You just dropped your beloved iPhone into the pool! Now what? Today we’ll take a look at
the best way to ensure that this isn’t the end of your device.
In addition to outlining which recovery methods work best, we’ll also tell you some very
important actions to avoid if you don’t want to ruin your phone while trying to save it!
Don’t Turn Your Device On
This may sound like an obvious piece of advice, but trust me, it’s not. In fact, when as I climbed
out of the pool having already handed my iPod to my friend, I found that this is exactly what he did.
He quickly dried off the outside of the device with his shirt and then naturally wanted to see if
everything still worked and tried to use it.
This is a fantastic way to fry your device permanently. Granted, it’s likely already on standby and not truly
off, but you’re still only going to heighten the risk of permanent damage if you try to increase the electronic
Fortunately, in the end, this action didn’t spell disaster for my iPod Touch, but you might not be so lucky.
Drying Out the Device
As soon as you recover your device from its watery grave, the first step is to get all of the water out that you
can. This goes beyond wiping the device off to even gently shaking it to try to free any trapped water inside.
Be Wary of Heat
From here one of the most common ideas is to grab a hair dryer. The problem with this method is that you
can do as much damage as you repair. We know that water and electronics don’t mix, but it turns out heat and electronics have a similar relationship.
I’ve talked to and read about people that have successfully saved their iOS devices with a hairdryer,
so it can in fact work. However, I don’t recommend it.
Rice: A More Practical Solution
In theory, a bag full of silica packets is awesome, but who really has twenty of those things lying around?
If I tear my house completely apart I might be able to find two if I’m having a really lucky day.
When my iPod Touch went for a dip, I was too busy being angry at myself to fix the thing. Luckily,
my wife jumped in and took over the situation. Being the resourceful woman that she is, she put my
iPhone in a bag and filled it with rice. I was born with an overactive sense of skepticism so I saw my wife’s
actions as pure nonsense and started planning my trip to the Apple Store for a replacement.
It turns out though that my wife’s black magic is actually a fairly common practice with wet electronics.
The rice acts exactly like the silica packets and absorbs the moisture. In fact, this trick worked like a charm
and in 24 hours I threw my iPod on a charger and it came to life. That was well over a year ago and the
device still works!
The reason that rice is a less ideal solution than the packets is that it’s much messier. Rice might take
the water out of your device, but it can fill it with dust. Still, unless you’re a strange hoarder who happens
to have mounds of silica, rice can be a very effective solution.
To sum up, as soon as your iPhone gets wet, resist the urge to turn it on. Next, dry it off as best as you can,
avoid heating it up unnecessarily and reach for the silica packets. If you don’t have any, fill a bag with rice,
throw in your iPhone and seal it for around 24 hours.
Despite many stories of successful revivals, you’ll likely find that an iPhone that has been completely
submerged in water will never be quite the same. Even if it still works, there will be noticeable quirks in
how the responsiveness of the buttons, the audio quality, how well it takes a charge, etc. Ultimately,
if you didn’t kill it, you’ve definitely brought it much closer to death than it was before.
It’s important to note that Apple has sensors in place that can tell if your phone has gotten wet,
so don’t stroll into the Apple Store and claim that the thing just stopped working unexpectedly.
Be honest and tell them what happened. You probably won’t get a free phone but Apple should offer you a discounted replacement (often refurbished).
If you’ve ever gotten your iPhone or iPod wet, tell us your story below. What method did you use to
dry it out? Would you recommend that to others? Did Apple work with you on getting a replacement?
We want to know!