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 Ultimate Guide to recovering your phone or tablet from water damage.

Ultimate Guide to recovering your phone or tablet from water damage.

So you dropped your phone or tablet in water or any other liquid? Don’t worry, there is still hope for the device to work. There are two different methods depending on whether you have submerged your device in water or if it was soda, beer, wine or anything other than water.

Follow the steps carefully and stay patient. 

What you will need:

  1. A wet device
  2. Paper towels
  3. 99+% ISO rubbing alcohol (if dropped in sugary liquid)
  4. Silica Gel Packs (preferred) or rice
  5. Ziploc bag or any other airtight container
  6. Patience


Step 1 – Turn off your device immediately!

The first thing you need to do it to turn off your phone or tablet as soon as possible! It doesn’t matter how you do it. If your device has a removable battery, go on and remove it.

If you have an iPhone or any other device with a non-removable battery, hold the power button for 5 around seconds and turn your device off. Do not attempt to “force shut off” your device by holding the power button for 10+ seconds, because your device will restart immediately after shutting down. 

Step 2 – Disassemble your device

Once your device is completely off (not just in sleep mode), disassemble everything that you can without applying brute force.

  • SIM card trey (the only thing iPhone users can really remove)
  • SD card
  • Back cover
  • Battery
  • Any accessories such as battery packs and other covers

Step 3 – Keep your device with your screen pointing up

One of the most important things you want to avoid from happening is to get any liquids or moisture near your screen’s electronics. To decrease the risk of damaging your screen in the whole recovery process, keep your screen pointing upwards throughout all the next steps. Gravity will work for you and keep more liquid from getting near your screen.

Again, make sure that your device of completely turned off! 

Step 3.1 – If you have dropped your phone in soda or anything other than water

If you have dropped your device in sugary liquid you need to make sure the internal electronics are completely free of sugar residue. To accomplish this you will need to submerge your phone in 99+% ISO rubbing alcohol. It is very important to use 99% and nothing lower than that. Keep it submerged for 5 to 10 seconds.

Scared? Well, there is really no way around it. Your device is full of sugar, which means that it won’t work properly after recovery or may even break completely. 

Keep in mind that rubbing alcohol might cause some internal adhesives to dissolve.

If you don’t have 99% rubbing alcohol at home, run to the next electronics store or pharmacy and buy some ASAP.

Step 4 – Dry with paper towels

Before you move on to the next step you will need to remove all liquids on the surface of your phone with a couple of paper towels. Doing so will make the next steps more effective. 

One thing you could also do is wrapping your device in paper towels, apply a firm grip and shake it up and down to get more liquid out of the device’s core.

Step 5 – Get your drying agent

To make sure your device dries completely as fast as possible, you will need to put it into something that will absorb all humidity from its core.

There are two drying agents which you can use to dry your device:

  1. Silica Gel Packs – preferred, much more effective
  2. Rice – still works, just not as effective as Silica

You need to get enough Silica or rice to cover your device completely, from all sides and in a thick layer. The more the merrier. 


Step 6 – Put the device and drying agent in an airtight container

So now you got enough Silica Packs and/or rice. What you need to do now is taking a Ziploc bag or any other airtight container and place everything (including your damaged device) in it. Make sure to fill it completely and seal it. 

Step 7 – Wait for 48 hours

Yes, 48 hours. I know it’s a long time, but if you want to recover your device from water damage you will need to be patient. Don’t even attempt to turn on your phone earlier than that to avoid short circuits. 

Remember: your screen must point upward at all times! 

Once sealed, put the whole thing somewhere dark and dry and keep it at room temperature and hope for your device to work after 48 hours.


Dropping your device in water or any other liquid is not the end of the world. There is still a way to recover it from water damage. 

It is key to keep it turned off, with the screen pointing upwards and completely covered in Silica packs or rice for 48 hours in an airtight container.

If you are reading this just as a preventive measure, make sure to be prepared for such an incident. You can get enough Silica packs on Amazon for as low as $10. It’s definitely worth the investment.

[Button_Blue_Affiliate cloaking=”” product=”Silica Gel Packs” pagename=”Dropped_in_water”]Get some Silica Gel Packs on Amazon![/Button_Blue_Affiliate] is not accountable for any damage that you might cause to your device by following this guide.

Daniel Bulygin

Daniel Bulygin

Daniel's passion is optimizing stuff, making it work better and faster. He likes tech, entrepreneurship and the outdoors. Online Marketer | Entrepreneur | Hard Worker | Smart Thinker | Techie
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14 thoughts on “Ultimate Guide to recovering your phone or tablet from water damage.

Sony Xperia Z2… That is all.


Funny u say that I’m reading cos my z2 is crap and let water in

Danny Daviessays:

mine to


I had a phone soaked in soda for may be 3 mins. I was outside so I tried to take off the battery and dried off but after putting back the battery my phone went dead. I panicked but the good thing was I was at my home within 3 mins of my phone shutting down. I googgled and found rice bag hypothesis. well I did that then after some more research after one hour of it in rice bag I decided to give my phone an alcohol bath for one mins because soda is a sticky substance. I used the regular antiseptic alcohol brought from dollar. well after wiping I put my phone again in rice bag. Next day after 20-21 hours I took my phone out put my battery in it was working fine its samsung s4. Its been a week and still good.


I accidentally wash my note 3 in washer for 5mins and I take off battery and put it in ziploc its been 2 days, still wont turn on.any suggestions


I put in rice and ziploc but still wont turn on..its possible my phone work back


didnt work

Zubin Purisays:

My iPhone 6 will not turn on after a cup of water fell on it. Also i put it with rice , phone dry pouch, and gel packs.


It was stupid of me to turn my phone back on immediately, and the screen actually went all black. What should I do? I already put in the rice though. Do I still have a chance? This is so depressing

Ume Samasays:

How is the screen?


So I dropped my phone in the toilet. Dried it off, turned it on, and the screen color was weird when I turned it on. I stuck it in a bag of rice and left it overnight. It’s the morning after, and the screen color is STILL weird! Is there anything to do about this I hope?

What I mean by screen color is that when I turn in on the screen has stripes and the coloring is off? I don’t know how to describe it or fix it 🙁

Arvinth kumarsays:

friends i hav asus zenfona 2 with non removable battery
say friends what should i do ?????

Kent Geronasays:

lol i know this post was two years ago but it happened to me recently, i didnt actually dropped the phone but my younger cousin was addicted to it and to the bathroom after that he came to me running and said my phone was in the toilet with pee on it so i immediately went to the bathroom and grabbed i let an alcohol run on it to removed the pee smell and opened it. it worked but the buttons just keptpressing for some reason so i put it in the rice for 3 days and it was working fine again. the only problem is that the buttons wont work and and the back and home button from the screen wont work either so i have to go to its service shop. my phone was lenovo S160


i dropped my phone in water for at least 7 seconds do i still need to wait the 48 hours??


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