How To Dry Out (and Hopefully Save) Wet Phones and Tablets

Apartment Therapy Tutorials

A good majority of us have been there- that moment when you realize your phone is headed straight for a big puddle/tub/bowl of liquid. The moment that practically guarantees you have to buy a very expensive replacement. But if you're quick enough, you may be able to throw one last Hail Mary and revive your digital device from the brink of death with this pantry staple.

What You Need


  • 2-4 cups instant rice
  • Large zip top bag


1. As soon as possible (seconds count, act fast!), remove your phone from whatever liquid it has fallen into. If it fell into the toilet (or another dirty liquid), quickly rinse it off in clean water. Power down the device right away to keep it from short circuiting. If possible, remove the battery and any other parts that are made to be taken out (sim card, memory card, headphones, etc.), along with the phone case and cover.

2. Grab a soft cloth (towel, t-shirt, whatever you can find!) and soak up all excess moisture. Use a cotton swab to get in around the buttons and headphone jack.

3. Fill a zip top bag with 2-4 cups of rice (more or less depending on the size of your device). There should be enough rice in the bag so that you are able to fully submerge your device.

3. Submerge your phone in the rice and seal the bag.

4. Be patient. As much as you need/want/have to have your phone back now, let it sit in the bag for at least 2 days before turning it back on.

5. After a few days pass, remove your phone and turn it on. If it doesn't power up right away, try charging it.

Other absorbents such as silica gel (kitty litter) and instant couscous have been known to work in some cases, as well as plain old air and sunshine. What has worked for you?

Edited from a post by Gregory Han originally published on February 4, 2010

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(Image credits: Ashley Poskin)