How to Dry Out a Wet Phone

Many people realize that there is a difference between waterproof and waterproof too late. While many modern smartphones these days have been certified for protection against water ingress, at least for a while, many others were simply splashproof and A sink in a bathtub or swimming pool can still be a death sentence for these devices.

Before your phone or other technology is anywhere near water, make sure you’ve checked and know its water resistance rating. This will be expressed in the spec as an IPXX number. The first X here is for solid particles such as dust and goes as high as 6. The second X is for water resistance and goes from a scale of 0 to 9, where 0 is a protection level of 0 and 9 is a level of protection. The most complete protection available.

The most common is probably IP67, with 7 here meaning a device can be submerged in water to a depth of 1m for up to 30 minutes. IP68 means it can withstand depths of up to 1.5m, again for 30 minutes. IP69K’s top rating means it can also survive high temperatures or strong jets of water.

In each of these cases, water resistance is only guaranteed to a certain depth and for a certain period of time. That’s not to say they’ll suddenly falter when the watch hits 31 minutes or you go 2m underwater, just that they can and won’t be covered by the warranty. At this point, you may find yourself in need of our helpful tips for drying a wet phone.

What to do when your phone gets wet

Before you try any of these tips, be aware that there’s one very important thing you shouldn’t do: In any case, you should try to use your wet phone.

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Take it out of the water, immediately turn it off, remove any accessible parts such as the SIM, then dry as much as possible on a towel or sleeve. Gently shake the water off its ports.

How to dry a wet phone

How to dry your phone: fix a wet iPhone, Apple Watch or mobile device

This is not an urban myth: rice plants absorb water very well. Take a large bowl, then put the wet phone in the bowl and put enough rice in it. Now forget about it for 24 hours.

Only when the time is up should you try to turn on the device. If it doesn’t work, put it back in the rice and try again the next day. On the third or fourth unsuccessful attempt, you should begin to consider the timing of death.

You can also replace rice with silica gel (you’ll probably find some of these in the box for the last pair of sneakers or handbag you bought).

If you have a nice warm air cooler in your home, leaving it in for a day or two can help draw out unwanted moisture. The keyword here, though, is ‘warm’: avoid anything ‘hot’.

Tips for not drying your wet phone

  • Do not put water damaged phones in the tumble dryer (even inside socks or pillowcases)
  • Do not leave your phone wet on the radiator
  • Do not heat up a wet phone with a hair dryer
  • Do not put your wet phone in the freezer

If all else fails and you’re in need of a new phone now, check out our roundup of the best waterproof phones.

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