What to do When Your Smartphone Gets Wet

About four years after my smartphone and I took an unexpected dunk in Lake Ontario, I found myself in a similar situation. While in a shallow pool, my phone slipped from my fingers. Plunk – right in the water. Argh!

After the last mishap, I purchased a waterproof phone. It wasn’t. *sigh* Initially, everything seemed ok with the wet phone. It wasn’t.

Moments later my phone shut itself off. I mistakenly turned it back on before the phone shut off again to prevent overheating. This time I left it alone.

At home, I removed the sim card and buried it in rice. I used the same rice from four years ago. Twenty-four hours later I anxiously pressed the power button. I can still access everything, but the charge port won’t connect. Fortunately we have a wireless charger.

Throughout the ordeal, I had two main concerns: my photos and how to contact emergency services. After the previous incident four years ago, I moved things off my phone and online. The one exception was the photos. I still haven’t found a good system for managing photos in the cloud.

My other concern was how to contact emergency services. Even though I have an iPad and a computer, neither of those could have been used to call for help. We’re so reliant on our smartphones. It’s easy to forget that in addition to everything it does, it’s also our only way to call 911.

First Steps After Your Smartphone Gets Wet

  1. Stay calm!
  2. Turn it off, immediately.
  3. Remove sim and memory cards and battery.
  4. Dry off as much water as possible. Try to shake it out of the ports.
  5. Let it dry completely (at least 24 hours) before turning it on again. Or before plugging in your charger.
  6. Even if your phone does work, use this as a learning opportunity to move things to the cloud, or invest in better backup systems.

Does Rice Work for Drying Out a Smartphone?

I’ve used rice twice to dry out my soggy smartphone. It’s hard to know if the rice really worked, or if the phone dried out on its own naturally. I don’t know if the rice made a difference. But if you think it works, go for it!

Then save the rice, label it, and store it in a safe place you’ll remember for the next time.

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