• After 15+ years, we've made a big change: Android Forums is now Early Bird Club. Learn more here.

Water damage - a helpful guide


Apr 11, 2018
Heya Everyone.

I'm just posting a helpful little guide to dealing with the modern day stress of water damage.

We all know the situation, you're on the toilet, or in the bath and you lose concentration for a moment and poof, your phone is already making its transformation into a fish.

Your first initial reaction would probably be to shout "NOOO" at the top of your voice. Then you quickly research the best ways to save your phone and pray it still works.

Well, the ugly truth is, your phone or tablet or whatever will probably not be the same as what it was. But, you can make it extremely similar, almost to the point where it seems like nothing has happened.

Ok, your first step is to remove it from the water source. Yes that might mean sticking your hand down the loo. It's not good it sitting there as every second it's taking on more water that will do no good for the device. Get it out immediately.

Step 2 is to completely power off the device. Don't turn it back on until the whole revival is finished. It might be tempting, but it is important not to. If you're really that desperate, ask a family or friend if they have a spare phone you can borrow, although this procedure generally takes no more than 2 days maximum.

Step 3 is to assess the situation. Is the device clearly water damaged. First, soak up any water that's on the screen, back or in the case. Don't use a towel as this spreads some of the water around into parts that'll downgrade the performance even more. Use a flannel or similar to soak up the water.

Step 4. Removing the back cover. Yoy got to get inside the phone now, as this is where most damage is likely to take place. Make sure the battery and sim card are removed. Then soak up any water with the flannel. Check the back flaps to see if the the white squares are pink or red. If they are the phone is definitely water damaged.

Step 5. Rice? Seriously. Rice. You will have heard how rice seems to cure phones from the water damage disease, and it genuinely does work. It soaks up any moisture, even the less visible stuff. Cat litter (ew i know), oats and risotto rice also work very well. It works like a charm.

Step 6. Leave the phone. Fill a sealable bag with rice, and put your phone in there, leave it for a minimum of 12 hours, but a day or up to two days is best. Overnight is fine too.

Step 7. Coming back the phone. When your 12 hours or so has passed, you can then come back the the phone. Remove it from the rice. You've now got to asses the phone.

Step 8. The most likely places for water to come in are the speakersz the charging socket and the headphone jack. First, you must check whether the phone charges with the provided USB cable. None others. If it doesn't then either it needs to be dried out for longer or the battery doesn't work. You'll need to get a new one or speak to your insurance providers about maybe getting a new phone.

Step 9. When the phone is turned on, check the display. If the display is flickering, or touchscreen unresponsive then you'll need to once again, either dry it out longer or try getting a replacement. Try out the speakers, play some music or a YouTube video through them. If they sound distorted or in any way downgraded in quality, try drying out for longer. Try the same with headphones.

Step 10. When you're sure everything is fine, you should be good to go. Keep a close eye on the phone for the next few days.

- Start pressing everything
- Use the phone directly after pulling it out of the water
- Charge the phone until it is properly dried out
- Change any settings
- Blow the water with a hairdryer, heater or similar. This pushes the water into other parts of your phone, as well as heating it up
- Try to bang the water out. Damages the internal parts physically
- Panic. 9 times out of 10 phones can get working again to a similar standard to what it was before. Don't worry!

Usually, the speakers are the worst affected after you've dried it out. There'll be a slight dip in quality. The phone may also become laggier or slower. Try cleaning your phone.

All in all, accidents happen, it's just how you deal with them.

Thanks for reading, I hope it's useful to you!
That's a pretty good list, however ...

First, "NOOO" is not the first thing that most would say. Of course I can't repeat what they do say (at least not in polite circles. ;) )

Step 4. Removing the back cover.

A good many phones these days have no-removable back covers. While that my cause problems if water has gotten into the battery area, most of the time this sealed type of phone gives it a much greater water resistance. Many are actually IP68 certified meaning theoretically they can be submerged in 1.5 M of water for up to 30 minutes. I stress theoretically and don't recommend testing it. ;)

Step 6. Leave the phone ... a minimum of 12 hours ...

12 hours is not long enough. I would say 24 hours id the BAREST of minimums and 48 - 72 hours is recommended. While rice and other natural desiccants do draw moisture out of electronics it's not a quick process and I would go as far as to recommend changing the rice with fresh after the first 24 hours.

One other thing is the type of moisture. If you drop it in a clean toilet or sink ... basically clear water, you will be much better off than if it was some other liquid. Sea water is the worst as no matter what you do, corrosion starts on contact and there's not much that will reverse it. Same goes for spilling a soft drink on your phone, if it gets inside.
  • Like
Reactions: Rafox
Upvote 0


We've been tracking upcoming products and ranking the best tech since 2007. Thanks for trusting our opinion: we get rewarded through affiliate links that earn us a commission and we invite you to learn more about us.