electronics that have gotten wet.

Some stores also carry 90% isopropyl rubbing alcohol, slightly better than 70% but not as good as the pure anhydrous.

I have used the alcohol approach with success but added some time sitting with the covers off in front of a hair dryer on the warm air setting. This will cut the drying time down considerably without harming the components. The canned air is a good addition.

If you have a “warm” setting on your oven and a good thermometer you can safely bake your phone at 60 degrees celsius for 4 - 24 hours. This is how we in the electronics industry dry our integrated circuits from the moisture they pick up in the air before wave soldering them.

However, chances are if it doesn’t power up when removed from the toilet it never will. Don’t attempt to air dry it, it will corrode. You need something quick. A hair dryer on low will also be ok.

Oh, don’t bake the battery in the oven. Take that out.

I’ve found that a good place for drying stuff is on the floor right in front of my refrigerator, where the fan blows slightly warm air past the motor and coils, a significant part of the day. I always use that spot for wet shoes (which dry overnight), but it would work for electronics too.

About a month ago my 15 year old son saw I was washing a load of laundry so he pulled off his jeans and handed them to me to stuff in the washer. After the wash cycle was finished I shoved all the clothes in the dryer and went to watch tv. About 20 minutes into drying cycle a thumping noise caught my attention. I stopped the dryer and fished around and pulled out my son’s jeans which had a small bulge in the pocket. I pulled out a very clean but damp bus pass and his samsung cell phone.

The cell phone battery had shorted out in the water but the phone, aside from being waterlogged, sustained no damage. To dry it out I removed some extremely tiny screws and opened the case slightly. I placed the phone over a heat register overnight and the next day after replacing the battery the phone worked flawlessly.

My wife chided me for not checking the kid’s jean pockets. Lesson learned.

Put it in the freezer. I know, I know, but it worked for me.
I too washed my phone with my jeans and thought all was lost. A coworker suggested the freezer, and I’ll be damned if it didn’t work. (take the battery out first)


Centrifuge it. Yeah, you’ve got a great centrifuge in your house; your clothes washer. Just put it in your washer and set it to the spin cycle. This worked perfectly when my sis’s phone went into the lake last summer.
PS. This won’t work if you have a type of washer that sprays water during its spin cycle… some of 'em do that.

Flush out salts? After it’s been in the toilet? :smiley:

Oops, forgot to give my own cell-phone-dunking experience; mine slipped out of a pocket and landed in a puddle of water. Took it home, disassembled it as far as I could, and let it dry for a few days just over a radiator. Put it back together and prayed - and voila! Worked flawlessly.

BTW, your warrenty on the phone is now void. There are moisture sensitive pads in the phones that turn color when exposed to water. If you can fully dry it, go for it. Mine never returned to good use, after being left open to dry for a several weeks (I got a second phone). It works, but the screen is dead making it hard to call anyone unless I remember exactly which entry they are in my phone book. :slight_smile: