How to Save Your Phone When it Falls in the Toilet

Did you drop your phone in the toilet? There's a cure for that!

toilet phoneyangtak/Shutterstock

Try to imagine life without your mobile phone. Scary, isn’t it? Your phone is now your wallet, camera, map for directions and resource for answering a wide variety of questions, including “how to unclog a toilet?” The more we rely on our phone, however, the more likely we are to have it on us at all times, which means we’re more likely to drop it and crack the screen, or worse yet, fumble it into the pool, the sink filled with soapy water or even the toilet.

So, when your phone does land in the toilet, what should you do?

First thing’s first: You need to know what not to do.

“Do not charge it. Do not plug it in to see if it works. If it’s on, electricity will flow, it will touch the water that’s inside and that’s when your fry the (circuit) board,” says Gary Tan with DE iPhone repair, a San Francisco-based company. Electricity kills a wet phone, but what saves it?

Here are three options from least to most expensive:

  1. Sometimes the simplest thing works the best. If you place the phone in a warm (not hot) dry cupboard for a few days, sometimes that’s enough to draw out the unwanted moisture and this method is free.
  2. The second method is controversial. Some people swear by the method of submerging the phone in a bowl of uncooked white rice. The theory is that the dry rice will absorb the excess moisture. Opponents of this method say you’re subjecting your device to dust and starch, which is not a great idea, however many people have had success and a bag of white rice costs around $2.
  3. And the third method is the one that’ll cost you $70 to $100. We found several companies that rescue phones by providing a drying chamber that speeds up the drying out process to around 30 minutes. TekDry (yes, you saw them on Shark Tank), ReDux (they have a subscription option for frequent driers) and DryBox operate on the idea that the best way to dry out a phone is to boil off the water. Place the soaked phone inside a drying chamber that sucks out the air, creating a partial vacuum. The low pressure boils off water at 75 degrees F, with the water trapped in your phone converting to vapor at a temperature that won’t melt anything. If you’re interested in learning more about these phone drying services check out their sites for details. You can enter your location to find out if there’s a place near you that offers the service. TekDry is available in many Staples stores and they also offer a mail-in service.

If your phone is toast, here’s what you should do with it.

If your phone isn’t damaged, and you simply want to clean it, check out these tips.

When your phone is working again, be sure to check out these 16 tips for using your smartphone for DIY projects.

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Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer, currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine, and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty, and scientific news. Follow her traveling adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: [email protected], and check out her website: livingbylex.com