Actual Practical Advice For When Your Phone Falls In The Toilet


Given how expensive smartphones are, you would think we’d all be a little more careful not to break them so regularly. And yet, here we are, fishing our iPhone out of a public toilet (again).

So if you’re hoping to revive your phone from it’s watery grave with some technological CPR, then look no further.

This is all you need to remember in your inevitable moment of panic.

Larry Bray via Getty Images

The Rice

This trick has been around as long as the smartphone itself, there’s even evidence of it being used to resuscitate a Nokia back in 2000. But it seems the world still cannot decide on whether there is a grain of truth in the rice theory.

Yes, logically it would stand that rice helps to absorb water from your phone as it is a mild desiccant, but usually the minute quantities of water that are left within the tiny components actually doing damage aren’t going to be miraculously sucked out by basmati.

The only benefit to this socially-accepted witchcraft seems to be that it buys your phone time to sit, untouched, without us prodding and trying to turn it on. Which leads us to....

Phone Suicide

Whatever you do, do not turn that phone on. Even if your mother-in-law is expecting your call, going into meltdown panic mode and trying to turn it on is basically committing phone homicide of the first degree.

Instead, dry it off with a towel, take out the battery and sim card, and just leave all components in a dry place (a shelf will do, you really don’t need the rice).

Give the phone 24-48 hours to sit without fiddling (even prodding the buttons could move water around inside and push it further in). No exceptions. Patience really is a virtue here.

And if you can’t physically exert enough willpower to keep your paws away from those buttons, put it in the rice bowl and tell yourself it’s doing its magic.


During the intense 24 hour period of “no hands on the phone” (no matter how tempting) this also includes trying to use a hairdryer from a distance to speed up the drying process.

Artificial heat, no matter what you might think, will just melt half of the delicate parts inside the phone and truely cause you problems.

This also applies to microwaves.

Silica Gel

While your phone is turned off for a day or two, if you really want to get involved somehow, silica gel pouches are a much more efficient way (although admittedly less available in the kitchen cupboard) of absorbing any potential water than rice.

You can either use the ones that you get in the box with new trainers (mental note to self, great excuse to buy new shoes and start saving them now rather than looking for them post-incident).

And if you don’t have any of these lifesavers to hand when the fateful day comes, then you can buy silica gel packets (they are just tiny gel beads) online.

Salt Water

We’re not suggesting that you have a salt water toilet at home, but we lose track of the number of people who have taken the perfect Instagramable beach selfie and then casually careered into the sea with their phone still in their pocket.

In the case of such a holiday from hell, just remember, when your phone is submerged in salt water your number one enemy is the salt and not the water.

So after you have retrieved your device from the ocean, rinse it in fresh water to get rid of the salt. Otherwise the dried salt will do more damage to your phone than the water itself. Then repeat the steps above.