Nearly a third of mobile phone owners have gotten them wet, according to new research from Opinion Matters, which also confirmed the majority of people carry their phones with them everywhere throughout their day.

About 30 percent of respondents said they had spilled water on their phones. Some spilled coffee instead (13 percent), while some admitted that tea was the culprit (8 percent). That’s a lot of handsets spending the night in a bowl of dry rice.

Some of this inadvertent damp is undoubtedly related to where people take their phones. A large majority of Spanish (88 percent) and British (85 percent) users brought their phone when going to a pub or café, followed by the French (67 percent), Germans (60 percent) and Americans (56 percent). Phones go to the beach, too. Less than half (48 percent) of Americans take them onto the sand, but 77 percent of Spanish and 72 percent of French people do.

The weather doesn’t separate users from their phones either, with 64 percent of respondents saying their brought their phone out in the rain and 59 percent in the snow. It’s a little worrying, however, that 8 percent said they kept their phone handy when in the shower and 3 percent while in a sauna.

If any of this makes you feel sorry for phones, that’s exactly what the study hopes to do. It was commissioned by P2i, which wants to encourage protecting phones using the company’s Aridion liquid repellent nano-coating technology.

Dr. Stephen Coulson, chief technology officer, P2i, said, “It’s no surprise that on average over half of all of those questioned (51 percent) expect water protection to be included as standard when buying a mobile phone. Without it, users not only need to avoid liquid coming into contact with their phones but have to consider the ‘hidden’ risk of moisture that can cause corrosion, damaging the phone, its components and, often more importantly, the content and data stored on it.”

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Photo by Flickr user Magnus A., used under Creative Commons license