Most of us are very careful to keep our cell phones dry, and cell phones are generally made to withstand some minor water exposure. The problem comes when you completely immerse a phone in water. At that point, you face the question, “How can I fix my cell phone – it got wet!”

Everyone agrees that the first thing you should do is to remove the battery from your wet cell phone. Once you take the battery out, leave your [tag-tec]phone[/tag-tec] alone. Do not try to turn it on for any reason. Turning on a wet cell phone can easily short circuit the battery and the inner workings of the phone. Once this happens, you will have no choice but to buy a replacement phone.

If your cell phone got wet in salt water, you need to take extra care. Some experts suggest that after you remove the battery, you rinse it and the phone in clean distilled water to wash away any salty residue. This prevents additional corrosion of your phone.

Next, take a dry cloth or a paper towel and gently try to get as much water off the cell phone and battery as you can.

Now you need to give your wet cell phone at least three to four days to dry out. You can assist the drying process by placing your phone on a warm air vent, such as the top of a computer monitor or a cable box, or you can place it in front of a low-speed fan. Placing it near an air conditioning vent may actually speed up the drying process while preventing the risk of warping or melting that using heat can cause.

You can try to accelerate the drying process by placing your phone in a container of uncooked dry rice. This will help to absorb the liquid more quickly. You can also seal the individual parts of your cell phone in a plastic bag with some small silica packs such as those found in shoes or electronics. Leave them in the bag for a few days and the silica should absorb most of the moisture from the cell phone parts.

After a few days, look at your cell phone carefully. If it appears dry, attach the battery and try to turn it on. If it works, you can be very grateful and get on with your life. However, if it won’t work, take the battery off again and let the phone continue to dry for another day or so. If it still doesn’t work after this, it may be time to try a new tactic.

There are alternate methods for drying your phone using denatured alcohol but they are somewhat controversial and probably best left to experts.

If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, there are companies who will evaluate and repair your wet cell phone. In the event that they can’t actually repair the phone, sometimes a good technician can at least recover some of the data from your SIM card so you don’t lose all of your personal information.

As your absolute last resort, contact your cell phone provider and see if they can repair or replace your phone. Don’t be embarrassed to say, “How can I fix my cell phone – it got wet!” You weren’t the first one to do this and you won’t be the last.