Cell phone in the toilet. Can it be saved?

Plugged-in Parent to the rescue


By Sharon Miller Cindrich


Q My daughter dropped her cell phone in the school toilet accidentally. Is there any chance it can be saved?

A The answer is yes! Water damage is one of the most common causes of damage for mobile phones-and many other electronic devices that end up in the toilet, the washing machine or even a puddle. Before you panic, try these simple steps to save your waterlogged gadget.

• Don't turn it on. It may be tempting to see if it still works, but don't press the "on" button. Attempting to power up your device might short-circuit it and cause unnecessary damage.

• Remove the battery. You may notice that there is a water damage sticker that turns color if the phone is submerged. Even if the sticker turns color, your phone may still come back to life if dried out properly.

• Don't dry your phone out with a hair dryer, microwave or oven. Blot the phone dry with a paper towel to the best of your ability. Then submerge the phone components in dry rice overnight. Rice naturally draws the water away from the device.

You can also put the device in a sealed plastic bag with the silica gel packets that comes in the toes and pockets of shoes and new clothes.

• Do be patient. Phones can take up to a week to dry out completely.

• Wait at least 24-48 hours or as long as you can before reinstalling the battery and turning the phone on.

• Don't forget to disinfect. Even if your phone landed in a toilet of fresh water, germs may be present. Use a disinfectant wipe to clean the outside of the phone once the device has dried out.


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