U.S. Cellular Ambassador Disclosure

Have kids? Use the free U.S. Cellular parent-child agreement tool to set up smart phone practices.

So you’ve finally gone and done it. You dropped your phone or tablet in the water and need to know what to do. The best way to dry a phone, of course, is to not get it wet  in the first place — but if you are here you’ve probably had a run-in with water already.

Maybe, though, you’ve been lucky enough not to take the big plunge yet and are here to get tips just in case you see your trustworthy smartphone take a dive. In either case, there are some tips to help save a waterlogged cell phone. 

best way to dry a phone

The Best Way To Dry a Phone – Tips for Saving a Waterlogged Cell Phone

Act Fast! Retrieve your phone as quickly as possible. The longer it is submerged in liquid, the more likely it is to be irrevocably damaged. Many people go into temporary shock after dropping their phone and are frozen for a few seconds. Be prepared in case the inevitable happens and be ready to grab it quick.

Take out the Battery. Don’t ‘test’ the phone to see if it still works by turning it on and off because pressing the screen and buttons could push liquid further into the device. The critical first steps are to power off the phone and take out the battery. If the phone, such as the iPhone 6s, doesn’t have a removable battery, power off the device right away to prevent a possible short circuit.

Remove any Accessories. Take off any cases or covers, and remove all memory cards, headsets, or other accessories. Take out the SIM card and carefully dry it off with a soft towel or cloth. The SIM card may retain data even if the waterlogged phone itself is damaged

Wipe Down the Phone. Carefully wipe the phone with a clean, soft towel or cloth. Try to avoid getting water into the phone’s cracks, indentations, ports, or other openings. If water is trapped in a crevice, use a can of compressed air to blow it out, taking care not to blow the water further inside the phone.

Use a Fan. A fan can blow air across the phone’s openings to help dry it out, so keep it blowing for at least a few hours. 

Using Dring Products. Since most people will submerge their smartphone in water at some point, be prepared by stocking up on products that have been proven to work. Solutions like Bheestie Bag or Dry-All are specifically designed to dry out wet mobile devices. These products can often prevent lingering moisture that can do further damage to the phone.

Take the Phone to Your Wireless Carrier. If the above methods don’t effectively fix the phone, don’t despair. Sometimes it can be fixed even when home remedies haven’t worked. Be honest about what happened and walk an associate or technician through the steps that were already taken to try and fix it. 

What NOT to do

Don’t use heat! It may be tempting to use a hair dryer, microwave, or oven to dry off the phone, but the heat can quickly warp the phone’s circuits and melt its delicate internal components.

Handy Best Way To Dry a Phone HACK

Save desiccant packets. You know, those little packets that come in new shoes, electronics, and other products (usually silica gel) — pour the contents into an airtight container and then when your wet phone needs rescuing, place the phone in the container and the desiccant can help absorb the water.

Don’t Lose Your Stuff – Plan Ahead!

Other things to consider before your phones get wet:

  • The most important step people can take, even before the phone gets wet, is to make sure important data, photos, and contacts are backed up. If the phone is not recoverable, at least your important information and memories are saved.
  • You may want to consider insuring your device. After recently dropping and breaking my Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, I know first hand that insurance is a lot cheaper!
  • U.S. Cellular offers Device Protection+, which not only replaces a water-damaged phone but also comes with tools to backup your data and protects against Malware.

Be Prepared for the Unexpected

Go ahead and enjoy life, take those beach scene selfies, or even let your toddler run around with your phone (because we all know where it’s going to end up at some point…..), just be prepared in the case the inevitable does happen.

girls in water selfie

Have some drying kits on hand so you are ready when you need them!




What are your tips for the best way to dry a phone?