Can you shake water out of phone?

Getting your phone wet can be a scary experience. One of the first things many people try is shaking their phone, hoping the water will come flying out so their phone will be saved. But does shaking a wet phone actually get the water out? Let’s take a look at whether shaking can remove water from a phone.

Quick Answer: Can You Shake Water Out of a Phone?

The quick answer is no, you cannot effectively shake water out of a phone. While shaking or flipping a phone may cause a few droplets to fly out, it does not remove all the water that has seeped inside. The best way to get water out of a phone is to use desiccant packets or a fan to thoroughly dry the phone’s internal components.

Why Shaking Doesn’t Work

There are a few reasons why shaking is not effective at removing water from a phone:

Water Gets Trapped Internally

When water gets into a phone, it can seep beneath the screen, into ports, microphones, speakers and other crevices. Shaking only removes droplets on the surface but cannot dislodge water trapped internally.

Surface Tension Holds Water In Place

Water adheres to surfaces due to surface tension. So when water gets into the nooks and crannies of a phone, surface tension essentially glues it in place. Shaking does not provide enough force to break this surface tension.

Capillary Action Draws Water Deeper

Capillary action causes water to spread into tight spaces within a porous material. In a phone, this draws water deeper into the device. Shaking does not counteract this phenomenon.

Dangers of Shaking a Wet Phone

Not only is shaking ineffective for water removal, but it can actually cause further damage:

May Spread Water to New Areas

Shaking or flipping can cause water to spread to new areas instead of moving it out. This allows more components to get damaged.

Can Dislodge Internal Components

Vigorous shaking may break loose small parts inside a phone if they are already weakened by water. This can permanently destroy the phone.

Risks Additional Cracks or Breakage

If the phone already has any external cracks from the water exposure, shaking applies pressure that can cause cracks to spread or glass to break.

Effective Ways to Remove Water

While shaking doesn’t help remove water, there are methods that are effective:

Use Desiccant Packets

Desiccant packets absorb moisture. Place the phone and several packets in an airtight bag for 24-48 hours. The packets will draw water out of the phone.

Use a Fan to Dry It

Point a fan directly at the phone to speed up evaporation. This works best if you can disassemble the phone to expose its interior parts.

Clean with Isopropyl Alcohol

Use a cotton swab dipped in 90%+ isopropyl alcohol to clean water-exposed parts. This displaces any water. Be sure to dry immediately with a fan.

Submerge in Rice

Rice can absorb a small amount of moisture. Bury the phone in a bowl of rice for at least 24 hours. The rice will gradually pull out some water.

Method How It Works Effectiveness
Shaking Phone Tries to shake out water droplets Not effective
Desiccant Packets Absorb moisture from air and phone Very effective
Fan Drying Speeds up evaporation of water Very effective
Isopropyl Alcohol Displaces water and dries quickly Effective
Rice Absorb a small amount of moisture Moderately effective

This table summarizes how different methods work to dry out a phone and ranks their effectiveness. Shaking does little to remove water, while desiccant and fans are very effective.

Steps to Dry a Wet Phone

Here are the recommended steps to take when drying a wet phone:

1. Remove Phone Case and Battery

Take off any protective case, if possible. Remove the phone battery and SIM card to prevent further damage.

2. Wipe Away Excess Water

Use a microfiber cloth to gently wipe away any pooled water on the surface. Get into crevices and ports.

3. Dry with Fan

Use a fan or hairdryer on low setting to blow air across the phone to accelerate drying. Keep phone disassembled.

4. Place in Sealed Bag with Desiccants

Put phone and several desiccant packs in a sealed plastic bag. Leave for 24-48 hours so desiccants can absorb moisture.

5. Clean Contacts with Alcohol

Use isopropyl alcohol and cotton swabs to gently clean any exposed contacts or connectors. Let air dry before reassembly.

6. Check for Lingering Moisture

Inspect all components for remaining water before reassembling. Repeat drying if needed.

7. Reassemble and Test Phone

Allow phone to fully dry out over 72 hours before reassembly. Once reassembled, check phone thoroughly.

Following these steps can give you the best chance of saving a wet phone and avoiding permanent damage. Avoid shaking as it will not remove water effectively.

Signs of Liquid Damage in a Phone

If a phone has been exposed to moisture, either from submersion or splashes, there are certain signs to look for:

Visible Water Bubbles

Bubbles visible underneath the screen or camera lens indicate water was able to penetrate internally. May indicate serious damage.

Condensation Under Glass

Look for fogging or condensation under the front and back glass panels. Condensation means water got inside.

Oxidation on Ports or Contacts

Check if the ports or exposed metallic contacts have any rust coloration or oxidation. This signals water exposure.

Muffled or Distorted Sound

Water in the speaker, microphone or headphone jack can cause audio to sound muted, quiet or crackly.

Unresponsive Buttons

If buttons are slow or unresponsive, with delayed reaction time, liquid may have seeped behind them.

Syncing or Charging Issues

Problems with functions like syncing, charging or data transfer can indicate damage to ports and connections.

Short Battery Life

Excess moisture in a battery compartment can reduce battery efficiency and lifespan. Device may die faster.

If you notice any of these warning signs, it’s best to thoroughly dry out the device as liquid has likely penetrated inside. Don’t try to shake out the water. Instead use desiccants, fans and isopropyl alcohol as outlined.

Does Phone Water Damage Warranty Cover?

Will phone water damage be covered under a warranty or insurance plan? Here are the typical policies:

Manufacturer Warranty

The limited manufacturer warranty does NOT cover any water damage to a phone. It is considered accidental damage.

Retailer Warranty

Extra warranties purchased through a retailer may cover water damage, if specifically stated. Read terms closely.

Homeowners or Renters Insurance

Some insurance policies may cover accidental water damage to phones, similar to other personal belongings.

Cell Phone Insurance Plans

Phone insurance plans often cover water damage, charging just a deductible fee for a replacement.

Extended Service Plans

Additional service plans from wireless providers can cover water damage, for an added monthly fee.

Unless you purchased extra coverage, standard warranties will not cover water damage repairs. This provides more incentive to properly dry a wet phone yourself.

Tips to Keep Your Phone Dry

It’s much easier to prevent your phone from getting wet than to try and dry it out after water exposure. Here are useful precautions:

– Use a Waterproof Case

Invest in a certified waterproof phone case from a reputable brand if you will have your device around water.

– Apply a Screen Protector

A quality screen protector creates a barrier that can keep water from seeping beneath the display.

– Avoid Baths and Showers with Phone

Don’t bring your phone into humid bath or shower environments where it can easily get splashed.

– Keep Away from Sinks and Pools

Be cautious using your phone near pools, sinks, beaches and other bodies of water where it could get dunked.

– Never Submerge Intentionally

Don’t intentionally submerge your phone underwater, even if claiming to be water resistant. Accidents happen.

– Wipe Off Any Splashes

If your phone does get a little wet, wipe it dry immediately with a clean, absorbent cloth.

Staying vigilant will go a long way towards preventing fluid damage. But if your phone happens to take an accidental dip, resist the urge to shake it. Use our recommended drying techniques instead to give your phone the best chance of survival.

Can Rice Actually Save a Wet Phone?

One of the most widespread beliefs is that placing a wet phone in rice can absorb the moisture and save the device. But how well does this method really work?

How the Rice Method Works

The concept is that rice will act as a desiccant by pulling moisture from the air and phone interior. The dry rice grains slowly extract water through the process of absorption.

Effectiveness of the Rice Method

Studies have shown that rice absorbs under 5% of its weight in water. So rice can only extract a very small amount of water from a soaked phone. It works moderately at best.

Downsides of the Rice Method

Too often, people leave phones in rice for just a few hours. For any effectiveness, the phone needs to buried in rice for a full 24-48 hours. Also, rice can leave behind dust or residue.

Alternatives to the Rice Method

Instead of uncooked rice, use purpose-made desiccants that absorb much more moisture, or use a fan/heater to fully dry out the phone’s internal components.

Verdict on the Rice Method

In a pinch, rice may absorb a bit of phone surface moisture. But it is a very limited fix. Relying solely on rice is risky compared to more thorough drying techniques. Don’t let it give you a false sense of security.

So don’t put all your faith in the mythic powers of rice. While it can help draw moisture in some circumstances, it is far from the most effective solution. Use rice in combination with other drying methods. Or better yet, take preventative steps so your phone never gets wet in the first place!


Getting moisture inside your phone can be a scary situation. Many people’s first instinct is to shake the phone vigorously or flip it upside down, hoping the water will come flying out so the phone is saved. But unfortunately, shaking a wet phone simply does not remove enough water to prevent damage.

Shaking is ineffective because water gets trapped internally beneath the screen and in other tight spaces. The only way to thoroughly dry a phone’s internal components is using desiccant packets, fans, isopropyl alcohol and/or rice. Don’t waste time shaking your phone. Instead, follow the recommended steps to maximize your chances of rescuing a wet phone.

Prevention is also key. Use waterproof cases and screen protectors to avoid the situation altogether. And never intentionally submerge your phone, even if it claims to be water resistant. By staying vigilant and avoiding shakes in favor of proper drying techniques, you can survive occasional water mishaps. Just remember that when asking “Can you shake water out of a phone?” the answer is a definitive no.