What if Your Phone Falls in Coffee?

By Kristine Brite

Your morning latte can become much more expensive if you drop your phone into the cup. Liquids such as coffee are dangerous to phones. While sometimes phones still work after exposure to coffee and water, often the phone is broken or partially broken. If this happens to you, don't immediately power on your phone; rather, follow some of these suggestions.

Damage

Liquid is extremely destructive to phones. Coffee can ruin the phone internally and immediately short circuit the electronic components. Even if the phone works immediately, the water could cause corrosion that makes the phone eventually stop working. In fact, you should not attempt to use the phone for at least 48 hours after it's been in the coffee.

Immediate Steps

You should, of course, remove the phone from the coffee as soon as you notice it's fallen in the drink. Don't try to turn it on right away. Instead, you should actually power it off if it's still on and keep it off. Other steps to take to try to save your phone include removing the battery, SIM cards and memory cards if your phone has them, laying the phone out on a towel for about 10 minutes with all parts dismantled, and shaking off any excess coffee.

Dry in Rice

If you want to further increase your chances of saving the phone, immersing it in rice might be your best chance. Even after taking such measures, your phone might still suffer from the coffee mishap. However, placing all of the phone components in a bag or bowl of uncooked white rice can help dry out the phone. Rice is absorbent and soaks up any liquid. For best results, leave it in the rice for 48 hours before reassembling and turning on the phone.

Coverage

Cell phone warranties from the manufacturer and insurance policies rarely cover water damage. Most phones have internal indicators that will make it easy for the company to tell if your phone has water damage. Usually, you must pay the full replacement cost if your phone no longer works or only partially works and needs to be repaired. You are also not automatically eligible for a new discounted phone, but you might be if your contract is nearly up with your provider.