How to fix a water damaged phone

Is your phone not working after dropping it in liquid or exposing it to moisture? Don’t panic just yet there is hope to get your phone working properly again. Here are a few methods that you can do to try to revive your phone and bring it back to life.

Before we proceed with the mobile phone revival process…

IF YOU’RE PHONE WAS JUST DROPPED IN WATER OR LIQUID THEN HURRY AND READ HOW TO SAVE A PHONE DROPPED IN WATER FIRST.

Otherwise if your phone has been dried and is just not functional or is not working properly then try some of these steps.

Try a different battery

If there is no response to a charger and your phone will not power on after being exposed to liquid then the first thing I recommend is to attempt to locate a different battery to try in the phone. If a friend or family member doesn’t have a battery you can barrow for a few minutes to see if it is a battery issue then you can go to a store that sells your type of phone and briefly barrow a battery from their display phone. Just tell a store representative that you want to check your battery with one that you know is working properly and they’ll usually let you try a working battery in your phone.

If you insert the battery and your phone boots up then you’ll know that it was a bad battery and you can go online and buy a nice affordable battery to replace it.

Charging and power issues are some of the most common issues resulting from liquid damage on a cell phone. If your phone simply isn’t charging properly after a liquid accident then remove the battery (and charger) from the phone and clean the charging ports on the phone and the connector leads on the battery with alcohol; the closer to 99% alcohol used the better. Clean areas that you might see any spots or places that might seem like they are not getting a good connection to one another, such as spots of corrosion or areas of calcium buildup.

After everything is dry put the phone back together and try to charge it and power it on, if it works enjoy and if it’s still malfunctioning then proceed with the next step.

Bathing a phone in alcohol can revive a water damaged phone

This is one of the most interesting and successful methods available and is a great option for phones that were exposed to salt water, chlorine water, or just normal fresh water where chemicals, minerals, sediments, and corrosion might exist inside the phone.

Basically what you do is fully submerge your phone in 99% alcohol (isopropyl alcohol). Believe it or not alcohol is a non conductive liquid, so it won’t cause a short, and will get into all the cracks and crevices in your phone and help give it a good cleaning.

Let the phone sit and soak for an hour or two and then remove the phone, let it dry, and try it out.

IMORTANT WARNING – Make sure to check your phones LDI (Liquid Damage Indicator) Sticker before trying this method. If your phone was exposed to liquid then changes are very high that it was activated turning pink or red and your warranty is void. If however it is still white then your phone might still be covered under the manufactures warranty and you should consider trying to file a warranty claim instead.

If your LDI sticker is white and you submerge your phone in alcohol the LDI will activate and void your warranty.

If your LDI is activated then your warranty is void and though water damage is covered under insurance (if you have insurance on your phone) you would have to pay a pretty penny to file an insurance claim so you might as well try to fix it with this method first.

If bathing the phone in alcohol does not fix your phone then you can file an insurance claim. If it does fix your device then you will have saved yourself some money and of course you will get to keep the information stored in your phone.

Enjoy your working phone

Hopefully this has fixed your phone and your device is now up and running properly again. Water damage can be hard to fix sometimes depending on the extent of the damage and is not always repairable. If the methods in this article have not worked in reviving your liquid damaged cell phone then I suggest that you look into these other options available which include possible exchange and or purchasing options.

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283 Comments

my phone got splashed with water

Hi, my phone xperia u has a broken screen and the touch system is not working . when it got splashed with water a little bit of water got in i immediately took off the battery and took of its case
will it work again ? and if i fix the screen will the touch system work again and thanks for your time !

Hard to tell if it will work or not

It’s impossible to know for sure if it will work or not or whether the water/moisture will affect the touch screen or the display screen or both or something else entirely. Water damage is a tricky thing. Sometimes the cell phone will work fine once it’s dried completely and then all of a sudden something will stop working.

The only way you’re going to be able to tell is to wait for it to dry and then try it. If it doesn’t seem to work then consider attempting the advice in the article above and if that doesn’t seem to work then you might have to look into replacing some of the damaged parts or look into replacing the phone itself. It depends on how extensive the damage is, if any.

Thank you so much!!

Thank you so much!! You've helped me a lot bro I won’t forget it.

phone dropped into swimming pool

Hello, my phone Xperia C suddenly dropped into a swimming pool when i was snapping some photos with my friends. my screen worked just fine after drying it for a whole day but the problem is my touchscreen is not working. the touchscreen does worked at first but after i reset the phone, the touchscreen malfunctioned. could you help me? thank you for your time.

Trying to fix an Xperia that’s been dropped in water

Hi Ambram,

Out of curiosity why did you perform a factory data reset on your cell phone? Was it having other issues as well? Did you reset it to try and fix your touch screen? Did this issue only occur after performing the hard reset?

If you were not having any issues with your cell phones touch screen after it got dropped in the swimming pool and after drying it out completely and this only occurred after the reset then it MIGHT be a software issue (doubtful but possible) and I would suggest connecting your phone to a PC and if the phone will let you then try to reset it again using Sony’s PC companion.

Sometimes you can combat the negative effects that moisture can cause to a cell phone and sometimes you can’t. Did you have the opportunity to try the 99% alcohol bath yet? If you have and your touch screen is still unresponsive then you might have to replace the touch screen in order to get your phone to respond and function properly again.

My nokia Lumia 520 shows a blue screen when its on.

when i switch my phone on it shines a pale blue light on the screen but nothing else. my touch screen and everything else on my phone is working. i had tried the rice method for a day before i looked at this and it stayed the same although it used to show "nokia" and glitch and now it doesnt. i dropped it in sea water yesterday and my local shops don't sell that 99% alcohol. i need help please. i need a working phone!!!!!

It can be hard to find but definitely worth pursuing

Hi Yoda,

Yes, 99% isopropyl alcohol can be difficult to find in local stores. 70% seems to be the standard mixture and what is often the most commonly available. I do NOT recommend anything less than 99% though. While isopropyl alcohol is NOT a conductive liquid the greater part of that other percentage of liquid found within that container is going the be water which IS a conductor and if you choose to use less than 99% than it increases the possibility of causing an electrical short and you take an unnecessary risk of causing damage to the cell phone.

If you look and look and simply cannot find any local stores that sell it then ordering it online might be the next best thing. The downside is that you will have to wait for it to arrive and during that time you will be without a cell phone.

Another thing that can be disconcerting is that bathing a phone in 99% isopropyl alcohol is NOT a guaranteed fix for a cell phone experiencing issues after being dropped in water. If your display screen was damaged when exposed then this trick isn’t going to work and the screen will have to be replaced or a different phone will have to be purchased.

OK, but now...

Thank you James I shall try online, but now I've got another problem, I've got rice in the micro SD slot and my touch screen is not working...

Lg G2

I had my phone in my back pocket of my shorts and it fell in the toilet. I dried it quickly and it still acted up. First the screen blacked out for about 5 minutes but I could still receive calls. Then it lit up again but just for good measure I left it in rice over night. The next morning I kept getting the indicator that I plugged in a headset and it got stuck there for about a minute. Now I can touch my phone and everything works except.... the phone will not read my SIM card. I tried putting my card in another phone to check if it worked and it did, so I know its the phone. What else can I do??

Trying to fix your LG after it fell in the toilet

Hi Angelica,

Sorry to hear about your phones misfortune, that incident is a lot more common than you might think.

Ok, so the display screen was acting up but is now fine (that’s good), the charging port was having issues but that seemed to go away too (if it happens again check out this Charging Issue Guide as you might have to physically adjust or clean that port), but the SIM card is having issues. Which stinks because without a SIM card you won’t have service… You established that it’s not because the SIM card was damaged (good job) and that the issue lies with the phone itself.

It’s most likely an issue with that SIM card port (where you plug the SIM card into) and although it can sometimes be difficult do to because of a lack of space, I think your best bet is to give that SIM card tray/port/slot a thorough cleaning with 99% alcohol. I don’t think you need to bathe your entire phone just yet as everything else seems to be working at the moment. In fact I would just get a Q-tip and give those metal contacts that press against the SIM card a good but gentle scrubbing. Just focus on that port for now trying to get those metal prongs as clean and shiny as you can. You want to remove anything from them that can be preventing the SIM card from reading correctly.

I know that the LG G2 is not designed to allow you to remove the battery but before you start cleaning the phone, just as a precaution, I suggest that you power it off completely. Alcohol usually dries pretty fast but depending on how much alcohol you end up using I would give it enough time to dry all the way before putting everything back together again and before powering it back on. Once it’s dry then you can reinsert the SIM card and give it a try.

If it still will not recognize the SIM card then you have a few options to choose from...

You can:

  • Give it a full alcohol bath (as described in the article above).
  • Try to order and replace the SIM card tray/port yourself.
  • Take it into a local repair shop for servicing.
  • File an Insurance claim (if your phone is covered under an insurance plan).
  • Look into selling your device for parts and purchasing a new or different working cell phone…

Hopefully a good cleaning on that SIM card port will get your LG G2 to work again and allow it to communicate with a SIM card properly. I wish you the best of luck Angelica.

sim card not getting detected

I accidentally dropped my phone (samsung s4) in water. i immediately turned off the phone n kept it in rice. Phone is getting turned on but sim card is not getting detected. Could someone suggest me what i should do to make it work.

Start out by getting a new SIM card

Hopefully the SIM card is the issue as you would be able to get a replacement SIM card and that would resolve the problem. If however the issue is a damaged SIM card trey on the phone itself then the issue is NOT going to be as easy to fix. If that is the case then you might be able to thoroughly clean that SIM card port which might get it to read the SIM card properly and work again.

Definitely not a fun issue to have on a cell phone; without a working SIM card your phone won’t have service and what is the point of a cell phone that can’t text message or make and receive calls.

Response to saving a cell phone after, water submersion

I read that the entire phone should be placed either into plastic bag sealed or container with a lid to enable a tight seal with rice then place it in a lighted location or window with the phone completely submerged in rice. I think you described that you did place your phone into rice however, you didn't leave it there long enough.

For example, a few moments of being submersed would require it to be in the rice for 3 days and longer time the submersion up a week from what I read. Actually, this occurred with me and that was what I read and therefore, I am unable to at this time personally, verify how successful this drying technique would be.

Also, from the information that I read the phone should not be turned on or charged even though your immediate reaction would be to find out if it will work after contact with water. However, don't worry if you did turn your phone on because, the author indicated he did but, stressed not to attempt to check for operation till after, being left in the rice with the phone being off a sufficient amount of time.

I think you just didn't leave your phone long enough in the rice. Wish you success and I hope this additional information serves beneficial in recovery the use of your cellphone I am in the same situation with my phone.

Thank you for your contribution

Hi Janice,

Thank you for contributing to the site. A lot of what you mentioned in your post can be read in this other guide about trying to save a phone dropped in water. You might find some additional tips that can help you if your phone is in the same situation.

Good luck my friend, and thanks again for taking the time to leave such a helpful comment.

In the pool

Hi!
Thanks for this post in the subject.
My phone fell in the pool 6 days ago...we got it out right the away. Few minutes later put on rice...and left it there until yesterday 5 days later...and put it to charge...nithing came up...then a day later I tried turning on and it come on ...I was so excited but then a few minutes later and went off and since then I keep trying to turn it on and nothing happens. what should I do? Is there still hope?
Thanks in advance!

lg g2 dropped in a tub

So i dropped my G2 in the tub while bathing my 3 yr old....i took it out right away and the screen went from lit to black. I have had it in rice for days..still no screen....you can tell the phones on...just still a black screen...i don't know how you open the thing....is there any chance it will work again.

There is a chance, but you won’t know till you try…

Hi SueEllen,

Sorry to hear that your LG decided to join your 3 year old in the bath. If you can tell that the phone is on but the screen remains black then the display screen is malfunctioning (it may have been damaged by the water). Try the Alcohol trick described in this article. You might just get lucky and it might resolve your issue. If it doesn’t then you will likely need to replace your G2’s display screen yourself, or take it into a local repair shop to have them replace it for you.

70% vs. 91% vs. 99% alcohol

Since 99% alcohol can sometimes seem like a challenge or difficult to acquire quickly and many people don’t often store 99% alcohol and don’t often have it readily available as opposed to the more common 70% I get asked frequently if using 91% or 70% alcohol will work as opposed to using 99%.

It might work perfectly and it might not… 70% alcohol is going to contain approximately 30% water which I suppose is better than 100% water; so if you dropped your cell phone in water then Yes 70% might help to clean out some of that water as well as help your phone to dry quicker so you might choose to try it.

Just remember that the less alcohol you use the more water gets introduced into your phone and water and electronics don’t get along very well together. You want to get that water OUT of your phone not introduce water INTO the phone… even if it is only 30% or 9% water.

As for me, I have used, I continue to use and I recommend that a person use 99% alcohol when trying to revive an electronic exposed to moisture or having been dropped into some kind of liquid.

I figure that its best to order 99% alcohol for less than $10 online from a site like Amazon and then wait for a couple of days for the alcohol to arrive then it is to risk possibly damaging my smartphone which is worth hundreds of dollars.

If I have to have a phone for work or life (many people have become dependent on their cell phones) while I wait for the alcohol to arrive I can switch over to the phone I had before upgrading or I could go out and purchase a cheap prepaid phone to use as a temporary solution.

The risk may be very small but when the situation involves hundreds of dollars and possibly losing my cell phones user data it just isn’t worth it to me. If you don’t have 99% alcohol you might want to consider ordering some to use or you might want to think about buying some just to prepare for any possible unforeseen accidents in the future…

damage in sea water

Hi, thank you for posting this post.

my lenovo K900 smartphone fell in the sea yesterday. what should i do ?

is there still hope ?

thank you

Definitely try the advice in the article above

Hi Roland,

It’s always hard to tell when it comes to possible liquid damage and I am not sure how the sea water affected your cell phone but I would definitely recommend trying the advice in the article above. Salt water might do a number on your cell phone and an Alcohol bath should help get in there and help clean all that out.

Smartphone screen has a black spot after fall in the water

Hi, my smartphone fall in the water recently. But after it dried up, i can turn on the phone but i notice that there are some black spots on the screen. The camera can't focus well when taking picture. Other than that, everything is function well. May I know this situation is due to what reason? Is there any component in the phone that has been affected by the water?
Please help!
Thanks.

It sounds like the water affected a couple things…

From your description is sounds like the camera was effected and your display screen was effected. You got lucky though, water can do far worse to a cell phone and if everything is functional on your phone and you can still use it for the most part than be very grateful and enjoy it.   

please help me

i had my phone in my back pocket wearing high-waisted pants and when pulling down my pants my phone fell in the toilet, i took of the charger and case right after and let it dry over night. when i woke up to check on it, it turned on and the screen was flickering then went black but u can still hearing turning on and i left it like that and i started getting messages and was able to unlock my phone but you still cant see the screen, the screen is able to touch and work but your not able to see it. please help me i cant afford to buy a new one at the moment.

Your poor cell phone is not alone

Hi,

Like many other people your poor unlucky and unfortunate cell phones display screen has had a negative outcome after coming in contact with liquid. The “flickering” doesn’t sound good either (good description by the way). A flickering could indicate a greater chance that the display screen has been damaged and if the advice above doesn’t help resolve the issue then you will most likely need to replace that display screen on your device.

My S4 won't come back on...........

Hello, I need HELP!!! My phone was updating, but I accidentally took the battery out but now it won't come on. I was told it had water damage but it was never near water. Is there a way it can come back on some how?

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly…

Hi Aeriel,

I got some good news and some bad news… Let’s start with the good news. The Good news is that even though the LDI (Liquid Damage Indicator) on your phone has been activated if your phone was working properly before trying to update then this is not a hardware issue which means that it is potentially fixable.

Now the bad news this can be hard to fix sometimes as it is one of the more serious software related problems that an Android can experience. Since the update didn’t get to finish properly the brains of the phone and how it thinks got all messed up. The brains still there you just have to try to teach it how to think again.

Put your Doctor Frankenstein gloves on because you might just be able to give life back to your phone. It may not have the memory of its previous life(s) (its info is going to be lost) but it will be able to think and LIVE again. What you need to do is Flash the software to your Samsung (I recommend flashing the latest software release from Samsung) using a tool like ODIN.

I know that it seems a little off topic but check out THIS article as you should attempt the advice listed there before doing anything too drastic.

So…

The Good - You might just be able to fix your cell phone and this is not a hardware concern.

The Bad – Since this is a more serious software issue it also requires more serious troubleshooting and you might have to do a little research online for step-by-step tutorials on how to flash your Samsung Galaxy S4.

The Ugly – Your phone has signs of water damage and is no longer covered under warranty.

Make sure to try the advice listed in the article that I linked to earlier. You might even get lucky and solve the problem without having to reload the OS (Operating System) back to the phone.

iphone

my iphone screen is shattered and I spilt water on it a while back so I was just wondering if I soaked it in the alcohol now if it might work but it still works but the screen is black. ive been using a track phone to replace it and I dropped it in water, i soaked it in alcohol but the screen is still glitching, I used 91% alcohol instead of 99% should I try again with 99%?

Trying to fix your damaged iPhone

Hi Tyree,

If it didn’t seem to work with 91% you could try 99% but I don’t think that 99% would give you enough of an edge to make much of a difference.

Since your screen is shattered there is no question of whether or not your iPhone is damaged but I don’t think you lost anything by trying the alcohol trick and I admire the fact that you at least gave it a try. At this point I think you will need to look into your repair and replacement options.  

dropped in toilet

I dropped my LG optimus x4 in the toilet and I've had it in rice and on the boiler, it comes on to the battery icon when I put charger in other than that it wont come on, any advice will be appreciated

Trying to fix your LG Optimus x4

I recommend that you take it off of the boiler (you don’t want to inadvertently cause heat damage to the phone). Then I would take the battery out of the phone for a good 5 minutes, plug it back into the phone and then try to turn it on again. A battery icon is a good sign but a strange one. Is the battery icon on the screen to show that the phone is charging or is it just an LED light on the phone?

There isn’t too much that you can do if your phone won’t turn on properly but definitely try the battery pull. See if you can boot your phone into Safe Mode or the Android system Recovery as well, just to see if it will let you access those features or not. If it will then let me know and we can try a few other things to try and fix your LG Optimus x4.

My phone fell in the toilet

Hi my phone had fallen in the toilet. I took it out immediately and took it apart to wipe it off to dry it. My phone turns on but the screen stays on the home screen and I can't swipe it to unlock it or to answer it. The screen is pretty much unresponsive. What do I do?

Your touch screen is malfunctioning

Hi Cheyenne,

If the Alcohol trick doesn’t work then you will need to look into replacing your cell phones touch screen as it has been damaged and is no longer working properly.

PHONE FELL INTO WATER... NOT CHARGING

Hi,

My samsung wave 525 phone fell in water. I removed the battery and soaked it in rice for 8-10 hours.
After that it started working fine. But, since it was fully charged, i forgot to check whether it's able to charge or not. Now after 20 hours, when i am trying to charge...ITS NOT CHARGING . Could you please help . Thanks

That is one of the more common issues related to water damage

Power related issues such as not being able to charge a phone properly after it has been exposed to water is one of the more common side effects of moisture and liquid damage on a cell phone. If I was in your position I would power your Samsung OFF, remove the battery, and take some alcohol and a Q-tip and give that charging port a really thorough cleaning. Try to get everything nice and clean and shiny again. Hopefully the charging port didn’t experience any permanent damage and hopefully a good cleaning will get it to recognize the charger and allow your Samsung to charge properly again.

I also recommend that you try to perform a full backup (if possible) before your phone completely runs out of battery life. Just as a precaution in case you cannot get your phone to charge up properly again and it continues to have issues. Then you will have a backup of your data available should need it later.

Thanks. I showed the mobile to nearest Samsung service center...

Thanks James. I showed the mobile to nearest Samsung service center. There is a black spot near one of the chip. He tried cleaning it but still its not charging. I am charging thru external battery charger.
will the pin short near one of the chip create any problem to other chips ? is it risky to use the phone ?

I don’t think it will be an issue

Hey Ramesh,

I don’t foresee any issues. Just keep an eye on things. If you notice that your cell phone is starting to get hot (especially in that area of the phone) then you might need to give it some attention. Otherwise as long as it's working enjoy it. Glad that you still have a working cell phone my friend. Thanks for coming back to the site to post a follow-up.

water damaged phone

Hey my son dropped my Optimus F3 inside a cup of water and the screen turns on but there is little black lines going through. What can I do.

Can you grab me a cup of water and my cell phone?

Hi Adrienne,

Next time you ask your son to get you a cup of water, ask him to hold off on adding your cell phone to it. Ha ha just kidding; it happens.

As far as trying to fix those little black lines on your screen it might be slightly difficult and may not be possible. You got nothing to lose by trying though. If this happened to my phone then I would start by checking the flex cable that attaches the display screen to the phone. You will have to take your cell phone apart, but since the display isn’t having issues with a singular pixel (which would likely point to a damaged screen) and it’s a whole line (or lines) of dead pixels there is a good chance that the issue lies with that flex cable that or more specifically with the connection between the display screen and your phones motherboard.

So you could take your cell phone apart, check that cable, give it and where it connects a good cleaning with alcohol, see if it helps and if it does then enjoy. If checking and cleaning that cable doesn’t seem to help and you have tried a full alcohol bath (as suggested in the article above) but you continue to have problems and cannot handle seeing those annoying black lines on your display then you might need to invest in a replacement display screen.

I have an Optimus...

I have an Optimus and the battery is built in so i cant take it out. My calling is messed up and my volume button. I can hear you but you cant hear me and i have to press down super hard in order to lower my volume. Idk if anything is stuck inside. Please help.

Malfunctioning Microphone and Volume key

Hi Brianna,

So from your description your microphone is having issues as people are having a difficult time hearing you and you might be right, there might be something under the volume button causing it to not respond without some effort. Both of these issues might be a bit of a challenge to resolve as the volume key would be hard to clean under without physically removing it and the microphone might be a little clogged up too.

I am assuming that since you’re visiting and posting on this page that these things started happening after your LG Optimus was exposed to liquid or moisture. Have you tried the 99% alcohol bath yet? It might be enough for the alcohol to soak in under your volume key and into your microphone and might just do the trick. If not then you might need to attempt a good cleaning by some other means (I still recommend using alcohol though) and if you cannot seem to get your microphone to hear you correctly it might need to be replaced. Try cleaning it though as I have a feeling it’s just clogged up and the audio isn’t getting through properly.

Sony Xperia SP Water Damage

Hi,
So my Sony Xperia SP was in my back pocket and it dropped in the toilet. it turned off, so I put it on my radiator and then into rice and then I tried charging it but it wouldn't turn on. I have taken it to the phone repair shop but they cant get it to turn on as well help!!!

Trying to revive your Sony Xperia SP

Hi Viv,

Sorry to hear about your Sony Xperia SP. If this should ever happen again try not to put it on your radiator (or any heat source for that matter) as the heat from the radiator might cause additional damage to the phone which of course you want to try to avoid. Good job with the rice though; rice is excellent at absorbing moisture and is one of the most common tricks used to dry out a cell phone that’s recently been dropped in water.

Believe it or not my brother just had the same issue with his Samsung Galaxy S4 (it wasn’t a bathroom accident but he did drop his phone into water). Like the advice listed in this article I suggested that he try the 99% alcohol bath, which he did and left his phone completely submerged in the alcohol for about two or three hours. We then removed it from the alcohol and put it into a bag of rice sealed it, as it was a Ziploc bag, and let it sit for about eight hours to dry out completely. Lo and behold we put the cell phone all back together, put the battery back in, put the SD card back in, the SIM card back in, etc. and guess what… it powered on.

I am telling you guys that it works! It may not work for every phone but definitely try the advice listed in the article above. Buying a bottle of alcohol beats having to buy a new cell phone every time and if your phone is completely lifeless then you’ll have nothing to lose by trying it.

phone put in washing machine

My daughter put my phone in the washing machine. Ive been told to put it in dry rice. Its been
in 3 days now and there is still a small water bubble in the middle of screen. Will it be ok to turn on now or should i leave it a little longer?

I wouldn’t risk it

Hi Karley,

If you can still see a water bubble and it looks like there’s liquid underneath the display screen then I would wait. I would not risk turning on the phone if there is a possibility of moisture still present in the phone as it may cause an electrical short.

Now if your cell phone has been drying in rice for three days and it is still not completely dry yet then you might want to consider submerging the phone in 99% alcohol as not only will the alcohol create a chemical bond with the water (helping to dilute the water and remove it from the inside of the phone), but it will also help the phone to dry out quicker which should speed up the drying process. This might also help to clean out any soap residue that might have been in the washing machine at the same time as your phone and may have gotten into the phone as well. Just another thing that you might want to consider.

As far as your original question though, I would not turn on the phone if there is even a chance of liquid still remaining in or on the device. You run the risk of an electrical short and causing irreversible damage to your cell phone.

Success story with Nexus 5

Just wanted to let people know I fixed a water damaged Nexus 5 using 99% isopropyl alcohol.

My girlfriend's phone got damaged when her bottle of tea spilled, soaking her backpack and all its contents (including her phone). I dried it off in a box of rice, then tried turning it on. The power button alone did nothing, but plugging in the USB cable caused it to display the "Google" screen, then it would immediately turn off, and repeat this in a cycle. We were going to send the phone in for service, but noticed the water damage stickers were pink, so I figured we were out of luck as far as the warranty goes.

I read about people fixing water damage with Isopropyl alcohol, so I figured I would give it a try. I took out just the motherboard, soaked it in some 99% alcohol (about 1/2 hr), and brushed it a bit with a nylon toothbrush. I just let it air dry for about 1/2 hr, reassembled the phone. Now when I plugged in the USB cable, I saw a battery charging icon. Progress! Once it got enough charge to turn on, I turned it on, and it booted like normal. Unfortunately, operation was glitchy - in particular, any time sound was playing, it would play for about a second, then stop, and stutter. Also, the camera was completely non functional (camera app just displayed an icon of a camera).

I followed some instructions online and took the phone apart again, but this time I took the daughter board off of the motherboard, and took off the gold-colored metal shield that covered several of the chips (including the audio coded chip and a gold covered metal shield which for some reason wasn’t mentioned in the online tutorial).

I soaked and brushed all of the disassembled motherboard parts. I also removed and soaked the camera. Again, after a quick dry, I reassembled everything, and, like magic, the phone now works perfectly, including sound and camera functionality. It's nice being a hero :)

So, I just wanted to share my story so people know there is hope for a water damaged phone. And I suppose I wanted to gloat a bit as well.

Fixing a water damaged Nexus -Thanks for sharing-

Hi Isaac,

Way to go all out for your girlfriend. I am sure that she is very very happy. Thanks for sharing and contributing to the site and I am sure that she is going to enjoy her working Nexus 5.

Turning on then off and repeating

Thank you so much for giving this information! I have a moto G and the EXACT thing is happening to me. The screen will turn on like normal, it will vibrate, then it will turn off and repeat this cycle (also my backlight died before this but I could still make out the image). I want to try this and will wright on this blog with my success if it works.

Thanks! -
Zach

Same issue (progress)

I just soaked my Moto G in about 95% and I’ve already noticed signs of life because my notification light went out. This is a problem because it would never go out, EVEN WHEN THE DEVICE HAD NO BATTERY.

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