Pools, tubs, pots of soup, the sea, and even toilets are all more than willing to give your iPhone a swim, if you’re not careful. Water damage is probably the second major cause of damage to iPhones after drops. Fortunately, the iPhone can survive a drop into water, provided that you know how to rescue it.
1. Resist the temptation to turn it on
Turning on a wet iPhone can lead to short circuits that will damage your phone. Whether your iPhone was off when it fell into the water, or powered off in the process (can happen) resist the temptation to turn it on. This alone can make the difference between a dead and a rescued iPhone.
2. Turn it off if it’s still on
Usually, your iPhone will still be on by the time you fish it out of the water. The wisest thing to do at this point is to turn it off. This isn’t without its risks, as to turn it off you have to wake it from sleep mode, which will power up the OS and the screen. But it’s comparatively less dangerous than leaving it on.
3. Remove SIM card
Remove the protective case if your iPhone has any, and then take out the SIM. If you know how to remove the battery, you can remove it also. Otherwise it’s better to leave it in place for now.
4. Wipe and shake your iPhone dry
Soak up the water from the exterior of your phone and the ports. Shaking your iPhone gently can help you remove water from all the sockets. Make sure that there’s not a drop of water on the exterior of your iPhone or in any of the ports.
5. Avoid silly fixes
Don’t use a hair drier, don’t put your iPhone in the microwave, and don’t throw it in the freezer wrapped up in a paper towel (which in theory lowers the conductivity of water, and reduces the occurrence of short circuits). All of these methods are likely to kill your iPhone. We’re not sure who came up with them, but certainly not Apple.
6. Discover the power of rice
Rice is great at absorbing moisture, which is why some people always drop a few grains of rice into salt shakers. Rice may save your wet iPhone, too. Place your iPhone in a bowl or bag of uncooked rice and leave it there for 36 to 48 hours. The rice will gradually absorb the moisture. This method is not without its dangers, however, as dust may get into the ports.
7. Use silica gels
An alternative to the rice method above is to cover your iPhone in those tiny packets of silica gel that come packaged with components, handbags, or sometimes shoes. They absorb moisture like rice, but don’t carry dust.
If you don’t have enough of these at home, so you’ll have to ask around for them. Try at local or computer hardware stores, and be ready to bribe shop girls for them. Leave your iPhone to dry among these packets for at least a day or two.
Finally, it’s good to know that iPhone water damage can have long-term consequences on your beloved phone. It’s possible to dry your iPhone successfully using one of the methods above and power it and start using it again, only to notice weeks later that the battery malfunctions or that the device suddenly overheats.
This is why it’s a good idea to send your iPhone to the nearest Apple Repair Center and have it checked. Even if the water has caused some internal damage, you may be able to repair it at a lower cost than that of replacing your iPhone later.