Wet Phone? How To Dry Out Your Phone and Waterproof It

Drop your phone in the pool? Here's how you can bring it back to life

ByABC News
July 2, 2012, 5:36 PM

July 3, 2012 — -- intro: We humans can't get enough water during the summer, but for our gadgets, on the other hand, there may not be a bigger enemy. Sadly, you may already know what we mean if you've landed at this article.

Maybe your phone fell in the pool. Maybe it fell in the toilet, or maybe someone spilled a large glass of water on the dinner table. Whatever it is, we're deeply sorry. But not all might be lost.

Below we have put together a list of ways to help you resurrect your wet phone and prevent accidents from happening in the future. All these methods are highly dependent on what sort of phone or gadget you have and how bad the water damage is, but let's dive right in!

quicklist: 1category: Dry Out Tip #1 title: Bowl of Rice url: text: Of course, the first thing you should do with your wet phone is dry it off. Yes, it sounds obvious, but really dry it off. Get a towel and sop up all the water you can. You can even use a straw. (Okay, don't do that if you dropped your phone in the toilet.) Do not -- we repeat, do not -- use a blow dryer; the heat can damage the phone.

If you have a phone or a gadget with a cover that comes off, take it off, and take out the battery, the SIM card, and anything else that can easily be removed. Dry all those things off.

The next step might seem a bit crazy, but get a bowl and fill it up with rice. Yep, regular rice from the supermarket. Bury your phone in the bowl and keep it in there for 12 to 24 hours. Rice absorbs moisture and has long been used as a wet-gadget-saving measure.

It doesn't always work. While the rice method saved a wet Samsung Android phone of ours, it didn't do the same for an iPhone that had been dropped in the toilet. Again, all these methods are highly dependent on what sort of phone or gadget you have and how bad the water damage is.

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quicklist: 2category: Dry Out Tip #2title: Bheestie Bags url: text: Silica gel packets are an alternative to rice. And a company called Bheestie actually sells a special bag that is meant just for saving your wet gadgets. The bag costs $18.14 (or $20.00 at some places) and has special packets inside. They aren't your typical silica gel packets either -- the little packets have a special molecular sieve desiccant formula, according to the company. Open the bag, drop your phone in for 24 hours, and the phone might just come out working again. The bag did work with an old BlackBerry, but we didn't have an extra iPhone for a test. According to the company, the bag soaks up water 700 percent better than rice. It is available through Amazon.com and other e-tailers.

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quicklist: 3category: Preventive Tip #1title: Waterproof Case, Lifeproof url: http://www.lifeproof.com/text: Of course, there is no surefire way to know if you will be able to save your phone once it has suffered water damage. But there are a few ways to make sure your phone doesn't get damaged in the first place. The first way? Buy a waterproof phone case.

One of the best choices is a case from Lifeproof. The $80 case is pricey but it is waterproof down to depths of six feet. It is also shockproof and dust-proof. It's easy to get on, though there are a few steps first (cleaning it out, etc.). When we dunked it in a pool we were able to actually take pictures with it underwater. Thankfully, we also made sure the charging port was closed before jumping in the shallow end. There are also other waterproof cases from companies like Outterbox and DryCASE.

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quicklist: 3category: Preventive Tip #2 title: Liquipel url: text: But there's a downside to those cases. They are clunky and include a plastic coating on top of your screen, which is why Liquipel is one of the coolest solutions out there. Liquidpel isn't an actual case but rather a special treatment that can make your phone entirely waterproof.

You send your phone off to the company. They apply a water-safe coating to your phone and send it back to you. The most insane part? When you get the phone back, you won't be able to tell the difference. It doesn't add any weight to your phone and it really is hard even to see the coating.

Liquipel says the treatment is more for prevention -- in case you spill something on your phone or drop it in a toilet -- but we decided to throw it in a pool. When we fished it out it and dried it off it was as if nothing had happened.

The treatment is available for the iPhone and a number of Android phones, including the Droid RAZR Maxx and the Galaxy Nexus. The price depends on how quickly you want the phone turned around and where you live, but it starts at $59.00.

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