How to fix a phone with water damage

Updated: March 12, 2023
6 min read
How to fix a phone with water damage
by Christine Tomas
Tech Expert & Writer
Checked by
Quality Control team

Since iPhone 7, phones tend to receive IP67 and IP68 water protection, which makes them water resistant. However, there are still cases of water-damaged cell phones. Manufacturers do not exclude the possibility of liquid (water, juice, etc.) getting into the device.

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So, they start to disclaim responsibility for possible consequences. If your phone is glitching after water damage, the warranty doesn’t cover the device.

Thus, we want to give you instructions on how to fix a phone that fell in the water and bust some myths that could harm you.

Liquid damage happens when you least expect it

No matter how phone manufacturers promote their phones as water resistant, it still catches drops. So you may ask yourself how to fix your phone from water damage.

When this happens unexpectedly, you may get lost and not know what to do to keep the phone functioning. Stick to the following instructions to fix a phone that fell in the water.

What does iPhone water damage look like

What happens to the insides of a phone, its motherboard at the moment when moisture gets inside the device? Apple uses lead-free soldering in its devices.  This means that all soldered elements are extremely corrosive. Apple claims they use such materials by international standards. Still, the fact remains that iPhones’ boards, cables, etc. are highly susceptible to destruction under even slightly aggressive environments (which water is in this case).

And other phone manufacturers are following them in this trend. So when you drop an Android phone in water, it most likely catches drops. It leads to a series of short circuits, causing rapid oxidation of components and an electronic’s failure. That is why if any contact with liquid has occurred, it is crucial to fix a phone dropped in water as soon as possible.

How to fix a phone with water damage

How to fix a wet phone: short emergency instruction

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Take your device out of the water and follow these steps.

  1. Turn off the phone.
  2. Wipe it with a microfiber cloth.
  3. Shake the remnants of water out of all ports and slots of your phone.
  4. Let it dry for a day.

Don’t connect a phone to a charger. If you drop a phone in the water while charging it, stop the charging immediately.

How do you fix a phone that fell in the water: 5 steps to save the device

If you did all the steps from the above’s list, and your device is damaged by water, don’t rush to turn it on. Don’t open the SIM card slot immediately. Don’t turn on a waterlogged phone even if you want it bad: it may lead to a short circuit. So your phone’s details may burn down.

Leave a phone for a while. Try the below instructions on how to fix a wet phone. If none help you, contact our expert and tell them the details of your case. They will give you custom instructions for a phone with water in it, which perfectly suits your situation.

How to fix a phone with water damage

Don’t delay the correct treatment. It may cost you a phone. Corrosion destroys more elements of the device. You should fix a water-damaged phone as soon as possible.

Turn it off

Shut down the device as soon as possible — every second counts. Even the shortest delay can lead to a short circuit. If your phone is already off, don’t turn it on.

Wipe the phone

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Take a fry microfiber cloth to wipe the phone where you can. It can help you to remove water from the display.

Don’t choose a cotton pad or wool cloth: those materials have lint that may stick to phone details. It can lead to further damage. So, instead of fixing a water-damaged phone, you’ll eventually break it.

Gently shake the device

Tilt the device holes down and gently shake it. This action can help remove some water from inside the device.

But do it gently, otherwise, water drops can hit the phone. So you can create even more harm. If you want to remove water damage from the phone, do everything slowly and smoothly.

Remove the SIM

This is the fourth step of your repair journey. We strongly recommend you remove the SIM only after you wipe the device and shake the water from it. Otherwise, water from the phone could fill in the space of the SIM tray.

Dry out the phone

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Let your phone dry for at least 6-8 hours. It would be great if you leave it for 30-40 hours. During this period, your phone will dry naturally.

If this instruction didn’t help you to fix a water-damaged phone, it could be a severe hardware malfunction. Contact Howly experts to get additional custom guidelines.

3 most harmful myths about cell phone water damage

The Internet is full of various articles with tips on what one can do to fix a waterlogged phone. Honestly, most online advice is misconceptions that do not help but only waste valuable time. We gather the three most harmful tips that could destroy your device.

A phone “porridge”

The most common harmful advice is to put your phone in raw rice. You don’t need to cook such an “exotic dish”. Although rice is highly hygroscopic, it cannot help dry gaps between the microcircuits. It won’t repair the device but may cause more trouble.

Phone’s “juice”

Some people may put a wet device into a pack of dried fruit (we saw an article that claimed such dried fruits should be dried apples). It was an important condition that the device must previously be dropped into salty water and not into fresh water.

It sounds like a bad joke, but some people will take it seriously. So, they just waste valuable time fixing a waterlogged phone.

Drying the screen with hot air

Another myth is that it is enough to dry your wet gadget with a hairdryer or put it on a heater. Some say it may contribute to evaporation. But in reality, hot air won’t get inside the phone. Drying will slow and you will lose time. So, a phone's details may start rotting. Plus, using a hair dryer or other heating devices can easily damage electronic components.

How to fix a phone with water damage


How long does it take for water to kill a phone?

There are no well-defined time limits to save your phone. It all depends on the nature of the water damage. But one thing can be said for sure – the faster you react, the more chances of success you have.

Can a waterproof phone be damaged by water?

Yes, it can. Such phones resist water under certain conditions, often at a particular depth (up to 5 feet) and for a certain period of time (30-60 minutes). The conditions are different for each waterproof phone model.

Can I use something else instead of rice to dry out my phone?

If you really want to shove your device somewhere, you can use cat litter, especially crystal-based. Silica gel proves to be very effective in absorbing liquids. However, we recommend taking your device to the service center instead.


When you accidentally water damage your phone, don’t rush and don’t panic. Turn it off and put the device on a flat surface. Wipe the phone with a microfiber cloth to remove water from the phone screen. Gently shake the device to remove some water from the device. Remove the SIM card from the tray and let your phone dry naturally.

In most cases, it helps. It would be better to wait at least 8-10 hours, so the water evaporates naturally. Otherwise, it may lead to a short circuit.

If your phone catches it, you should visit a  service station or change a broken detail. But do it only if you are confident in your repair skills. If you are sure that you can fix it on your own, contact the Howly expert. We will give you personalized instructions for your phone.

Howly expert is ready to help you with your Android problem


Clara Megan
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I don’t recommend it to you. The display may overheat and will start to act up.
Invalid Date
Can I put my phone under the sun? It’s boiling in my region: 90 F!
Barry Carter
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Vacuum? It’s something new! But don’t even try it, bro. Just don’t
Invalid Date
Can I use a vacuum cleaner? maybe it will suck the water drops!
Invalid Date
looooool What’s next? Oatmeal? Sweet cereal? Those online hackers, I can’t 🤣
morgan white
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Lol, what? The article already told you “Don’t make porridge from a phone”.
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Can I put my phone in buckwheat?
Invalid Date
Yep, it’s not the best idea. Silica can absorb excessive wet from the air, but it won’t absorb water from your phone.
Invalid Date
It won’t harm your phone, but it is not effective at all. Let your phone dry naturally
Invalid Date
What if I put my phone in silica gel?
Invalid Date
In this case, yes. I think it’s possible to repair a phone. But don’t try it on your own. go to the nearest service center.
Invalid Date
Thank God, no!
Invalid Date
Did you see some smoke from it?
Invalid Date
What to do if my phone catches a short circuit?
Evan Harris
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The same thing happens to me, but with a laptop. Don’t risk it, James
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OMG! I’m so sorry, Stanley
Stanley Evans
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I would not risk it. Once I sink my radio and put it near the oil heater. I don’t do his job well. As it turned out, there was still some water inside the radio even after 4 hours near the heater. So.. Short circuit and broken radio 😭
Invalid Date
may I try to put my phone near the oil heater?
Angela Roger
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Fine guide! I Like it!
Invalid Date
Thank you!
Invalid Date
Take it from here. It won’t help me when I drown my iPhone 8 in 2020. So it’s useless. They are right about this myth
Invalid Date
But what to do if I already pull my phone in the rice?

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