Use Cat Litter To Save Your Doused Phone

Mobile phones and other portable electronics are supposedly built to survive bumps, bangs, and drops we put them through, but they're no friend to water. Save your drenched gear with this simple trick.

Photo by sneakerdog.

The Geek News Central site saved a soaked G1 phone with cat litter:

I remembered a tip I heard about sticking the phone in cat litter to help absorb the moisture. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I wrapped the phone in a towel and stuck it in our half-full cat litter container. Two days later I pulled out the phone, inserted the battery, crossed my fingers and turned it on. To my delight the screen came alive and was functional again - well almost functional. Everything seemed to work except I could tell the screen wasn't quite right. There looked to be a few bubbles which I assume was water inside the display. I removed the battery and stuck it back in the cat litter for a few more days. When I turned it on this time, everything looked good and the water under the display was gone.

Thanks to dried clay, the principle thirsty component in cat litter, their G1 was as good as new. Two things worth noting: they didn't actually bury the phone into the clay, it was just wrapped in a towel on top, and they go on to note that leaving it alone for more than two days would have been better and avoided any potential shorts. If you've managed to save a doused phone, iPod, or other piece of electronics with a trick of your own, let's hear about it in the comments. Add Cat Litter to Your Toolbox [Geek News Central]

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Comments

    I work around a pools all day teaching classes and dealing with instructors and parents. There have been times were I have dropped many phones in the pool.... The worst as a blbry pearl in 16 feet of water. I have tried tons of techniques. All in all you must take the battery out immediately. then the drying technique is up to you. Hairdryers, fans, cat litter, rice... it all works... the key is to leave it be. 24 hours is a good general time but it is all based on the phone and it's exposure. Till this day I am still pool side with my blkbry emailing, marking off checklist, taking notes, printing from the pool deck to my office... I am sure there will be another time were the phone will decide to go swimming again.

    I find, pulling the battery out straight away and using those silicone gel packs you find in the bottom of shoe boxes. Put the phone in an air tight container with the silicone bags for a few days and presto! working phone :-)

    Once I had sent a Fred Flintstone Nokia phone through the full clothes washer *and* dryer cycle long enough for me to wonder what that klunking sound was. Ascreaming obscenities and dropping the hot phone, I powered it up to not only full functionality but a battery that charged like a spring chicken again. Your results mat vary.

    In the old days when 286 clones were $2000+, I used to take AT computers out of dirty factories, dismantle them, and give the mainboard and most other parts a BATH to get them working again. As long as they completely dried they usually were OK for another year or so.

    We always put things on top of the refridgerator to dry them out. There is more heat near the ceiling and the fridge pumps out enough from the coils to do a nice job as a dryer!

    This is expecially useful to get pinecones to open up.

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