were texting in the bathroom and dropped your phone in the pan? What to do? Well, first thing to do is to fish it out quickly and wipe away superficial water with some tissue paper. If you can open the case* to get to your battery and SIM and memory cards, do so and dab those and the interior dry with tissue paper. Do not try to switch the phone on.

Now, put the phone safely on a shelf in your warm, dry airing cupboard out of harm's way and forget about it for at least a couple of days. Discard the tissue paper and wash your hands. Go for a walk or do some other activity that doesn't require your phone, you've now got some free offline time on your hands, make the most of it.

You may have seen rescue remedies on the web for moist phones or heard about a friend who tried one. For instance, putting it in a bowl of uncooked, or even cooked rice, is supposed to help. It doesn't, it's just a waste of good food.

Rice does not spontaneously nor quickly absorb water from the atmosphere nor its surroundings, unlike a truly hygroscopic material such as cotton, paper, sugar, table salt and the likes of zinc chloride and calcium chloride, oh and silica gel. I'm sure there would be a way to set up a sealed unit containing a few silica gel pouches of the kind that come in the packaging of electronic gadgets to ward off moisture, but I'm not sure that would do much good either.

Just leave your phone on the airing cupboard shelf for the water that got inside to evaporate. If you're lucky it will. But, chances are some water will remain trapped inside. The water may well have damaged a component irreparably either through ingress or because it will have short-circuited a component the instant the water got in because the phone was switched on.

Anyway, if you're feeling brave, you could try switching on after two or three days, that's probably as long as it needs for any water that is going to evaporate to have done so. If it works, fine, you got your old online life back. Now, write yourself a mental note: "Keep phone away from water", which means no more bathroom texting and no selfies in the shower.

If it didn't work, you could try asking your supplier/provider for assistance or find out whether you have any kind of insurance or remedial provision to cover this problem. It is very unlikely you will get a positive response though. But, it is worth a try, especially if it was an expensive phone (which they all are, of course!).

Now, a friend of mine got water in his phone, not because of his bathroom habits but because he and I almost got caught by a rapidly turning tide on coastal marshland he slipped on the mud and phone ended up more than a little damp in his pocket. He tried to dry it out but ended up simply replacing the damaged phone with a flashier new one he keeps well away from water.

However, he went back to look at the wet phone a year later and had not resigned himself to being defeated by a wet gadget. At that point, he decided it was simply the screen that was waterlogged and bought and fitted a replacement. The phone piped up good as new for little expense and is still working two years later, although he donated it to his significant other as he had, as I mentioned, already bought himself something bigger and better to replace it in the meantime.

In future, if you really must insist on mixing telecommunications with water, perhaps it would be worth considering having your gadget dipped in one of those clingy hydrophobic polymer solutions or a nanotech super-hydrophobic coating, which purportedly makes a watertight seal around the device's exposed surfaces and preclude aqueous ingress. Real-world tests suggest that these coatings protect against splashes and spills for about a year, but do not necessarily protect the device if it happens to be fully submerged in water. So, again if you have a slippy grip when texting near water, just don't

*If you know what you're doing or have seen the youtube tutorials you might be able to dismantle the phone to a greater degree and then dab away more of the ingressed water.

David Bradley blogs at Sciencebase Science Blog and tweets @sciencebase, he is author of the popular science book "Deceived Wisdom".