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How to dry out a cell screen

Updated July 20, 2017

Your cell phone screen displays information from your phone, but when it gets wet you must act fast. Water damages electronic devices because water conducts electricity. Inside your phone are tiny circuit boards meant to conduct electricity in a specific way. When water is present, electricity passes through new paths, causing your phone to short-circuit. This damage can often be avoided by quickly drying your cell phone screen.

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  1. Remove your cell phone's battery immediately. Eliminate power as quickly as possible, immediately after the cell phone screen gets wet if you can.

  2. Remove the SIM card. Each cell phone has a slightly different location for the cell phone, but most often it is located underneath the battery. It is a small thin card that should be removed and set aside safely.

  3. Blow-dry your cell phone screen with your compressed air. Use short bursts to move the water away from your cell phone.

  4. Pour your uncooked rice into a bowl large enough to fit your cell phone. Place your cell phone in the bowl of uncooked rice. Let the rice cover your cell phone and leave it there overnight. The rice naturally draws moisture away from your cell phone screen.

  5. Remove your cell phone from the uncooked rice and dust it off with your fingers. Restore the battery to your phone, but not your SIM card.

  6. Activate your phone. If the screen appears to be working correctly, turn it back off, remove the battery and install the SIM card. Restore the battery and use your dry phone like normal. If the screen is not working properly, your information is saved on the SIM card, which cannot get fried when it is not attached to your cell phone.

  7. Tip

    Use short bursts of compressed air to avoid your compressed air can getting too cold to hold. If your cell phone screen is wet with salt water, rinse it with fresh water after removing the battery and before drying it with compressed air. The fresh water removes the salt, which would otherwise be left over in the seams of your cell phone screen. Use silica gel packets instead of uncooked rice if you have them handy. However, time is of the essence, so do not waste time shopping for silica gel packets after your screen is already wet.


    Do not plug a cell phone in or try to turn it on while it is wet. This will fry the circuits. Do not use your mouth or a hair dryer to dry your phone. Blowing with your mouth will leave more moisture on the phone and using a hair dryer will bake the internal circuits.

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Things You'll Need

  • Compressed air
  • Uncooked rice
  • Bowl

About the Author

Tom Fritchman is a freelancer who has been writing professionally since 2009. His first writing credit was actually a stage play called "Window Watching" performed at the Northmont Auditorium in Clayton, Ohio. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in language and literature from Wright State University.

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