Cell Phone Update

After reading what Charlie wrote in the comments section below, I did a little more research and discovered that the whole “put your wet cell phone into a bag of cat litter” has quite a bit of history behind it. I read that several people have used the little moisture deterrents they usually store in vitamin containers. I read that this technique has worked for some. I also read that the red dot Tobyjoe discovered this morning after removing the back from the phone was indeed what he thought it was, a water damage fraud detector.

So, for those keeping score at home: The whole red dye reacting with pee in the pool? Not true. The red water damage dot inside and on the back of the Razr? True.

Herein lies the question: Do I wait a week or two and submerge my phone into cat litter (or the other gunk)? Do I take it apart and try and dry it myself like this guy did. Or, do I just go buy the pink one and call it a loss?


  1. pink is the new black. or at least it was. i can never keep up.


  2. i’d try taking it apart and letting it dry out in the open air

    if all else fails, if anything happens to the next phone you have replacement parts

    you could even have a black+pink case if you wanted!


  3. I’d take the sim out of the back of the phone and place the phone, cover, and battery (disassembled) in a plastcic back with some cat crystals. you might try wrapping the phone with a light cloth so that it doesn’t get scratched.

    Yes, the red dot is a water damage indicatory. I tried the “my phone stopped working” story at Cingular and she showed me the scarlet signifier of my stupidity. I, of course, did what any guy would do: feigned ignorance and blamed my kids.

    My phone dried out over time. It was only submerged in the water bowl for 2 seconds, however. It did not go through a wash, rinse and spin cycle.

    Good luck!


  4. One time, I sat on the phone with Apple insisting that I did NOT dump TheraFlu into my machine while sick.

    “Ma’am, we can’t cover this damage.”

    “Why? I have apple care. It’s damaged.”

    “It’s been doused with a liquid. It’s not normal wear and tear.”

    “No, I did no such thing. It just stopped turning on.”

    “Ma’am. I am looking at the spill right now. There is actual SUGAR on your motherboard.”

    “There is?”


    “Wasn’t me.”

    “Well, it’s there. We can’t cover this.”

    “It must have been my cats.”

    “I’m Sure it was.”

    850 bucks later, I had a new motherboard.


  5. Everyone in my office except me has new flat-panel monitors on their desks. My laptop still attaches (through a port replicator) to an old 17” Dell CRT. I think some TheraFlu might find it’s way down the back.

    Next time I buy a phone, I might buy the insurance. I know it’s “air” and a scam, but I’d rather pay an extra $5/month to protect me because I often play with my phone on the crapper (as opposed to reading). It’s just a matter of time before my razr takes the scbob plunge.


  6. Charlie, do NOT buy insurance. They did not honor me (although, I said it was lost because the T-Mobile person told me to while talking to the insurance group) or Tobyjoes (who had a very legitimate claim.) It’s absolutely bogus. They worked around it entirely. If it’s lost, you MUST have a police report. Who calls the freaking cops when the lose a phone? Especially in NYC? Plus, I’m not sure a police officer would pay a lick of attention to such a call. Who knows, though.

    I would suggest not doing this, my friend. Really.


  7. i had to get a police report, but my phone was stolen. but i lived in chestertown, md at the time. Kent County has about 5,000 people in it. so I think the po-po was happy to get to file a report.


  8. Somehow, and I could be making this up, I feel that if I call the NYPD to report my lost cell phone, they will laugh at me. And then they’ll add my name to the top of the Jury Selection list.


  9. The best way to file the report is to call 311—they’ll put you in touch w/the local precinct (instead of calling 911), who will then schedule some cops to stop by your house a few hours later. I was talking to some cops once – some precincts draw straws to see who gets to do insurance claims that night. They just sit in their car and drink coffee/eat donuts ( i swear, i’m not making this up ), and drive around their neighborhood from door to door handling it. Sometimes they don’t leave the car, they just call you from a cell and have you come down.

    It’s really common and they treat it incredibly seriously—aside from insurance claims which you thought of for reporting it, lost/stolen phones can be used for identity theft/fraud. They’re trying to be proactive about it (at least in the WB/GP area) – so are very responsive.

    The Post Office is also super responsive in regards to people stealing mail.

    side note: i remember on one of those ms g boards that all the design kids talk on, someone had a laptop that got busted and sony made up a fake water damage report to try and not fix it.


  10. http://www.wikihow.com/Save-a-Wet-Cell-Phone

    try that. also, if you put the phone in the freezer, it helps a lot.


  11. What color does the dot change to if it has been damaged by water? Does it start out red and change to another color?


  12. They start out white and turn red if they get wet.


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