Sunday, July 26, 2009

My iPhone Got Dropped in the Toilet

Did I tell you this? I think I only told Facebook. Last week in Sydney, in an effort to coax Hank to sit on the potty (traveling toddler's constipation, whole 'nother story), I told him he could play a game on my phone while he sat there. Because why? Because I am dumb as hair. Because I ignored decades of experience with HOW THE WORLD WORKS. So I totally deserved what I got.

Which was that Hank dropped my iPhone in the toilet. My iPhone. In the toilet.

Matt was supervising the potty situation, and all of a sudden I heard a big commotion and Matt saying, "Noooooo!" I rushed into the room, and when I entered, the patient had been plucked from the toity, and Matt was holding it between his palms, towelling it briskly like it was the runty newborn puppy in 101 Dalmations.

I seized it and then did what anyone would do. I turned it off right away and then updated my Facebook status. My cry from the heart was:
Oh god y'all, my child just dropped my iPhone in the toilet. Even though it was
quickly rescued, I am filled with dread. (I turned it off promptly.) Anything to
do but just hope? And say ugly swear words?
Advice, anecdotes, and commiseration flowed in. I'm sharing it in case this happens to you--if you filter out the smartassery, it seems to be a compendium of everything I have ever heard about how to save a wet phone, and people are reporting a 100% success rate:
  • Bag of rice for a week--works wonders.
  • I've heard something about using cat litter to draw out the moisture from the phone (not from the child- unless you so choose).
  • Is there an app for that? [Okay, that one made me laugh.]
  • My friend says to air it for a few days. She jumped in a swimming pool with hers in her pocket (grabbing a child).
  • I ran my old phone through the washing machine by accident. I let it dry for a week and it was ok. The iPhone has a "got-wet" sensor in it so Apple won't give you a new one for free.
  • My niece's iPod got soaked after it was outside in a puddle during a rainstorm. i googled what to do and we put it in a bowl of rice to absorb the moisture for a few days. after this it worked just fine. i gave this advice to a friend who used it on his cell phone and it also worked.
  • The other week Linc dropped his phone into the lake and we managed to find it at the bottom, in the sand, because the light was still on. He turned it off, dried it, and it's fine now!! Good luck ;)

So, in summary, the number one most important thing to do is to turn the phone off right away. Then take it apart as much as possible. With an iPhone, this is not much. But with a conventional cellphone, take the battery out. Then choose your drying method. I didn't have kitty litter, and I was going to do rice, but I didn't think much water could be inside, because it was a quick dunk and not a prolonged soak. (I would also worry about winding up with grains of rice and junk inside the phone.) So I opted for taking out the SIM card, sitting the phone, under a desk lamp, screen side up, and leaving it for three or four days.

Then I told myself that if it didn't work when I turned it on, I would move on with my life and buy a new iPhone 3GS. I cultivated an attitude of mental detachment, which gave me the courage to power it up. It worked, and I whooped, then I wiped it all over with a babywipe, 'cause that thing had been in the toilet.

So, that was a close one. My dad sat down in a hot tub with his phone in his pocket, and he dried it for a week and it was fine. I am surprised that those phones are so robust. Has this already happened to everyone else?


Bex said...

the rice trick sounds very clever - i wonder if it will work with bathing suits.

leafmonster said...

My daughter dropped her cell phone in a large field which then became covered in inches of snow for a few weeks. My husband found it (miracle #1) and it worked for several months after that (miracle #2). I was very detached about it because Daughter would have been buying the new phone and it was just a trak phone anyway.

But it quit a few weeks ago, and she got a new phone. My husband bought it for her (miracle #3).

I'm glad you had a simpler miracle with your iPhone.

Hootie said...

Did you know you can sing "My iPhone got dropped in the toilet" to the tune of "My Bonnie lies over the ocean..."

Also, my verification word was "australianconstipationcellphone". Weird, huh?

Amy said...

Jason fell in the pool one time while cleaning out the skimmer basket. (HILARIOUS story for another time.) Anyhoo, his phone was in his pocket, and it didn't survive the accident. But I know several people who have had that happen and it's worked out fine.

Jason once dumped a huge iced coffee on his laptop keyboard. (He is normally quite dextrous, though this doesn't make him sound that way.) And though some of the keys were a bit sticky, it worked fine after we let it dry.

The Dental Maven said...

Hasn't yet happened to The Maven, thank God.

Bren said...

I've sent one phone through the washer in my back pocket (dead as a highway armadillo) and one of them had a thermos of water leak on it in my purse (again, dead, dead, dead). So I do not have and never will have, an iphone. I've even left the house phone out in the rain and now we only have the attached-to-the-wall kind. Plus, you really shouldn't let me have scissors or shoelaces.

Anonymous said...

So far, fingers crossed, I have managed to stop my beloved Cath Kidston mobile from meeting any great bodies of water. I do have a very strict "no children to play with the mobile" rule though. What? It's a thing of beauty and I must protect it.

Sara said...

Mark's cell phone went through the washing machine when we were on vacation. Definitely did not survive. I suspect suicide due to the ongoing abuse. Every phone he's had has been run over by the tractor.

But more importantly, did Hank get things worked out?

Becky said...

Sara, let's just say that Hank has made significant contributions to the Australian continent.

Bsouth, wait one minute, do I understand you to say that there you can get Cath Kidston mobile phones?!? Is it too late to undo the American Revolution? LUCKY.

Also, I was going to declare Leafmonster the winner for leaving a phone in a field that became covered with snow for several weeks, but then Bren came along with her "we only have the attached-to-the-wall phone" and tied her. Brava, ladies! :)

Jenni said...

"experience with HOW THE WORLD WORKS." i don't seem to be able to learn from that either.

glad the phone is working again.

Keely said...

Yeah, a couple week ago, actually! I didn't do the rice thing, just let it dry for a few days. Most phones have a 'got-wet' sensor, like your friend said, so there's not even any point in taking it in for repair.

Anonymous said...

So, if an iPhone gets dropped in a toilet in Australia, does anything unusual happen being on the other side of the world? Did it float or sink?

Casey said...

The rice trick does work, my friend used it on her (non iPhone) phone. Turning it off is the most important thing ever... Jamie dropped an entire cup of coffee on my laptop last month and I almost beat him down trying to grab it to yank the battery. It lived and so did he.

Mary Hagopian said...

Kids, iPhone, potty training and anything that involves water don’t mix together. I agree that’s “how the world works” and I’m sorry you had to learn it the hard way. I hope it never happened again and your phone managed to be fine after that. So what phone are you using nowadays? – Mary, TelcoWorld