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Wet Iphone - How Do I dry It And Get It Working Again??

Updated on June 24, 2013

Iphone 4 (dry!)

Drying A Wet Iphone

“Oh no! I’ve dropped my iPhone down the toilet . . . . “

I’ve heard and read about people who have done that, or dropped their iphone into a puddle, a sink full of water, gone into the sea with it still in the pocket of their shorts etc. but I NEVER thought it would happen to me.

Until it actually did, of course.

I could go into the lead up to how I came to drop my iphone into the toilet but I won’t. It’s dull, boring and needless. Thankfully, though, the toilet was 'clean' so the phone was immersed in fresh, clear, newly flushed water as opposed to . . . . .the alternative scenario!

The issue is . . . . what did I do about it? Was there any possible way I could undo what I had done, without actually mastering time travel?

Was this the end of my involvement in mobile technology?

Would it cost me a fortune to have to replace my iphone?

Would I be covered on my contents insurance?

Amazing how many questions go through the mind in a nanosecond!

“Get a bag of rice” called my wife

Anyway, here’s what happened to make a happy ending to this story and, the reason I am telling it is to give you hope, should you have found yourself in the same situation or should you, at any time in the future, find yourself in the situation where you have, unintentionally, soaked your beloved iphone.

I have no idea if this works with other types of phone and I have no intention of getting one and finding out!

So, your iphone has been immersed in water . . . . . .

Step 1: Act swiftly. Don’t stand there gawping at it and panicking, take quick action

Step 2: Switch it off. Immediately. Do not try to use it.

Step 3: Dry the phone very quickly with a towel, cloth, T shirt . . . . . .

Step 4: Get some bags of rice and ideally put the rice into a bag that can be sealed. You want enough rice to completely cover the phone. A sealable sandwich bag is ideal. Failing that, use a small box, anything, just as long as you immediately get the phone totally immersed in rice. You can always get hold of a sealable sandwich bag later. For now, just get the phone case dry and then get the phone into rice. But, as soon as possible, you want to get the phone and the rice sealed from the air.

Step 5: Leave the phone for 2-3 days. Don’t touch it, unseal the bag or try to switch the phone on. Just leave it.

I have read some articles and spoken to people who have suffered the same problem, suggesting using a hairdryer but then I have also read others that say definitely not to. It seems to me that trying to force the moisture out is not a great idea.

Better to just let the moisture gently and gradually be absorbed by the rice in as ‘natural’ a way as possible.

I did all of the above and, looking back, I realise that the crucial steps were very quickly drying off any surface moisture, getting the phone into rice, not trying to power the phone up and then having the patience to leave well alone for the next 2 days.

I dropped my phone into the toilet on a Tuesday, around 5pm and I didn’t touch it again until Thursday, around 7pm, when I took it out of the sealed bag, blew off the rice dust (look out for any stray grains that might be in the charger input socket at the bottom of the phone) and then pressed the power button.

The phone came back to life, although only 4% power remained (a miracle really) and the screen was very dim.

Knowing that it was still alive, I turned it straight off again and plugged it in to charge.

After another couple of hours I tried it again and this time, fully charged, everything seemed ok.

So, THEN I got the hairdryer out and using the lowest setting, gently blew the warm air over the phone in order to remove the dust and any possible moisture that could be lingering between the case and the internal workings.

Now I had to get the sim reactivated.

Once I had placed the phone in the rice, on the Tuesday evening, I realised I would not be using the phone either for a few days or, in the event that I had destroyed it, maybe longer, once I had got a replacement through my insurance.

When I had purchased my iphone, 18 months earlier, I had kept my old Nokia and had left the original sim card in it (as the iPhone uses a micro sim, I had a new sim card for the iphone and O2 deregistered my old sim card), so I got it out of the drawer, checked it still worked and then contacted O2.

I explained everything and asked if they could reactivate my old sim card for a few days until I discovered if my iphone would work (or not). They were exceptionally helpful.

About 3 hours later my old Nokia was reactivated and I had a mobile phone again. Not my sophisticated iphone 4, but I could still text and make calls.

So, a word of wisdom . . . . If you still have your old mobile and sim card, keep them safe. Keep the charger safe. You never know when you just might be grateful for it once more.

I then checked my iPhone worked for 24 hours before getting my micro sim reactivated. I made sure I had internet that worked properly. No screen or display problems. Camera still worked. All my pictures were still in the phone (not too crucial, as they are in the cloud anyway).

Then, once I was sure that all was well, I contacted O2 again and a few hours later, my iPhone's micro sim was reactivated and since that time, my iPhone has worked perfectly once more.

Narrow escape. May not get so lucky next time . . . .

Next time??

There isn’t going to BE a next time!

Please add your own experiences

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    • maharg1956 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from UK

      Thank you.

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 

      5 years ago

      Good hub on how to dry a wet iPhone to get it working again. Sometimes, accidents do happen and people inadvertently get their phones wet somehow without meaning to. This will be very useful and helpful for those people so they can act swiftly and get started with drying their phone and hopefully getting it to work.

    • maharg1956 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from UK

      Thanks for the comment, Matt. I'm hoping to get many people's experiences so thank you for getting the ball rolling! Graham

    • Iammattdoran profile image

      Matt Doran 

      5 years ago from Manchester, UK

      I've used a hairdryer on wet phone before and it worked. I still had to wait for about 4 or 5 days though before it suddenly came back to life. Think I'll try the rice technique if it happens again though. Cheers, Matt.


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