Freeze dryer saves the day…and the phone!

We love to hear about what our customers are putting in their freeze dryers. We hear a lot of great stories, some are brand new things they’ve tried, some we’ve heard before. Although typically we hear food stories, we occasionally hear about other things, too. We told you about the Clark’s drowned iPhone and how it was saved by a freeze dryer here. That story helped another customer with his son’s phone.

Max P., in Idaho sent us this story:

A man with his son

“A couple days ago my son came home from work and told me his “smart phone” was soaked and not working. In all fairness, someone else had put a leaky cooler on top of his shirt that had his phone in it. It was only working about 25%, (it would sort-of power up, but most of the functions wouldn’t work). I remembered reading of the Clark’s fix on your website and thought I’d give it a try.

I know time is a priority with a wet phone so I had him immediately remove the battery and card and leave the back off. He was reluctant to let me try this new method of restoration but the way it was working, there wasn’t much to lose. Unfortunately, I already had a batch of food in the freeze dryer and it was already cold but not in the dry cycle yet.

I kept the back of the phone off and placed it on a small piece of paper towel about the size of the phone, face down, on top of the food already [freezing] in the trays (in this case it was a batch of shredded cheese.) I immediately closed up the dryer and waited.

In all, the phone spent about 14 hours in the dryer and came out at about 120 F. With fingers crossed we installed the battery and with a little holding of our breath as it fired up, it was back to 100%!

Another success story for Harvest Right to chalk up … it saved us about $175 phone replacement.”

Now, we can’t guarantee freeze drying will save your soaked cell phone, but, in this case, we are so glad it worked! The shredded cheese survived, too, if you were wondering. And it will last a lot longer than the cell phone – up to 25 years! :)


As much as I love my Harvest Right, I would not suggest this approach. Consumer products are not designed for the cold used in sublimation or the mechanical stress that comes from frozen water in the printed wiring board which is sort of like a sponge – you could cause delamination of the circuit card and other things. I am glad it worked in this case but would be careful. An approach that is much more friendly to electronics is to put it in a regular dehydrator at 140-150 deg F. I did this after removing the battery and sim card and in about 5-6 hours was fine, which is much faster than the rice approach. I think most people that have freeze dryers also have dehydrators but probably like me, don’t use them much anymore. The only other things I use my dehydrator for is making Jerky and sun dried tomatoes. The nice thing about the Freeze dryer is that you can take sun dried tomatoes, which get a different flavor through the process and then freeze dry to remove any residual moisture so they don’t have to be refrigerated. I freeze dry tomatoes from fresh and love them but I also love sun dried tomatoes and the Harvest right gives me the ability to store the sun dried ones..

When you make freeze dried jerky, how long do you dry it? Do you dry it completely so that it’s crunchy, or do you leave it slightly moist so that it’s still chewy?

When you make freeze dried jerky, how long do you dry it? Do you dry it completely so that it’s crunchy, or do you leave it slightly moist so that it’s still chewy?

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