When the toilet claims your cell phone


It was an accident, of course. It always is. Now I am a statistic: According to Google, 39% of cell phone owners take their phones into the bathroom. 19% of cell phone users drop them into the watery grave that is the toilet. Guess that means if you take your phone anywhere near the toilet you have a 50 – 50 chance of losing it. It’s a good idea to know what to do if that should happen. I had no idea. So I guessed… and I guessed as wrong as possible.

Of course I grabbed it right away (remembering the 5 second rule when food falls on the ground) and dried it off. Then I pressed every button it on. Funny lines and dark spots. So I tried using the hair dryer. Then I tried turning it on again. Finally I googled “What to do when your cell falls in the toilet”. Oops, too late. I did pretty much everything on the DO NOT DO THIS list.

  1. Remove it from the water as quickly as possible. CHECK (Apparently that was the ONLY thing I did correctly.)
  2. Turn off phone immediately. (Off? Dang it, I kept trying to turn it ON!)
  3. Remove battery cover and battery and lay them and the phone on soft towel. (Where’s the battery?)
  4. Remove the SIM card. (The WHAT????)
  5. Gently wipe off as much water as possible. Avoid shaking or moving phone. (Oops!)
  6. Assuming you got the battery out in time clean the inside of the phone with rubbing alcohol. (Sure, I keep gallons of that in the fridge!)
  7. A vacuum cleaner can be used to suck out water but NEVER use a hair dryer – even on the cool setting. (Great, NOW I hear this!)
  8. Put the phone into an airtight bag – a zip lock will work – completely covered with uncooked rice, rice krispies or those little silica packets (which I will NEVER throw away again). A fb friend suggested the pocket of a fleecy works, too. Keep the phone there for at least 24 hours… rotating the phone every hour or so. Apparently you do not have to set your alarm to do this throughout the night, but… how much do you love your phone???
  9. After 24 to 48 hours test your phone. See if it will power up.

For over 48 hours I was phoneless. Okay, I do have a landline but I’d never used it. It was so cumbersome and I couldn’t take it into the car. No car phone???? Ridiculous. But wait, it gets worse. No Pandora when I went for my run. I didn’t know the date or the time or the temperature. I couldn’t take a picture. Sure, I had a landline but I didn’t know a single phone number (including the number to my land line!) I was unconnected… cut off… alone in my misery. It was a horrifying experience and I may be permanently scarred.

And then, it was time to ‘de-rice’. Drum roll please… even with all the mistakes I made, I took my beloved iPhone out of the rice and BAM! She rose to the occasion and powered right up, turned on and I swear she smiled at me. Woo Hoo! I called everyone I knew and talked for two hours straight!

But, almost as magically as, like the phoenix, she had risen from the ashes (Okay, it wasn’t ashes, it was rice – whatever.) she ran out of power and died… tragic death… she was so young.

The sadness was overwhelming, yet I will never forget the joy I felt when she first fired back up. Did the happy dance, f’sure! And, when she died a few hours later, I remember feeling glad and even lucky that I’d had those last few hours with my phone… WHAAAAT? It’s a PHONE, Sandye! Oh, yeh, right… it’s just a phone. #just.a.phone