Reviving Wet Electronics: Can They Bounce Back?

Electronics have become an integral part of our daily lives, and it’s not uncommon for accidents to occur, such as dropping a smartphone in water or spilling liquid on a laptop.

When electronics get wet, it raises the question: will they still work after drying? Drying wet electronics is a common method to restore functionality after water exposure. By removing moisture and preventing further damage, the chances of the devices working again increase.

In this article, we will explore the effects of water damage on electronics, the best practices for drying wet devices, factors that influence recovery, common misconceptions, and steps for repairing and restoring electronics. So, let’s dive in!

Understanding Water Damage

Water and electronics don’t mix well. When electronic devices come into contact with water, it can cause a range of problems, including short circuits, corrosion, and damage to internal components.

The severity of water damage can vary depending on factors such as the duration of exposure, the type and purity of water, and the design of the electronic device.

Drying Wet Electronics

After a device gets wet, it’s crucial to take immediate action to prevent further damage. Here are some do’s and don’ts for drying wet electronics:

  • Do:
    • Turn off the device and disconnect it from any power source.
    • Gently wipe away visible moisture using a soft cloth.
    • Remove any removable parts, such as batteries or memory cards.
  • Don’t:
    • Do not power on the device to check if it works.
    • Do not use heat sources like a hairdryer, as they can cause more harm.

There are several methods you can use to dry wet electronics:

  1. Air drying: Place the device in a dry and well-ventilated area for at least 48 hours. Ensure that all ports and openings are exposed to air.
  2. Rice or silica gel method: Place the device in a container filled with uncooked rice or silica gel packets, which can help absorb moisture. Keep the device submerged for at least 48 hours.
  3. Using a desiccant chamber: If you have access to a desiccant chamber, such as a vacuum-sealed bag with silica gel, it can speed up the drying process. Follow the instructions provided with the desiccant chamber.
  4. Professional drying services: In more severe cases of water damage, it is recommended to seek professional drying services. These specialized services can utilize advanced techniques and equipment to remove moisture from electronics effectively.

Assessing the Damage

Before attempting to power on a dried electronic device, it’s crucial to assess the extent of the damage. Look for signs of water damage, such as watermarks, discoloration, or corrosion on the internal components.

If you are uncertain about the damage, it’s advisable to consult professionals who can evaluate the device thoroughly.

Read also my article: The Hidden Dangers: How Water Can Ruin Your Electronics.

Factors Affecting Recovery

The chances of a wet electronic device working after drying depend on various factors:

  • Duration of water exposure: The longer the device was exposed to water, the higher the likelihood of extensive damage.
  • Type and purity of water: Electronics exposed to clean water, such as distilled water, have a higher chance of recovery compared to those exposed to saltwater or other liquids containing contaminants.
  • Electronics’ design and construction: Some devices are built with additional waterproofing measures, which can increase their chances of working after being dried.
  • Power state during water exposure: If the device was powered off during water exposure, it has a better chance of recovery compared to devices that were on.

Common Misconceptions

There are several misconceptions surrounding drying wet electronics. Let’s debunk a few of them:

  • Myth: Putting electronics in rice guarantees recovery: While rice can absorb moisture, it is not a foolproof method. It’s more important to focus on proper drying techniques rather than relying solely on rice.
  • Myth: Blow-drying electronics helps remove moisture: Blow-drying can force water deeper into the device and cause additional damage. Avoid using heat sources for drying electronics.
  • Myth: Water-resistant devices are completely waterproof: Water-resistant devices are designed to withstand certain levels of water exposure but may still suffer damage if submerged for an extended period or exposed to excessive water pressure.

Repairing and Restoring Electronics

Before attempting to power on a dried electronic device, follow these steps:

  1. Clean the device: Use a soft, lint-free cloth to gently remove any remaining moisture. Be cautious not to push the moisture further into the device.
  2. Corrosion removal: If there is visible corrosion on the device’s connectors or components, you can use a soft brush or cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol to clean them.
  3. Component replacement: In more severe cases of water damage, certain components may need to be replaced. It’s recommended to seek professional repair services for complex repairs.

Prevention and Protection

Prevention is always better than dealing with water-damaged electronics. Here are some tips to prevent water damage:

  • Invest in waterproof or water-resistant devices when possible.
  • Avoid exposing electronics to water or liquids.
  • Use protective cases and covers designed to safeguard against water damage.


While water damage can be a significant concern for electronics, the chances of a wet device working after drying are influenced by various factors.

Taking immediate action, using appropriate drying methods, and seeking professional assistance if needed can increase the chances of recovery.

Remember, prevention is key, so take precautions to protect your electronics from water damage whenever possible. Stay cautious and act promptly when accidents happen to ensure the best outcome for your devices.