Here’s How to Dry Out Your Phone (the Right Way!) (2022)

It can happen in a moment. Whether your “waterproof” case leaks, an unexpected thunderstorm shows up, or you simply get a bit clumsy in the bathroom after a couple of margaritas, it’s way too easy to end up with a soaked smartphone.

We’ll all been there. I’ve personally managed to drown two smartphones in recent years: once in a tulip field in the Netherlands when the heavens opened, and once on a plane when I knocked a glass of water all over myself… and all over my phone.

This is one situation where a little knowledge and preparation goes a long way, whether you’re in your kitchen or traveling thousands of miles from home. These tips won’t save every phone, but if you’re lucky, they might just save yours.

Here’s what you need to know.

Get Your Phone out of the Water

Simple, right?Eww, but I dropped it in the toilet!I need to get some rubber gloves on… No. Tough it out. Every second of water exposure reduces the phone’s chances of making it out alive.Wash your hands thoroughly later, but for now, the priority is to get your phone away from any more water.

If it’s raining, wrap it in any material that won’t let in more liquid: a few layers of clothing or a plastic bag work in a pinch. And, obviously, get out of the rain as soon as you can to avoid any further damage.

Turn It off and Start Removing Things

The case, and any other accessories, need to get out of the way ASAP. Much like in the emergency room when your clothes get cut off instead of carefully removed, seconds matter.

Water and electricity don’t mix, so if the phone was plugged into a charger when water was spilled on it, first turn the charger off at the wall, and then remove the plug from the socket. If the phone didn’t shut down automatically, power it off now.

Now, it’s time to start pulling the phone apart. For those with an iPhone, you’re limited in what you can remove: it’s pretty much just the SIM card if you’re using one. With Android devices, you may also have a microSD card that can come out, and with a few models, the battery as well.

Basically, anything that can be removed, should be. The more you can open up the phone, the less water will get trapped inside. All of the components mentioned above can also be damaged by water themselves, so taking them out and drying them off just makes sense.

Dry It With a Lint-Free Towel

It’s time to coddle this piece of tech you’ve just abused. If you wear glasses or own a DSLR, you probably have a lint-free towellaying around. If you don’t, a paper towel or washcloth will have to do.

(Video) What to Do If You Drop Your Phone In Water | How to Save a Wet Cell Phone

Get rid of as much water as you can. The front and back of the phone should be completely dry by the time you finish. Be sure to get the cloth into the charging port, headphone jack, SIM slot, and any other nooks and crannies you can find.

The more water you can remove yourself, the better. Take your time with this: it’s important.

Find Things to Help Dry Your Phone Out

Now you’ve got rid of the surface water, it’s time to do what you can about the liquid inside your phone. I’ve listed three options here, depending on how well you’ve planned and where you are when disaster strikes.

Note that whatever approach you take, don’t try to use high heat to speed up the process. You’ll damage your phone even more if you sit it on top of the radiator for hours, or try to blast hot air through it with a hairdryer or fan heater.

Option A: The “Emergency Kit” Method

Here’s How to Dry Out Your Phone (the Right Way!) (1)

There are a few premade kit options on Amazon, including thisNine Lives version. They all work in a similar way: you put your phone inside, seal the top, leave it for at least 24 hours, and fervently pray to any nearby gods.

The kits use desiccants to absorb moisture and reduce humidity. You know those little bags in food and electronics packaging that say ‘DO NOT EAT’? It’s the same stuff.

Keeping one of these kits at the back of a cupboard could end up saving you hundreds of dollars on a new phone, but if you’re traveling, bear in mind you’re unlikely to easily find this sort of thing while backpacking across Asia.

If you’re hitting the road, do yourself a favor and pick one up before you go. Think of it as a first-aid kit for your tech if you need to justify the minuscule extra weight in your bag.

Sadly you can’t cheat by using those little bags of desiccants you’ve been collecting from your Amazon boxes. Those water-absorbing beads are a one-shot deal: once they’ve been used, they’re basically worthless. Although it’s theoretically possible to reactivate them by baking them in a low-temperature oven for a couple of hours, you need a lot of them and it’s unlikely to be worth the effort.

These kits are by far the best way of drying out your phone, but of course, it relies on you having been prepared enough to buy one in advance. If you didn’t, then read on.

Option B: The Old “Smartphone in Rice” Method

Here’s How to Dry Out Your Phone (the Right Way!) (2)

Putting your phone into a bowl of uncooked rice is a well-known way of trying to dry it out. It’s not ideal, but if you’re traveling or otherwise don’t have access to the emergency kit mentioned above, it’s better than doing nothing.

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That said, a few small details make a big difference in how well this approach will work.

  • Ensure your phone is powered off, taken apart as much as possible, and completely dry on the outside and in the charging port.
  • If you have a container with a lid, use it. Fill it with enough uncooked rice to completely surround the phone on all sides, then put the lid on.
  • If you’ve removed the battery or other components, put them in the rice as well.
  • Put the rice and phone under a desk lamp or similar mild heat source to encourage the evaporation process.
  • Give it as long as you can. Ideally you want to give it 48 hours or more, but at least leave it overnight if you can. While somephones won’t be revived no matter how long they sit in rice, the longer the better.
  • Before reassembling, check carefully to ensure no grains of rice remain inside the phone. Check headphone sockets and charging ports in particular. A wooden or plastic toothpick is the easiest and most available tool: don’t use metal if you can possibly avoid it, since it can damage the electrical contacts.

Option C: The “Air it Out” Method

Let’s say the grocery store is closed or you’re in the middle of nowhere, and even a bag of rice is impossible to come by. What then?

Look around the areafor a place with air movement. Hopefully you’re indoors by now, or in some other place where there’s little chance of the phone getting wetter. Your main goal at this point is evaporation of whatever liquid is still inside.

A fan is ideal, but even a laptop, cable box, or TV has some exhaust vents. You don’t really want dirty air blowing onto your phone, so give the fan blades or air vents a quick wipe to remove any obvious dust and dirt.

Be sure the phone rests at an angle, with the charging port or SIM card slot pointing downward: water should be flowing out of the device, not pooling inside of it. Put a paper towel or napkin underneath to absorb whatever water drains out.

The longer it can air out, the better. Again, at least give it overnight, with a day or two much better if you can.

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Here’s How to Dry Out Your Phone (the Right Way!) (3)

How to Get Water Out of Your Phone Speaker

Even if you have a water-resistant phone (but especially if you don’t), getting water in the speakers can be a real problem, particularly when it stays there for a long time. You’ll end up with muffled, distorted, or crackling sound at a minimum, and permanent damage to your speakers at worst.

Fortunately, there’s a surprisingly easy fix for this. After you’ve done the usual care tips mentioned above, like drying everything with a lint-free cloth, it’s time to head to the app store. Obviously this only applies when your phone is otherwise working properly: it’s not going to solve other kinds of water damage!

The approach is taken from the Apple Watch, which has an inbuilt way of quickly vibrating the speaker to literally shake the water off. Most smartphones don’t have the same feature, but never fear, there’s an app for that!

For iPhones, grab Sonic V from the App store. Android users, go for Sonic Sound Wave Generator instead. If you’d prefer not to use an app, websites like Fix My Speakers do much the same thing.

Whichever option you go for, the approach is much the same. These tools work by playing a loud, high-frequency sound that makes the speakers vibrate fast enough to disperse water that’s sitting on them.

Simply place your phone on a flat surface, or ideally angled slightly downward, set your volume to maximum, and activate the app or website for a few seconds. With any luck, you’ll see small water droplets coming out of the speaker grill, and end up with crystal-clear sound once more.

The usual caveats apply here: there are no guarantees with a method like this, and even a risk of (further) damaging your speakers. Use at your own risk!

The Moment of Truth

One of the biggest predictors of whether a phone will survive being soaked in water is how long you can dry it out for before trying to power it back up again. I mentioned it earlier but will say it again here: keep it turned off as long as possible. At least 24 hours is the minimum, and try for 48 hours or more if you can.

Don’t hit the power button to “test it out” or “see if it’s fixed yet” before that time. If there’s still water inside, it can easily conduct electricity to places on the circuit board that it’s not meant to go. The end result? A dead phone that could have been saved if you’d waited a while longer.

Once you’ve finally run out of time or patience, though, it’s time to see if you still have a working phone. Reassemble it, cross your fingers, and try to turn it on.

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If it doesn’t work, don’t despair quite yet: it’s possible that the battery short-circuited and drained when it got wet. If your device has wireless charging, make sure the back of the phone is completely dry, then put it on the wireless charger for an hour and try again. Wireless power is safer than wired at this point.

If you can’t charge wirelessly, then make sure there’s absolutely no moisture in the USB or Lightning socket, charge the phone from the cable for a few minutes, and see how you go.

If you do see signs of life, go through a quick set of tests. Does the touchscreen or keypad work properly? Can you access Wi-Fi and get cell service? Does the screen look normal, with no flickering, lines, or discoloration? If so, breathe a big sigh of relief: you may well have just dodged a bullet.

I’ll note that these tactics can also work for tablets and laptops, though laptops are generally far less likely to survive more than a few drops of water. While phones and tablets only have a few places for water to flow in freely, a laptop is basically a glorified sieve.

If you still have a dead phone at this point, sadly it’s likely to be time for a trip to the nearest repair shop. Depending on which components got damaged and what kind of phone you have, though, repairs aren’t always prohibitive.

After drowning my phone in that tulip field I mentioned earlier, I dried it out under the fan in my hotel room for a day. It came back to life, but kept powering off by itself every few minutes afterward. After tracking down a tiny phone store in Amsterdam, I managed to get it fixed for under 50 euros, including the cost of a new battery.

Your mileage will, of course, vary wildly. iPhones are typically more expensive to repair than other models, especially if you take them to an official Apple store.

If it’s too expensive to fix and you find yourself unexpectedly in the market for a new phone, a piece of advice: get one with good water resistance built-in! Look for an IP67 rating or better: this means it will handle being dropped in the toilet or caught in a thunderstorm much better the next time around.

Photo credit: Shutterstock (wet phone), Mark Ou (phonein rice)

About the Author

Here’s How to Dry Out Your Phone (the Right Way!) (4)

Dave Dean

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(Video) RETAIN MORE LENGHT AND DENSITY BY AVOIDING THESE 5 TAKEDOWN MISTAKES.

Founder and editor of Too Many Adapters, Dave has been a traveler for 25 years, and a geek for even longer.When he's not playing with the latest tech toy or working out how to keep his phone charged for just a few more minutes, he can probably be found sitting in a broken-down bus in some obscure corner of the planet.

FAQs

How do I dry out moisture in my phone? ›

So first take the hose off the suction site and put it on the exhaust. Side now get a sock and slip

Can I use a hair dryer to dry my phone? ›

Don't: Dry out the phone with a hairdryer

The heat from a hairdryer is too hot. This can damage fragile electronic components in the device. Also, avoid placing your smartphone near a hot oven (or worse, in the oven) or on a radiator.

What absorbs moisture from a phone? ›

Use Silica Gel Packets (Not Rice)

They are used in packaged and boxed products (such as shoes) to absorb moisture, and can do the same for your phone. Place a few silica gel packets under your phone and on top. Let the phone sit for a few hours while the silica gel packets absorb the water.

How can I get my phone to dry faster? ›

Place your phone on a flat surface, on top of a paper towel, and in a dry, warm space (but not hot, because overheating the phone can cause further damage). You can position a fan to blow on the phone to speed up the drying process.

What else besides rice dries a phone? ›

Instant couscous or oatmeal, crystal-based cat litter, and synthetic desiccant packets are all good alternatives to rice. Place your phone in a large container and fully cover it in your drying agent. Leave it for 2-3 days. When the phone is dry, wipe it down, reassemble it, and try turning it on.

How do you remove moisture from a screen? ›

How to Remove Water From a Cellphone's Display Screen
  1. Fill half a bowl with uncooked rice. Video of the Day.
  2. Place the cellphone in the bowl with the display screen facing down.
  3. Place enough uncooked rice in the bowl to cover the phone.
  4. Leave the phone in the rice overnight.

Can I use salt to dry my phone? ›

Salt water is another thing entirely, say experts. The salts in ocean water are strongly corrosive to electronics and can much more quickly damage a phone. If it's impossible to get a phone dried out under vacuum within several days, there's one last-ditch trick Naumann has to offer.

How long does it take for water to evaporate from a phone? ›

At least 24 hours is the minimum, and try for 48 hours or more if you can. Don't hit the power button to “test it out” or “see if it's fixed yet” before that time. If there's still water inside, it can easily conduct electricity to places on the circuit board that it's not meant to go.

Can a wet phone Be Saved? ›

Use silica gel packets to dry out your phone.

Let the phone sit for 48-72 hours to give the gel time to absorb any moisture remaining in your phone. You can buy silica gel online or at a store, but remember: Speed is the most important element in saving your wet phone.

What are signs of water damage on a phone? ›

There are several warning signs that your phone is water-damaged:
  • Sound including phone calls and music will sound distorted.
  • Static in your sound when connecting headphones.
  • Inability to charge.
  • Dark display screen or distorted picture.
16 Jul 2019

How do I dry my phone with rice? ›

How to Save Your Water Damaged Cell Phone with Rice - YouTube

Does rice absorb moisture from phone? ›

While rice is absorbent, it's incapable of collecting all the moisture hidden deep within your phone, so it only serves as a partial fix.

Can I use a hair dryer to dry my iPhone? ›

Do not -- we repeat, do not -- use a blow dryer; the heat can damage the phone. If you have a phone or a gadget with a cover that comes off, take it off, and take out the battery, the SIM card, and anything else that can easily be removed. Dry all those things off.

Why won't the moisture detected won't go away? ›

If your device displays a water drop icon which signifies moisture detection, you should power off your device and leave it to dry completely. If the icon does not go away and you continue to experience issues with charging, try clearing your USB cache.

Does rice absorb moisture? ›

Rice is a hygroscopic material. When dry rice is exposed to air with high relative humidity (RH) the rice grains will absorb water from the air (re-wetting). When wet rice is exposed to air with low RH the rice grains will release water to the air (drying).

Can I use DampRid to dry out my phone? ›

Remove moisture from small possessions, including mobile phones and other electronic devices, by placing DampRid in an air-tight container with the item until it dries out.

How do you get moisture out of a charger port? ›

Remove Moisture

You can do this by taking a tiny piece of soft cotton cloth. Now, gently try to clean the charging port by rubbing the cloth inwards. Then, you can let your phone dry on its own for up to half an hour or more. Be sure to not apply a lot of pressure as it can push the water inside the port.

Can you use oatmeal instead of rice for wet phone? ›

Uncooked white rice is not recommended due to its poor performance as a drying agent." So use silica instead of rice. If you don't have that, try some oats. Never seal the container that you're using; you want the water to evaporate.

Is screen water damage permanent? ›

Water damage can ruin an LCD computer screen or any LCD display. If you have water visible in the display or even a hint of suspicion that water has breached your screen, take action immediately. Leaving moisture unattended will surely cause permanent damage.

Can you fix a phone with water damage? ›

The good news is yes, wet cell phone repair is possible.

How do you dry a phone with a non removable battery? ›

It could takes days to dry it out. If you've got rice around, then find some kind of container/tupperware that you can seal your phone in along with a bunch of rice. Then leave it sealed (important to seal it, so the rice is pulling the moisture from the phone and not the air) like that for several days.

What happens when a phone gets wet? ›

Letting water sit in the phone leads to corrosion of its circuits, coils and resistors due to minerals in the water. This one throws people off too because the damage isn't immediately apparent in all cases. Sometimes, the water might take a little longer to reach vulnerable components.

How long does it take for water damage to affect a phone? ›

Like rust on a car, it slowly starts to grow over the course of a week, a month, or 3 months. It will begin to spread until one day your wifi won't work, your camera goes out, your phone stops charging, the screen goes black, or some combination of all those things.

Can we dry phone in sunlight? ›

Do: You can also put the smartphone in sunlight to dry. In order to dry the device you can place it under direct sunlight after removing the back panel (if it is removable). This will help the handset to dry completely.

How long does it take for an iPhone to dry out? ›

Allow at least 5 hours before charging or connecting a Lightning accessory. To dry iPhone, tap it gently against your hand with the Lightning connector facing down to remove excess liquid. Leave the device in a dry area with sufficient airflow.

How do you dry out a Samsung phone? ›

Air dry. After removing the moisture or impurities, leave your device to dry in a well-ventilated area or in the shade with cool air (from a fan). Air drying is recommended for devices that are waterlogged. Please note that attempting to rapidly dry your device using a hair dryer or hot air may damage your device.

Does salt absorb moisture? ›

Salt has a strong ability to absorb water from its surroundings. Above a relative humidity of about 75 percent salt will even become deliquescent, meaning it takes up so much water that it becomes a solution.

What to do if my phone got wet and won't turn on? ›

Fill a plastic zip-top bag with silica gel packets and bury the phone in the bag. Leave your phone in the bag for 24–48 hours. After you've allowed your phone to fully dry, switch it on. If it doesn't turn on right away, charge it fully and try again.

How do you remove moisture from an Android phone? ›

Place Your Phone in Rice Overnight

Placing your phone in rice can help remove any moisture. This is because rice is water-absorbant, so it can help in drawing out the water from your phone when it gets wet. It is best to do this overnight, as it can take some time, but it certainly is a tried and true method.

Does rice work for wet iPhone? ›

Do NOT put your iPhone in rice! Rice will absorb the liquids but will leave all minerals stuck to your phone's interior. These impurities can cause corrosion which can really harm your phone beyond repair. They will also make it harder for technicians to fix later on.

Why does my phone keep saying there is water in the charging port? ›

The “lightning connector” is just a fancy term for your iPhone's charging port. When you see the “Liquid Detected in Lightning Connector” alert, it means that either your phone's charging port, or the lighting charging cable are wet or moist.

How do I bypass Samsung moisture detection? ›

Moisture detected in your device can cause problems like your Play Store not opening.
...
To turn it off follow the process:
  1. Go to 'Settings. '
  2. Choose 'Device Management. '
  3. Choose 'Battery. '
  4. Go to the 3 dot icon.
  5. Go to 'Advanced Settings. '
  6. Choose 'Fast Charging. '
  7. Change it to 'Fast Charging Off. '
20 Sept 2022

How do you remove moisture from a Samsung charging port? ›

In this case, unplug your device from the charger, then wipe with a dry cloth or gently shake your device (5-10 times) with the port facing downwards to release any excess moisture. Place your phone on a cloth in a well-ventilated area, or dry with a fan. Note: Excessive force or shaking may cause damage to your phone.

Does baking soda remove moisture? ›

Baking soda absorbs moisture, so it can help dehumidify your house. As a bonus, it's very cheap. Pour it into bowls, and cover them each with a thin cloth. Put them in various rooms around your house.

What is the best thing to absorb moisture? ›

The Best Moisture Absorbers To Prevent Mold, Mildew and Allergens From Taking Over Your Home
  • Silica Gel. Silica gel, made of sodium silicate, comes in bead or granular form and attracts and removes moisture from the air. ...
  • Calcium Chloride. ...
  • Clay.
26 Sept 2021

What kind of rice is the most absorbent? ›

Bomba rice is highly absorbent and requires more water to cook, and tends not to stick thanks to its high amylose (a type of starch) content.

How do you fix moisture detected in charging port? ›

In such cases, the very first thing you should do is unplug your phone from the charger and avoid charging it until it's completely dry. Next, power off your phone and use a dry cloth to clean it. After that, gently shake your phone to remove any excess moisture from the charging port.

How do you dry out moisture in a charging port? ›

It's not difficult to end up with water in your smartphone charging port.
...
How to Dry Your USB Charging Port: 3 Tips
  1. Put Your Phone in Front of a Fan, or Leave it to Dry Naturally. ...
  2. Listen to Your Phone's Warning or Advice Messages. ...
  3. Place Your Phone in Rice Overnight.
12 Apr 2022

How long does it take for water to evaporate from a phone? ›

At least 24 hours is the minimum, and try for 48 hours or more if you can. Don't hit the power button to “test it out” or “see if it's fixed yet” before that time. If there's still water inside, it can easily conduct electricity to places on the circuit board that it's not meant to go.

How do you get the liquid out of a charging port? ›

If the port or charging cable is wet, turn off your phone. Then set it on a flat surface to dry at room temperature. If the port or charging cable has debris inside, gently tap it against your hand, port down, to remove.

Why won't the moisture detected won't go away? ›

If your device displays a water drop icon which signifies moisture detection, you should power off your device and leave it to dry completely. If the icon does not go away and you continue to experience issues with charging, try clearing your USB cache.

How long does it take for a charging port to dry? ›

Leave your device in a dry area for at least an hour with the charging port facing down. This will allow airflow into the port and force excess water to drip out on its own.

How long does it take for moisture to dry in USB port? ›

Remove Moisture

Then, you can let your phone dry on its own for up to half an hour or more. Be sure to not apply a lot of pressure as it can push the water inside the port.

Can I use a hair dryer to dry my phone charging port? ›

A hair dryer generates too much heat for a cell phone. Turn a blow dryer on the "Cool" setting and blow toward the rear of the phone. Anything higher than that could cause permanent damage, so if your dryer does not have this setting, do not use it.

How do u get water out of your phone without rice? ›

Android: Remove the battery to shut down instantly.
...
Instead, try the following:
  1. Silica Gel. The best common drying agent is silica gel, which can be found in the pet aisle of your grocery store as “crystal” style cat litter.
  2. Couscous. Instant couscous or instant rice are acceptable substitutes for silica. ...
  3. Open Air.
30 Apr 2014

Can I charge my phone with moisture detected? ›

Ensure that no moisture is present in your charging port or charging cable, as actual liquid exposure is the most likely cause of this warning. If you notice or suspect moisture, immediately power the phone off and attempt to dry the area with a small static-free cloth.

Can a phone survive water damage? ›

Ideally, do not even try to take the phone out to check if it has started working or not. If there wasn't too much water damage, your phone should start working. Please keep in mind that there is no guarantee that your phone will survive a dunking in water. There is only a 50% chance of your phone working again.

Does moisture in phone go away? ›

By taking apart your phone, you can check for water that may have seeped inside. If you see moisture, gently dry it as best you can, without damaging the components. Don't touch it for a while. The air will naturally evaporate water that has gotten inside your phone, helping it dry out as time passes.

Does rice absorb moisture? ›

Rice is a hygroscopic material. When dry rice is exposed to air with high relative humidity (RH) the rice grains will absorb water from the air (re-wetting). When wet rice is exposed to air with low RH the rice grains will release water to the air (drying).

What happens if I emergency override my phone? ›

The emergency override option dismisses the alert and forces the phone to resume normal functionality. It will allow charging and complete use of the port, whether it's wet or not. This can cause serious damage, resulting in more iPhone problems. You should, however, click the dismiss option.

What happens if I charge my phone with water in the port? ›

Water will naturally evaporate from the charging port within approximately 1 to 2 hours. If any liquid other than fresh water enters the charging port of your device, you must rinse it in fresh water and dry it thoroughly with a dry, soft cloth.

Why does my phone say moisture detected when there is no moisture? ›

The moisture detection message on Samsung Galaxy devices is not actually an error or bug but a safety measure to protect your device. The moisture detection sensor intelligently stops the device from charging automatically as soon as it detects moisture in the charging port or the USB cable.

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