Nothing throws a wet blanket on a vacation faster than dropping your phone or camera into the water.


You hear the dreaded “Ker plop” as you lean over a railing to get a better view, or you step out of taxi into a rain puddle, or worst- positioned over a toilet bowl. Whenever or however it occurs, it dampens your spirits immediately.  Your favorite piece of electronics is now a soggy mess. You can’t make phone calls or text your BFF.

Your vacation memories are now in Davey Jones’s Locker. Or are they?

All is not lost and the situation is not hopeless if you follow a few simple rules:


1)   DO NOT see if it “still works” – The thing about electronics and water is that damage only occurs if the electricity is routed through some sodden circuitry creating a short.  Turn it off. Leave it off. Do not press any buttons.


2)  Pull the battery immediately – That’s where the electricity is stored. See tip #1. Dry off the battery with a cloth or paper towel.


3)  Remove and dry the memory card.


4)  If it fell into salt water, rinse it off in fresh water. No need to hose it down,
a quick rinse is all it needs. Preferably in a bucket or other suitable container. Avoid putting it under running water where the stream might be forced inside to more sensitive areas.


5)   Keep it wet. – Counterintuitive. But for now, put the cellphone or camera in a Ziploc bag. (No need to add extra water). We are just trying to keep it from drying out in an uncontrolled fashion.


6)  Buy some rice. I’m figuring you don’t have that on your person. Standard dry white rice.

Back at the hotel…


7)   Dry it out.

  1. Take it out of the bag and wipe as much moisture as you can from any exposed
    areas.  Take off covers, battery hatches, lens caps or other external attachments. Do not open up any interior
    compartments or remove any screws.
  2. Put it in a covered container with enough dry rice to bury it.  An ideal container is like a Tupperware bowl with a
    lid. A useful substitute is a Ziploc bag. (How many did you bring on this trip?
    They come in handy). 
  3. Place the battery and memory card in the container as well.
  4. Seal the container and allow to sit overnight. Do not be tempted to “check on it”.
  5. The next morning, remove the items and use a blow drier on low and held at least eight
    inches away to gently drive out any remaining moisture.
  6. If the screen is foggy or you see water rolling around it, place it back in the
    bag with fresh rice and check daily.
  7. When no moisture is visible, reassemble it with the battery and card. Now you can
    see if it still works.



Well, maybe not, but it works in many cases.  The good news is that the memory card is probably still good. 
I’ve had one go through the washing machine and still be readable.

I hope that these tips may save your electronics in a desperate moment.

If it does, Tweet me some thanks @jimdeli .


Oh, and tell your friends you heard it on Tripatini.



Contributed by Jim DeLillo: