How do you fix a phone that has been water damaged for a long time?

If your phone has been exposed to water for an extended period of time, there are several steps you can take to try and fix it. The sooner you act, the better chance you have of saving your phone.

What to do immediately if your phone gets wet

If your phone has been in contact with water, it’s important to act quickly:

  • Remove the phone from the water source immediately.
  • Turn the phone off and remove any attached batteries or accessories.
  • Gently wipe away any excess moisture using a clean towel or cloth.
  • Do not try to charge the phone or turn it on.

Trying to power on a wet phone can short circuit it and make the damage permanent. Skipping these initial steps and allowing the phone to sit in water for a prolonged period will likely result in irreparable damage.

Assessing the water damage

Once you’ve immediately removed your phone from the water, you’ll want to assess the extent of the damage:

  • How long was the phone exposed to water? The longer it was submerged, the more components may have been impacted.
  • What kind of liquid was it? Water alone causes less corrosion than saltwater or chlorinated water from a pool or hot tub.
  • Which areas of the phone got wet? Were ports or openings exposed to moisture?
  • Is the phone displaying any immediate signs of water damage like no power, blurry screen, etc.?

Figuring out this information will give you a better idea of how to proceed with fixing your water damaged phone.

Try removing all moisture

If your phone was only exposed to water briefly, removing any lingering moisture may allow it to function again once completely dry:

  • Leave the phone powered off and remove any batteries/SIM cards.
  • Use a microfiber cloth to gently dry the surface and ports.
  • Absorb excess moisture with dry rice in an airtight bag or container for 24-48 hours.
  • Use a vacuum on suction mode around phone openings to pull out water.
  • Place the phone in front of a fan to circulate air and dry it out completely.

Be patient during the drying process and resist trying to turn on your phone before it has had time to completely air out. Leaving it to dry for several days can allow lingering moisture to evaporate.

Clean with rubbing alcohol

Using rubbing alcohol is an effective way to remove corrosion and mineral deposits left behind after water exposure:

  • Dilute some isopropyl alcohol with distilled water at a 1:1 ratio.
  • Dip a cotton swab or toothbrush in the solution and gently scrub away corrosion on the phone.
  • Be sure to get into small ports and scrub any areas that look discolored.
  • Let the phone dry fully before trying to turn it on again.

Be very careful not to get any liquids inside the phone while cleaning. Rubbing alcohol can displace water and help dissolve mineral deposits and corrosion to get your phone working again.

Use a phone drying kit

You can purchase dedicated phone drying kits that are designed to extract moisture:

  • Phone drying kits contain absorbent materials to pull out water.
  • They may also include cleaning solutions to dissolve mineral deposits.
  • Follow the instructions to place your phone in the kit for 1-3 days.
  • The kit should remove moisture from inside the phone to get it working again.

Phone drying kits offer a convenient, all-in-one way to dry out and clean your phone after water exposure. They can help protect sensitive internal electronics from corrosion.

Try a bag of silica gel packs

Silica gel packs work to actively absorb moisture:

  • Place several silica gel packs in an airtight bag or container.
  • Put your wet phone in the bag and seal it closed.
  • Leave your powered-off phone in for 1-3 days so the packs can absorb moisture.
  • The silica gel beads will help draw water out of your phone.

You can find silica gel packs in shoe boxes, food packaging, and products that ship with them to absorb moisture. Using them to actively dry out your phone can pull water out of small crevices.

Use a vacuum

You can use a regular vacuum to suction water out from openings and crevices in your phone:

  • Make sure your phone is powered off and batteries are removed.
  • Use the narrow suction tool on a vacuum to reach into phone ports and holes.
  • Gently vacuum around buttons, speakers, mics, and charging ports.
  • The vacuum can extract pooled water and lower humidity inside the phone.

Take care not to press the suction firmly against any openings to avoid damaging water-exposed components. A light suction can remove traces of moisture without harming delicate electronics.

Try an ultrasonic cleaner

An ultrasonic cleaner uses high frequency vibrations to clean delicate electronics:

  • Fill the tank with distilled water and a small amount of mild soap.
  • Power off your phone, remove batteries and place in the tank.
  • Run a 5 minute ultrasonic cleaning cycle to vibrate away moisture.
  • Rinse and dry the phone thoroughly.

The agitation from ultrasonic waves can help displace trapped water in small spaces inside your phone. This helps reduce mineral deposits and corrosion after drying.

Use moisture-absorbing packs

Packs of moisture-absorbing beads can soak up liquid from inside your phone:

  • Get moisture-absorbing packs designed for electronics.
  • Remove batteries from phone and place packs inside.
  • Seal your powered-off phone in a bag with packs for 2-3 days.
  • The packs will draw out and absorb water from the phone’s interior.

These moisture-absorbing packs contain hydroscopic beads that attract water molecules. Placing them inside your phone helps pull droplets out of tight spaces.

Dry with desiccant packs

Desiccant packs work to actively absorb humidity and moisture:

  • Place several desiccant packs in an airtight container.
  • Put your wet phone in and seal for 1-2 days.
  • The material will extract moisture from inside your phone.
  • Desiccant packs prevent mold/mildew from moisture damage.

Desiccants are moisture-absorbing substances like silica gel. Letting them actively dry out the inside of your phone removes moisture from electronics.

Use a dehumidifier

A dehumidifier can remove moisture from the air and your phone:

  • Power off and open your phone to expose interior parts.
  • Place near a portable dehumidifier in a room or enclosed space.
  • Run the dehumidifier for 6-12 hours to reduce humidity.
  • Lower ambient humidity will draw moisture from inside the phone.

Phone interiors can take days to fully dry out on their own. A dehumidifier speeds up the process by actively reducing moisture in the surrounding air.

Try a DIY dry box

You can make a dry box to contain desiccants and your phone:

  • Get a sealable plastic storage bin and desiccant packs.
  • Line the bottom of the bin with packs and place phone inside.
  • Seal the container and leave for 48 hours to dry out.
  • The enclosed space uses desiccants to actively absorb moisture.

Even an airtight container alone helps prevent ambient humidity from reaching the phone. Adding desiccant packs enhances moisture removal for thorough drying.

Use dry uncooked rice

Uncooked rice can work to absorb moisture from a wet phone:

  • Fill a sealable bag or box with uncooked rice.
  • Bury your phone in the rice so it’s completely covered.
  • Seal the container and leave your phone submerged for 2-3 days.
  • The rice will gradually absorb moisture from the phone’s interior.

The rice method is a low-cost way to passively draw moisture out of your phone. Just make sure to give the phone ample time buried in the rice to dry completely.

Do not use a microwave or other heat source

It may be tempting to speed up drying with heat but this can severely damage your phone:

  • Do not try to dry your phone in a microwave, oven, or other heat source.
  • Excessive heat can melt phone components and wires.
  • High temperatures may loosen phone adhesives and cause detachment.
  • The phone could overheat, rupture or even catch fire from heat exposure.

While moisture and corrosion pose risks to an exposed phone, applying concentrated heat can essentially “cook” the sensitive electronics and compounds the damage.

Avoid getting moisture in openings

When cleaning and drying your phone, be very careful not to introduce more moisture into openings:

  • Don’t try to charge or power on your phone while wet.
  • Keep liquids away from the charger port, earphone jack, etc.
  • Do not immerse the phone body in cleaning solutions.
  • Use a toothpick or canned air to clear moisture from ports.

Getting cleaning liquids or moisture into the phone’s ports and openings can spread the water damage. Avoid wetting these areas further when trying to dry out your phone.


Dealing with a phone that has been exposed to water for a prolonged period takes patience. Avoid turning on the phone until it has had plenty of time to dry out completely. Use moisture-absorbing substances and seals to actively extract water rather than just passively air drying. With diligent moisture removal methods, there is a chance of salvaging a phone from long-term water damage. Just don’t expect immediate results-allow several days for your phone to fully dry before testing it out again.