How To Save a Wet iPhone or iPod
Source: My iPhone Is Wet! How Do I Save It?
No matter how careful we are, iPhones sometimes get wet. It’s just a fact of life. Whether we spill drinks on them, accidentally drop them in the tub, have kids who soak them in the sink, or any number of other watery mishaps, iPhones get wet.
But a wet iPhone doesn’t necessarily mean a dead iPhone. Some iPhones can’t be saved no matter what you do, but try these tips before you declare your beloved gadget dead.
NOTE: Most of the tips in this article apply to wet iPods, too.
Preparing To Dry Out Your Device
- Never turn it on – If your iPhone is water damaged, never try to turn it on. Doing this can short out the electronics inside it to short out and damage them even more. In fact, you should avoid anything that could cause the electronics to function, like getting notifications that light up the screen. If your phone was off when it got wet, you’re fine. If your device was on, turn it off.
- Remove case – If your iPhone is in a case, take it out. It will dry faster and more completely without the case retaining hidden droplets of water.
- Shake the water out – Depending on how soaked it got, you may be able see water in your iPhone’s headphone jack, dock connector, or other areas. Shake the water out as much as possible to dry off the iPhone.
- Wipe it down – With the water shaken out, remove any remaining water. Use a soft cloth to wipe the iPhone and remove all visible water (paper towel will work in a pinch, but a cloth that doesn’t leave residue behind is better).
Your Best Bet: Let It Dry
- Remove SIM – The more drying air you can get inside the wet iPhone, the better. You can’t remove the battery and there aren’t many other openings, but you can remove the SIM card. The SIM slot isn’t a big opening, but every little bit helps. Just don’t lose your SIM card!
- Leave it in a warm place – Once you’ve gotten as much water as possible out of the phone, keep your device off and leave it somewhere warm to dry for a few days. Some people like to leave a water-damaged iPod or iPhone on the top of a TV, where the heat from the TV will help dry the device. Others prefer a sunny windowsill, but choose whatever tactic you like.
If You Need More Help
- Try silica gel packets – You know those little packets that come with some food and other products that warn you to not to eat them? They absorb moisture. If you can get your hands on enough of them to cover your wet iPhone, they help suck out moisture. Getting enough may be a challenge—try hardware, art supply, or craft stores—but they’re a great option.
- Put it in rice – This is the most famous technique (though not necessarily the best. I’d try the silica packets option first). Get a ziplock bag big enough to hold the iPhone or iPod and some rice. Put the device in and fill most of the bag with uncooked rice (don’t use enriched rice. It can leave dust behind). Leave it in the bag for a couple of days. In that time, the rice should draw the moisture out of the device. Many a wet iPhone has been saved this way. Just watch out for pieces of rice getting inside the phone.
- Use a hair dryer – Be very careful with this one. It can work for some people (it’s worked for me), but you can also damage your device this way. If you decide to try it, blow a hair dryer, on low power, on the wet iPod or iPhone about a day after it got wet. Don’t use anything more intense than low power, though. A cool fan is another good option.
Only If You’re Desperate
- Take it apart – You better know what you’re doing, because you can ruin your iPhone and void your warranty, but you can consider taking your iPod apart to dry out the wet parts. In this situation, some people use the hair dryer, others like to separate the parts and leave them in a bag of rice for a day or two and then re-assemble the device.
Try the Experts
- Try a repair company – If none of these tactics work, there are iPhone repair companies that specialize in saving water-damaged iPhones. A little time at your favorite search engine can put you in touch with a number of good vendors.
- Try Apple – While moisture damage isn’t covered by Apple warranties, a new Apple policy introduced in May 2009, though not advertised, reportedly has Apple willing to trade submerged iPhones for refurbished models for US$199. You’ll likely need to request this offer at the Apple Store and be able to demonstrate that the iPhone was submerged.
As you can see, a wet iPhone doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to head to the Apple Store with credit card in hand, but it can mean trouble. Stay out trouble by keeping your iPhone and your soda far apart.
Checking for Water Damage In a Used iPhone or iPod
If you’re buying a used iPhone or iPod, or have lent your device to someone and now it’s not working so well, you may want to find out if it’s gotten submerged in water. You can do this using the moisture indicator built in to iPods and iPhones.
The moisture indicator is a small orange dot that appears in the headphone jack, dock connector, or SIM card slot. Check out this Apple article to find the location of the moisture indicator.
It’s important to know that the moisture indicator is far from foolproof, but if you see the orange dot, you need to at least consider that the device may have had an bad experience with water.