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All Is Not Lost: Quick Fixes for a Wet iPhone

Hussain Ali
Lenovo Many GEOs

If you can’t seem to keep a steady grip on your phone, you’re not alone. Research shows that the average American drops their phone four times a week, with a third of us saying we drop it even more often than that!

Of course, most of these accidents result in nothing more than a minor heart attack—until you drop your phone in the wrong place. If you’ve dropped your phone in water and come away with a soaking-wet iPhone, you know what true terror feels like. What can you do in that moment to stop the water damage that’s already creeping into your device?

Fortunately, there are plenty of tactics worth trying, as long as you act fast! Here’s what to know about protecting your phone from water damage after the fact.

Know Your iPhone’s Water Protection

Before you spiral into a panic, take some time to check your phone’s splash- and water-resistance. If you have a newer model, you may be in luck: according to Apple, the iPhone 7 and later have at least some degree of resistance to water damage.

Depending on the model you own, your phone may be rated for protection from a max water depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes, or you might even have protection from a max water depth of 6 meters for up to 30 minutes.

Just to be clear, this does not mean that your phone is waterproof. No iPhones are completely waterproof, which is why Apple uses the phrasing “water-resistant.” If you’ve dropped your phone in deep water for a while—or if you’ve gotten unlucky, and the water-resistance didn’t hold up—you may have to try the emergency fixes below.

If you have an older model, you will definitely need those fixes, so let’s take a look at what to do if an iPhone gets wet.

How to Fix a Wet iPhone

Before you do anything else, power your phone down. If water has made its way inside your phone, powering it on could damage the internal components or cause short circuits.

Though you may be tempted to turn it on and check for damage during the next steps, avoid the urge! Here’s what to do instead:

Remove As Much Water as Possible

Take off your phone case and shake your phone. This can help you remove water from any nooks and crannies within your phone. Next, use a soft towel to wipe down your phone.

Remove the SIM Card

At this point, remove the SIM card and dry it off. You’ll also need to dry off the tray as well. Shaking your device at this point can help you remove any lingering water within the card slot.

Allow Your Phone to Air-Dry

For many iPhone users, this can be the most frustrating part of all. Give your phone plenty of time to air-dry, without turning it on.

To speed up the process, there are a few things you can try. Leave your phone in a warm place, such as on top of a television, washing machine, or windowsill.

You can also leave your phone in a box with any silica bags—the tiny bags you receive with many electronics purchases—you can find around your house. These bags can help remove lingering moisture from your phone.

Leave your iPhone alone for at least 24-48 hours. The best tactic you can use at this point is your patience!

What Not to Do if Your iPhone Got Wet

As we’ve mentioned above, the number one thing not to do if your phone gets wet is to power it on. However, there are a few additional tactics you’ll want to avoid at all costs.

Don’t Use Rice

This method is a common one, but it can actually affect how your iPhone recovers from this spill.

It’s true that rice can help absorb any lingering moisture from your phone. However, rice can also leave minerals stuck within the inside of your phone. These minerals, if left in the wrong place, can cause corrosion and wreak havoc on your phone’s internal components.

Don’t Use a Hair Dryer

We shouldn’t have to say this, but don’t use any heated devices to dry your phone! Phones are incredibly sensitive to heat, and most aren’t comfortable in temperatures that range upwards of 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a hairdryer can harm the components of your phone, leaving you with a host of extra problems to tackle.

How to Repair a Wet iPhone That Still Won’t Work

If, after 24-48 hours, you power your phone on and find that it isn’t working, you might need a professional wet iPhone fix. Experts will be able to try better strategies than the common household tactics above to get your phone working again fast.

Note that Apple doesn’t cover water damage under its warranty, so you’ll have to pay out of pocket even if you have the company’s protection. Apple does, however, repair iPhones that have sustained water damage—though you’ll have to check for the latest details on pricing.

Alternatively, you can work with a local third-party company. These companies specialize in iPhone repair and smartphone repair, and they’ll offer a fair price for their expert services. With a technician’s help, you can address any lingering moisture and get your phone back in working condition in no time.

Get Your iPhone Working Like New

It’s safe to say that having a wet iPhone is enough to make anyone fly into a panic—but it doesn’t have to cost you your phone. As long as you act fast and follow the tips above, in addition to remembering what not to do, you’ll have a great chance of getting your phone back up and running. Don’t hesitate to reach out to an expert for help if you find that your at-home drying tactics aren’t working!

Looking for more of the essential tips you need to know? Our other guides are packed with helpful insights—from tech tips to tutorials—so check them out for more info.

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