What to Do If You Drop Your iPhone in Water

What to Do If You Drop Your iPhone in Water

The idea that something so expensive could be rendered useless with a little water is enough to frighten any smartphone user. I once dropped my iPhone in a small crack between drywall and tile; my friends and I spent the next three days figuring out how to fish it out. Luckily, no water was involved. But until iPhones become waterproof, life hacks for saving our phones from water damage are super important. Here’s what to do when you drop your iPhone in water, and how to save it from water damage.

Quick! Get it out of the water!

This may seem obvious but the quicker you can get your precious phone out of that water bath of death, the better. A few seconds can actually make a big difference here.

Turn it off. And leave it off.

Turning your iPhone on or leaving it on makes the chance of water damaging your iPhone go way up. You have two options for shut down: hold down the Sleep/Wake button and Home button to quickly shut it off, or hold down the Sleep/Wake button and swipe "slide to power off." Also, if it’s hooked up to any other devices like headphones or a charging station, disconnect it.

Take off any cases or enclosures.

Water can find places to hide in the crevices of your case, so take everything off your iPhone. Your screen protector, however, shouldn’t pose a problem unless you see a water bubble.

Wipe it down (Use a Q-tip if you need to)

Another obvious step but it can’t be glossed over. Wipe that iPhone down! Absorb as much water with a cloth as you can. If you think there’s lingering water in any tiny ports, use a Q-tip.

Put it in a bag full of rice! OR silica gel packets.

If you’re wise enough to hold on to all those tiny silica gel packets you find in shoeboxes, then now is the time to put them to good use. If not, rice will do just fine too. Seal your phone with the rice or gel packets in a ziplock bag. You want the entire phone to be covered in rice so fill that bag up. Then make sure the bag is as air-tight as possible. Now for the hard part…

Leave it in the rice for 48 hours

I know this is hard. I understand your iPhone has become an extra limb on your body, but the longer that iPhone remains in the rice, the better chance you have of saving it from water damage. Any extra moisture in the phone, the rice will absorb. That means, at a minimum you can leave it 36 hours, but I highly recommend you give it a full 48 hours to dry out.

Inspect upon removal and power up

When you remove your phone from the bag of rice (or silica gel packets) inspect it well to see if there’s any water clinging on for dear life. If needed, leave it in the bag a bit longer. If it appears dry, then power it on.


What other tips have you heard to save your iPhone from water damage? 


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Author Details

Conner Carey's picture

Author Details

Conner Carey

Conner Carey's writing can be found at conpoet.com. She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.