Drop Phone In Toilet

Aug 20


Woman_Screaming_DreamstimeThis was not at the top of my
To Do List.

But shit happens. Sometimes all too literally. So what’s a girl to do?

First, you scream at the toilet. Which, I know you’re wondering about but will now have entirely TMI, was not empty.

Then, number two, you should pardon the expression, you dig down deep, not just into the bowl but into your soul.

You always wondered how you would react if something like this happened — the whole grace under pressure thing. Now you know. But perhaps some things, and this surely may be one of them, are better not to know.

Quick! This is no time for philosophizing! Do something! But what???

Wait a moment! Wait a minute! What about. . . rice? Didn’t I hear something about using rice?

Yes! Yes! It was on that first episode of Elementary! Sherlock solved a case by figuring out that the bad guy was drying out the phone he had inadvertently put into the washing machine — by sealing it in a big bag of . . . RICE!

But I had no rice. Gave that up in a hopeless attempt to cut back on white carbs. Thought I had some brown rice, but couldn’t find it. Was that bad for me too? Quinoa won’t work, will it? Noodles? Pasta?

Now I’m panicking . . .

Fortunato! Use what’s left of your head. Go on line and ask the musical question:

“What should I do if I drop my phone in the toilet?”

phonetoiletchartAnd look! There are answers! Lots of them! Which one do I read? The first one, always the first one.

It said that wiping off the phone with a towel was correct (duh), but that using a hairdryer was BUZZER! Wrong, wrong, WRONG!

What I should do is . . . guess what . . . put the phone in rice. The thing is, the rice is supposed to absorb the moisture. But all the different sites (and there are a shitload of them) give slightly different advice.

phone_in_riceUse rice, but it can’t be processed.
It doesn’t matter, just use rice.
Put it in a closed container.
Don’t close the container.
Use Tupperware.
Use a baggie.
Use anything, just do it already.

Keep it in overnight.
Keep it in for 24 hours.
Keep it in for 48 hours.
Keep it in for a week.
Keep it in for the rest of your life. It’s over for you now, anyway, so what’s the difference?

This video on YouTube says to leave for at least a week! Have patience, it says (Moi, patience?) and if that doesn’t work, you’re screwed. Really, YouTube Video Guy? Ya think? When did you get the first clue?


This one features a chirpy young woman in a striped tee who approaches the problem like it was a recipe for risotto. She says it works overnight, or like, you know, in a few hours, or like, whatever, and it’s so easy and cheap, so like, you know, why not try it. Hey! Almost makes you want to experience this for yourself. Or not.


Meanwhile, I still didn’t have any rice, so I sent Lou, the husband, out to get some (unprocessed, just to be sure) while I got on the phone with Apple Care.

The Apple guy was nice. They always are. And guess what he suggested? Yes, Virginia. Rice. He said to put my soggy iPhone 5S in a baggy and hope for the best.

       The Rice-a-Phoni Theory

There is no end to the info on the internet about this technique.

One video was from India, with really annoying background music, and every other word the guy basically said was “basically.” One thing he basically insisted on was to basically remove the battery.

Opening_iPhoneAnother video — an hour long! — explained how to do that. It involves using 2 types of Phillips screwdriver, alcohol, a razor blade, a gadget called a spunger, some kind of knife, a suction cup and various other instruments of dissection, and means literally taking the phone apart like a watch, which the nice Apple guy said I couldn’t do. I had taken that to mean that I personally couldn’t do it (and the guy doesn’t even know me), but after this video, I think he meant that no one in their right mind should even attempt it. I watched for about 10 minutes before breaking out in hives.

There are hundreds of thousands of views on these videos (One has 1,600,000 hits and counting!), so I am not the only one to have that horrible moment (picture it in slo mo and weep) when the phone slips out of your hand and into . . . water of some sort.

There are also products made for this very predicament. One is called a Bheestie Bag and seems like a more sophisticated version of rice in a baggie. You can also get silica packets on line, which work better than/as good as (depends on who you ask) the rice. Pack Rats Alert: those packets you saved from vitamin bottles or shoe boxes now have an actual use.

But basically (ahem), it all boils down to rice.

Elementary_PilotI don’t remember if it worked for the guy on Elementary, but he was guilty anyway. I am guilty only of criminal carelessness, and don’t feel I deserve the death penalty (existing without a smart phone) just for that.

But look on the bright side: If the rice doesn’t work, I can use this incident as an excuse to get the new phone. Okay, it will cost. But in a related and highly ironic development, Apple stock, of which I bought a little (too little) many years ago when it was in the toilet, has split many times, and just today went over 100! I could sell 5 or 6 shares and get another iPhone.

Besides, even though I did wash off the phone before toweling it, it was in the toilet, however briefly, and will the rice get rid of that? Even if it works, will I want the thing in my hands again?

Whatever happens, I have learned yet another crucial life lesson:
Never drop your phone in the toilet.

A piece of advice that gives new meaning to the expression,
“No shit, Sherlock.”


Breaking News: The rice didn’t work, and, according to the Geniuses (the preferred plural, in case anyone cares, is actually Genii) at the Genius Bar at Apple, it seldom does. But in these sad cases they will replace your poor departed iPhone with the same model at cost, (the new Apple 6 is not yet available anyway), so I am now the proud owner of another 5S, an iPhone which will never see the inside of a bathroom. If you need to reach me, leave a message.


  1. Sublime 🙂 I love the use of playfulness and type!

    • First time anyone has use the word “sublime” about the blog. I’ll take it!

  2. That’s really scary when one drop his phone in toilet by mistake, I do have experience somewhat same situation. we could not do any thing when our cell gets into toilet pipes.

    • As I said, the only good thing is getting a new phone.
      Oh, and the guys at Apple.

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