What to Do If You Drop Your iPhone in the Water

In 2016, Apple released the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus and while these models are dust-proof and water-resistant, the water-resistance does have some limits. These iPhones will survive a dunking that’s less than 30 minutes long and less than a meter deep. All earlier iPhones don’t have these magical properties, so if you’re on holiday and walk into the pool with your iPhone 6 in your shorts pocket, you’ll be looking for an iPhone repair in Miami instead of lounging with a cocktail. Before you panic, though, here are a few at-home fixes you can always try to rescue a wet iPhone.

Power it down, now!

Do not do anything with your iPhone other than turn it off, remove the SIM card and dry the phone with a clean towel. Shake it (gently) to dislodge any water from the ports, then grab a big bowl and some rice.

The rice fix

Dry, uncooked rice can absorb a lot of water, so get a bowl and some uncooked white rice. Fill the bowl halfway, place your iPhone on top of this layer and then completely submerge it with yet more rice. Then, you need to (try to) forget about it for 24 hours.

After 24 hours, take the iPhone out of the rice, put the SIM back in and try to power it back up. It may simply act as if nothing ever happened, in which case – result! If it doesn’t power up, don’t give up; refresh the rice and try again for another 24 hours. If it’s still unresponsive after 72 hours, then you may have to face the truth…

Try the airing cupboard

If you have an airing cupboard, leave your iPhone in for two or three days. You’ll need to take out any laundry that’s in there, though, as you want the airing cupboard to be warm and dry. Warm is the key word, too. You want a gentle heat, as anything more than that could make any water that’s inside the phone turn to steam and infiltrate the places it hadn’t already got into.

Silica gel

Everyone knows to hoard these tiny sachets of desiccant goodness, right? If you don’t have your own stash, call around everyone you know (or message them from another device…) and ask for a donation. Those little pearls of silica gel live (as it were) to absorb water, so all you need to do is to wrap up your iPhone with as many as you can lay your hands on and wait for a couple of days.

What you shouldn’t do

Don’t give up on your iPhone immediately, unless it’s been submerged for ages. You have to give it a fighting chance.

You shouldn’t put it in a tumble drier either, or place it on a hot radiator, or blow it with a hairdryer.

Be honest with your repair guys

They will know if your phone is busted thanks to water, as the iPhone has clever water detectors in all its ports. Don’t feign ignorance. What you could do, though, is embellish the story of how your iPhone went for a swim – they could take pity on you and help you out.