How Can I Save My Wet Cell Phone?

Runner with headphones
Henrik Sorensen

"I put my cell phone in my sports bra during a long run and it got all wet from my sweat. It doesn't work now -- help! How do I save my waterlogged cell phone?"

Running with a cell phone is a great safety precaution, but there's always a chance that sweat, rain, or even a leaky water bottle could get it wet and stop it from working.

If it happens to you, here's some basic First Aid for reviving a wet cell phone:

  • Don't try to turn it on again until it's completely dried out. First, shake out as much water as you can and dry it off with a paper towel.
  • Take out the battery and the SIM card (the portable memory card) and dry them off with a paper towel. Don't try to dry the inside of the phone - you might break it.
  • Pour dry rice into a ziplock bag. Place your phone, the SIM card, and battery in the bag of rice and make sure they're covered. Seal the bag and leave everything in there overnight.
  • The next day, take everything out and clean with a damp paper towel. Put the battery and SIM card back in the phone. If it still doesn't work when you turn it on, keep it in a warm place for a while and try again.

If I'm carrying my phone in my pocket or running belt, especially during summer running, I slip it into a ziplock bag to protect it. I've never had a problem with my phone getting wet!  Check out some running belts and phone carriers that are a good place to store your (protected) cell phone.

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