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So You Dropped Your Cell Phone into the Toilet

By Edited Feb 17, 2016 0 0

So you've dropped your cell phone into the toilet, into a muddy puddle or any other body of water large enough to turn your "precious" into a wet and glitchy paper weight or door stop.

 It could be worse, you could have fumbled it into a toilet in an extremely neglected gas station restroom. Or over the outdoor public lagoon/toilets in the movie Slum Dog Millionaire or even into the "Worst Toilet in Scotland"  in the Movie Train Spotting 

 Assuming the conditions were favorable to justify the immediate retrieval of your Cell Phone its a fair assumption that your coveted device can still be saved.   The key to resuscitating your phone is first, staying calm and second, quickly removing the battery so as to save the delicate tiny surface mounted components from permanent harm.  

  Once the battery is removed you can towel dry the exterior of the device. From there if you have access to a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment or a wet-vac, use the vacuum to pull out any small droplets of water from the interior of the device.  Some cell phones apparently have batteries that are not design to be removed quickly by the owner, you know who you are, and for those devices just go straight to the vacuum and pull as much moisture out of the device as possible.

  After using the vacuum please resist at all cost reinstallation of the battery as a test to see if your cell phone is dry. It's not.  DO NOT use a hair dryer to dry the phone. A wet cell phone is a catalyst for a test of patience and self-control.  If you hate the poor thing and never want to see the custom wallpaper you made of your pet Doberman Pinscher peeing on your neighbors Lexus then by all means rush through the dehydration process. 

  For the next step, the process of effective dehydration using a desiccant, there are several substances you can use to pull out the remnants of moisture from the tiny unreachable cracks and crevices in your device.  White Rice, UNCOOKED seems to be the favored desiccant among the Internet but you can  go to a hobby store and actually buy real desiccant material.  They sell it for drying flowers. If you DO decide to use white rice then a large zip lock bag is a great container for submerging your phone in and a good way to keep any moisture in the air out of the desiccant. 

  Oat Meal can be used too but it's a little messy.  I would personally suggest a good 48 hours left in a desiccant. By then all tiny remains of moisture unseen and inaccessible  should be completely gone.  I would not advise leaving your phone in a window sill or on the dash of a hot car for the purpose of dehydration. 

   Some people are tech savvy enough to disassemble their phone to some degree and this makes for easier cleaning with a product like isopropyl alcohol or electrical parts cleaner. Also note that on some devices exceeding a certain step in disassembly will void any warranty you might have left on your device, but then again, you just took it into a shark tank with you so that probably doesn't matter anymore. DONT submerge your phone in isopropyl alcohol. 

  DO NOT spray your phone with electrical parts cleaner. It will ruin it.  Use Q-Tips soaked with Isopropyl alcohol or electrical parts cleaner to clean the ends of the various connector cables and electrical contacts that are visible before reconnecting. All of this extracurricular cleaning would be post dehydration via desiccant.

  If you've somehow damaged the LD screen or "digitizer" but are confident the Motherboard and battery survived the next step is to go to one of the many online stores that offer partial used devices for repair. For example I repaired a HTC EVO LTE 4G that was submerged for a good 45 minutes by disassembling it and replacing the LCD screen, digitizer front assembly and keeping the mother board. It cost 80 bucks.




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