Android - My android device has been splashed/soaked by sea water

Even though this may not be the place to ask this question, you deserve some help with this one. The information below will help, but there is now additional information on rice baths and using water vs. alcohol to clean electronics. Please read more from iFixit for more detailed information.


  • Separate the phone into as many parts as you can (i.e. take the battery out, back cover off) without taking screws out.

  • Cover the device fully with dry rice. Try three days, this gives the water time to evaporate, hopefully aided by the rice.

  • Reassemble and try the device again.

If this doesn't work, there's a few more things to try, but chances are you're out of luck :/

IF YOU WISH TO BE EXTREME, or have spilled corrosive material (soda, juice, etc.)

Note, I have a friend that has done this successfully several times, and even though it sounds scary, it has worked for many people:

  • first, take out the battery

  • second, check to make sure you took out the battery

  • next, submerge the phone (without the battery) completely in deionized water (distilled should be fine). Leave it there for 24 hours.

  • ALTERNATIVELY: washing the internals with 90% or higher isopropyl alcohol will clean the device just as well, and evaporate much quicker, without the need for a rice soak.

  • after waiting such a time, remove the phone, scrub the board with alcohol to remove any corrosion, still, do not replace the battery and cover it completely in dry rice for three times (or a week, to be safe) the amount of time you had it in the water

This process should clean the inside of your phone and hopefully remove any salinity, and should not harm the phone as long as there is no power applied to the device, i.e. the battery

It sounds like you're screwed at this point.

However, this is what you should do if you happen to drop an electronic device in salt-water:

  1. Immediately remove all battery and power sources and do not reconnect them for several days and after following the steps below.
  2. If the exposure is quite high. (ie submerged in salt water for several seconds), then you will want to flush the device with distilled water. OR if possible, disassemble and clean all electric surfaces with alcohol.
  3. Dry the device by surrounding it in dry rice for 2-3 days. (And maybe put it near something with ambient heat)
  4. Only when confident the device is dry, should you reapply power.

    • The hope here is that when it shorted out the first time, it didn't damage anything.
    • Attempting to apply the power while device is still wet will certainly cause damage.
    • Salt water is known to cause damage, and therefore it might be best to try to flush the salt out with distilled water Or disassembly if possible. (Water itself will not cause much damage unless electricity is applied during the process.)

Rice does not solve water damage.

(Source: iFixit)

When we put a phone in rice, it is the same thing as doing nothing. It just FEELS like we're actively trying something. Corrosion is instant when a phone hits water. Sometimes the corrosion hits important components, sometimes not. If we resist turning the phone on until it dries on the counter, in the rice bag, or anywhere else, sometimes we get lucky. If we had the phone in the rice bag, we think the rice saved the phone. But it didn't! Even if the phone seems to be working, it will have oxidized solder joints that are weakened and brittle. Corrosion will continue to spread inside the phone. We have done nothing but experienced temporary luck.

You have to take it to a repair shop that has an ultrasonic cleaner or follow the advice from iFixit.

What you want to do is first displace the water—or more specifically, all the conductive stuff in the water. You can do this best by using 90%+ isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and a toothbrush. Open your device as soon as you can, take out the battery, and get scrubbing. Submerge the whole motherboard in alcohol, and scrub away. Only then, dry it and see where you stand. This is your best strategy for liquid damage.


You'd be hard pressed to find any experienced professional in the repair industry that doesn't roll their eyes when they hear the word "rice." We see the sad result of phones/devices that have been carefully placed in the Mahatma bag with fingers crossed.

How is rice supposed to remove this damage? Imagine even rubbing the rice on the circuit board. Would that do anything? NO. So that's why putting your phone in a bag of rice would NOT help.

corroded chip
Chip after rice cure (click to enlarge)


Water Damage