Quick tip: how to save your phone after dropping it in (boiling) water

Here is an excerpt from an email I sent last night. If you don’t know me and just want to know how to save your phone, information pills feel free to jump over it:

So while I was boiling my pasta tonight, apparently my body had the urge to include some additional ingredients for once as I found myself inadvertently add my Blackberry to the mix.

Whilst boiling, it cried out to me “Heathenous traitor! Spare me!” ..Whatever, don’t call me names then expect my help. Also, I eat cows and chickens with a clear conscience, I can eat a phone too. Then in a last-ditch effort it blurted “Without me, thou shall never text cute girls again!” I immediately decided that blackberries might not go very well with pasta anyway, so I removed it and pulled the battery out.

It is currently getting the Lazarus Treatment in a closed up shoebox with 14 ounces of desiccant (a 60 day supply for a closet). Hopefully I made the right choice, because after the desiccant, the Blackberry will be all dry and flavorless anyway.

Like most other fruit, I would imagine that Blackberries are fat-free and low in calories but I have a hard time envisioning that the contain many vitamins or antioxidants.

Do you have any idea of the Nutrition Facts or whether I made the right decision?
– Sean

In hopes that it may help others out, here are some things you can do to save your phone if you drop it in water…

  • If you are fortunate enough to read this BEFORE your phone goes for a swim: remember to take out the battery as quickly as possible. Don’t even bother shutting the phone off if you have a removable battery. In the case of iPhones or other devices where the battery isn’t removable, turn those off as fast as possible. If you remove the battery or at least get the phone off before it dies (short circuits) on its own, you have a good chance of saving it. If you have a sim card, it’s best to yank that too, but it can wait until the battery is out.
  • Alright, assuming your phone is chilling without a battery – the next step is to dry it off, shake it to get the water out, etc.
  • The next part is a great idea that I was given via twitter from my friend Nick: go find a desiccant to suck all of the moisture out of the phone. You can grab some at Home Depot or Lowes (which is where I found it). An example of a desiccant is DampRid (link has a picture).
  • Using a desiccant to dry a cellphone (click to enlarge)

    Using a desiccant to dry a cellphone (click to enlarge)

    Leave the phone open (battery out and cover off) and put it in a small container with the desiccant for as long as you can comfortably stand not having your phone. In my case, the phone was in the box for 8 hours and it came out just fine. If your phone was submerged longer or didn’t shake out as well, it might take longer. If you’re patient, I’d recommend 24 hours but I just made that number up so take it with a grain of salt. ;) I had happened to buy some new shoes yesterday so I had the box right there… since the DampRid I got was a hanging variety, I hung it up in there (see pic to the right) and then closed the lid and let it sit.
  • Pop that battery back in and cross your fingers!

I was fortunate enough to have my phone survive. The $9 for the desiccant might have been the factor that saved me from having to replace a $400 phone (I’m all out of free-upgrades!).

Although my BlackBerry (and most phones) are fortunate enough to have a removable battery, don’t despair if you have an iPhone: the unmistakable John Hann reports of having tried to use his iPhone to season his baby-stew and it was also able to survive by being shut off and allowed to dry.

Hope that helps someone!

5 thoughts on “Quick tip: how to save your phone after dropping it in (boiling) water

  1. I had the pleasure to try a delicious Orange Borscht lightly seasoned with Motorola Razr. Unfortunately the cellular seasoning an I didn’t part on the most amicable of terms. I find that they work much better when not exposed to the harsh acids present in tomato paste…

    Glad to hear your situation worked out much better. (What is it about foods that make them such phone magnets?)

  2. Pingback: Quick tip: how to save your phone after dropping it in (boiling) water | TechScience

  3. Yes, pull the battery out right away and shake out as much water as you can. Placing it into a ziploc bag full of plain uncooked white rice for a few days will remove the rest of the moisture.

  4. Man I wish I could have found this article before I dropped my cell phone into a glass of water by sitting by the pool. That one really cost me $$$ for a new one. Great article and I copied it so that in case I ever need it again (hope not).

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