Our cell phones are such an integral part of our lives that sometimes I wonder how we survived before them! When Alexander Graham Bell invented the first telephone, he probably never dreamed that it would eventually be turned into a small portable device that would include numerous other means of communication. From text messaging to tweeting to video chat, our cell phones have become one of the main modes of staying in touch with others. Thus, one of the worst things that could possibly happen in this age of constant communication is, well, losing the ability to communicate.

So, if you’ve ever dropped your cell phone in water, you probably know how stressful it can be. All your contacts, your photos, your reminders!

Well, there is great news! Your cell phone can be saved!

The most important step is to get your cell phone out of the water or liquid and remove the battery and, if your phone has one, the SIM card too. Dry these with a paper towel and set them aside.

Next, dry the phone as well as you can using a soft cloth or a paper towel. Even better? Use a hair dryer, set on the lowest setting, to dry the phone further.

Now, there are two options to saving your phone:

The first option is to get a plastic box with a lid, put the phone and some silica packets inside, and let it sit for three days. Silica packets are found in many food packages to prevent moisture.

The second option is to pour about two inches of uncooked rice into a plastic box, put your phone on top of the rice, cover the box and leave it for three days.

When you replace the SIM card and battery, your phone may just be up and running again! If not, try plugging the phone into the charger without the battery. If the phone works, you just need a new battery.

Congratulations! You’re good to connect again!


Billee Sharp is the author of Fix It. Make It. Grow It. Bake It: The D.I.Y. Guide to the Good Life. She was a contemporary art curator and gallerist in London, working with the YBA group of artists, before moving to America in 1993. She took up residence in San Francisco, where she started a family, ran an independent record label, founded a green cleaning business, curated many multimedia cultural events, and cofounded the Mission Casbah, an artisan crafts market.