What to do if you drop your phone in the toilet

Few moments in life make your heart stop quite like hearing your new phone clatter into the murky depths of the toilet bowl.

But don’t worry, while your natural instinct is probably to assume that you've lost your device (along with all those magical memories in your camera roll), if you act quickly it may be possible to rescue the situation. So, if you do drop your phone down the toilet or into the bath, it's vital that you know what to do next. Here's all you need to know:

Phone being fished out a toilet

1. Remove the device from the water

Act as quickly as possible. Every second that your phone is submerged will make matters worse. Once you’ve fished it out, turn your phone off and remove any cases or accessories.

2. Dab the surface moisture away

You may want to shake your device dry – don’t. A far safer approach is to dab the surface moisture with a dry towel. You may also want to remove the SIM card and battery (if it is removable).

3. Let the moisture dry out

However well you dab, some moisture may still be trapped in your phone, particularly in the little openings like charger ports and headphone jacks. While the rice trick (putting your phone in a bag of uncooked rice) is commonly used, it's probably better to place your device in an airtight bag with two sachets of Silica gel. You can find Silica gel in shoe boxes and the pockets of new clothes or bags – this drying agent will absorb any additional moisture. For the best results, leave it overnight.

What next?

Phone drying on towel

You may be tempted to switch your phone back on after a couple of hours. But if you really want these tips to work, we would recommend leaving it for 2 days. This may seem like a long time, but trust us, it’s worth it to save your phone.

If after 2 days you’re still having problems, you can try taking your phone to a repair shop. In most cases, your device can be restored to its former glory. But if not, you may need to buy a new phone. Remember that SMARTY customers can get up to 40% off of refurbished phones with reboxed®, so this may be a good place to look if you’re looking for a replacement without breaking the bank. At least if you’ve used cloud storage, your photos, messages and apps will be waiting for you. Perhaps a waterproof phone will be a good upgrade choice.

Finally, you should remember to learn from this experience. Maybe watching the latest TikToks can wait until after you've left the bathroom after all...

Prevention is the best form of protection

In a perfect world, dropping your phone in the toilet wouldn’t be a problem. But in the here and now, you can significantly reduce the danger by taking a few precautions. Whether you’re preparing for the possibility or hoping to avoid a repeat, consider the following to protect your phone as well as your finances:

Buy a waterproof phone with a high IP rating

An Ingress Protection (IP) rating indicates how well a device is protected from solid objects and liquids entering its system. These come in two digits, the first rating the device’s protection against solids and the second rating its protection against liquids. Ratings start at 0 (indicating no protection) and ascend, so higher numbers mean better protection. Currently, the highest IP rating seen on smartphones is IP68. This is available on iPhones beyond the XS models, Samsung Galaxy phones beyond the S6 series and various other smartphones. An IP68 rating should mean a phone can survive being submerged in up to 1.5 metres of water for up to 30 minutes – not that we’d be in a rush to put that to the test, though!

Use a protective phone cover

If your phone doesn’t have as strong an IP rating, or if you want to get as much protection as possible, a case or cover could be a useful solution. Although waterproof cases might not be the cheapest accessories available, they will probably cost you a fair bit less than if you were to fork out for a new device.

Some companies sell waterproof phone pouches, which may be helpful if you plan to use your phone somewhere like a beach or are keen to get some underwater snaps. If you choose to get one of these, firstly read reviews where possible, to get of an idea of how effective the product may be. Also be sure to test the product before taking your phone underwater inside it – simply pop some tissue in, make sure the pouch is sealed shut and submerge it to test its waterproofing.

Take out a suitable phone insurance package

It can feel frustrating to spend money on insurance when you’re confident you won’t need it, but the one time you need it will be much more frustrating if you don’t have it, especially with how pricey mobile phones can be nowadays. Mobile phone insurance can cost as little as a few pounds a month and can cover your phone for loss or theft in addition to accidental damage, providing you piece of mind for nearly all situations.

Use cloud storage

This can ensure that your most important photos, settings and messages won't be lost, even if the device breaks. If you have an iPhone, you can get 5GB of free storage when you set up an iCloud account, which can be expanded significantly with a premium plan. Similarly, Android users can get 15GB of free storage with Google One and Google Photos via their Google account, which can also be expanded by signing up for a premium plan.

  • SMARTY Team
  • May 9th, 2023