25 Killer Steps to Save Water Damaged iPhone

by Jeffry on August 7, 2010

When expensive smartphone like iPhone 4 falls into toilet, it is the most horrible experience and you cannot manage to flush it, or let it in bucket full of water. There are other cases like your toddler baby throw your newly bought iPhone 4 into a pool or you accidentally spill over coffee on your mobile phone or you got it damp in rainy season or forgot to take out you iPhone from your jacket before washing it in washing machine.


There are several ways to save a wet iPhone 4 that will make it operable again and preventing you to purchase another expensive iPhone unit. Follow the simple methods listed below to fix and bring your water damaged iPhone back to life and its warranty. The methods listed below holds good if your iPod Touch falls into the Toilet and you don’t have insurance.

Simple Ways to Fix and Dry out a Water Damaged iPhone 4

  1. Don’t Panic – You can save your iPhone 4 if you follow right instructions at right time. Keep yourself cool and don’t panic at all. The key to saving a wet iPhone is “Patience”.
  2. Remove iPhone out of water– Water takes no time in getting into your mobile phone. If a glass of water is spilled on iPhone and the phone is connected to the charger, then disconnect the charger immediately. Most damage occurs when the phone is wet and there is a power source.
  3. Remove the battery immediately – Water is a good conductor of electricity. Make sure that you remove the cellphone battery as soon as possible; else the electrical circuit inside your cellphone will get damaged due to short circuit. The circuits will survive in water if your cellphone has no battery or any type of electric power attached.
  4. Remove SIM Card – Contact List is the most important thing that you would like to save instead your iPhone. Some people do not bother to pay for getting their phone contact list back. There may be other important data present on SIM card. To save your SIM card just wipe it off with dry towel or tissue paper. Do not keep your SIM card under direct sunlight.
  5. Remove all covers and external connectors – Make sure to remove all external covers to open up as many gaps, slots, in the phone. This will help you in removing water from every possible area of your wet iPhone 4.
  6. Remove the excess water – Shake it well without dropping it to remove the excess water. Using towel is not recommended as it might take time to absorb the water from your iPhone. Instead, use tissue paper and press it gently against your iPhone handset to absorb the water.
  7. Use Newspaper To absorb Water – Everyone do not have tissue paper at home. Do not panic, in that case you can use newspaper which has got good water absorbing capacity.  Do not panic, if neither of the two is available to you can use small towel as well to remove excess water from your wet cellphone.
  8. Male Vests To absorb Water – If you are looking for immediate action, you may also use male vests to absorb the excess water.
  9. Use ear-buds – There are certain narrow areas inside your cellphone where your fingers cannot reach. To remove water from those areas you can use ear buds.
  10. Using Tooth Pick – Take a tooth-pick and roll-on tissue paper on it and then remove the excess water from narrow areas of your wet cellphone. Make sure that you do not clog the wet paper in the narrow gaps.
  11. Using Vacuum Cleaner – To remove residual moisture you can use vacuum cleaner with precautionary measures. Hold the vacuum cleaner in one hand and place your cellphone on a towel (placed on the top of a table). Maintain a good distance between vacuum cleaner and wet cellphone. If they are too close then your phone or vacuum cleaner may damage as a vacuum can create static electricity. Do not use the vacuum cleaner to dry out your wet cellphone for more than 15 minutes.
  12. Soak in Un-Cooked Rice – You may not believe that you can save your wet cell phone by placing it in a container of uncooked rice (dry rice) overnight. The rice has an excellent moisture absorbing capacity and would absorb any remaining moisture.
  13. Place the phone on top of a TV – This method may not work if you have LCD TV placed on wall. Instead if you are having TV which emits a low heat from the vents placed on the top, you can put your wet cellphone there. This method may take some time to dry-up your cell-phone but the method can be used in cases where you need to spend some time with your guests instead drying up your cellphone.
  14. Place the phone near microwave – You may place your wet cellphone near the rear vent of the microwave which emits out low heat that might help you in drying up your cellphone.
  15. Place wet phone in front of an air conditioner – You can safely place your wet cellphone in front of air conditioner. Air from an air conditioner is dry, and will evaporate water faster.
  16. Use Silica Packs – You might have seen silica packs inside electronic goods that you have purchased. Those silica packs are rarely used. But make sure you do not throw them. Instead, collect them so that they may be used in removing excess water from gadgets. You can put silica packs and wet cellphone together in a bag and leave them for at least two days.
  17. Place your cellphone in Sunlight – If you do not have much time to dry up your cellphone then just remove the excess water using tissue paper or towel and then place the wet mobile phone in the area where sunlight is present, say near windows. Do not place your mobile under direct sunlight. Do not place your phone under sunlight for extended periods.
  18. Use Desiccants – Desiccants helps in absorbing moisture to a greater extent. You can go to the stores to buy desiccant. You can ask for “Damp Rid”, “Dry Right”  or “Dry-All”.
  19. Using Spirit or Methanol – What would you do if your cellphone falls into salty water? If you dry up using the methods listed above then the water may form crystals on the electronic circuit of your cell phone which may cause further damage. After removing the excess water, to remove water minerals, rinse the phone gently with spirit or alcohol using cotton cloth. Alcohol might dissolve the internal adhesives used in electronic circuits. Make sure you do not apply alcohol to those areas. Do not connect the battery until the alcohol smell goes away.
  20. Using Compressed air – If you already have a can of compressed air then you may use it to remove the water from small gaps. Do not think of getting it from computer store. You don’t have that much time. Hold the can straight and push the air (set to a low psi) into speaker, mic, keypad, and hard to reach gaps. This will pull out moisture from small gaps.

Things to Avoid, if your iPhone 4 falls into Water

  1. Do not place iPhone in Refrigerator – Many people recommend placing the wet cellphone in refrigerator claiming that the refrigerator cools things by drawing moisture out of things. I would not recommend this method because most of the refrigerators are automatic and the method may damage your wet iPhone.
  2. Do not put the iPhone in the freezer – Placing the wet phone in the freezer may damage the LCD of your cellphone and therefore the method is not recommended at all.
  3. Hair dryer may damage your iPhone – You may use hair dryer to dry up your wet iPhone 4 but again it is not recommended by us. Hair dryer blows air out that may push the excess water deep inside your iPhone which may further damage the components and electronic circuits of your wet cellphone.
  4. Do not place in front of Desert Cooler – Desert coolers are widely used in countries like India and other parts of south Asian countries. Placing the wet cellphone in the vicinity of desert cooler may add moisture to you cellphone. Make sure you do not place your cellphone in front of cooler.
  5. Do not place into microwave Oven – Most people have suggested keeping the wet mobile inside microwave oven with warm settings. It is not at all recommended by us. Instead of saving you iPhone 4 you may end up in ruining your microwave as well.

How to Test your wet iPhone

After removing water and moisture completely from your iPhone, re-attach the battery to the phone and see if it works. If your iPhone 4 fails to operate then there is a possibility that the battery is damaged.

Prevent water damage indicator from voiding your warranty

iPhone warranty does not cover water damage. There are iphone moisture indicator that prove moisture in iPhone unit. Phone and iPod products are equipped with Liquid Contact Indicators in the bottom of the headphone jack. At the base of the headphone jack, you should see what a white or silver-colored dot is normally. If this gets wet it permanently changes color (from white to pink or red) and your iPhone is marked for water damage and eventually voiding your warranty claims.


A drop of bleach also can do wonders for you. If the sticker turned out red then just place a drop of bleach on the red spot and it will be turned back to white. You can then go to authorized dealer for replacing water damaged iPhone and claim for warranty. This will exempt you from paying a voided-warranty fee.

Prevent your iPhone 4 from Falling down in the Toilet

  1. Don’t use your iPhone inside the toilet.
  2. If you cannot avoid taking an important call while you are in Toilet, make sure to activate the iPhone in ‘Loudspeaker’ mode rather holding in your hand.
  3. If you keep your mobile phone in the side-pockets of your trousers then make sure to take it out and keep it in safe place like in shirt’s pocket or it is better to hang your trousers behind the door.
  4. It is strongly advisable to use the iPhone cases that can be buckled with belt.
  5. Ladies must leave their iPhones in purse.

According to a source, around 1 million British have accidents involving cell phones and toilets every year. Michael Powers, vice president of product management at Asurion, the second-largest provider of wireless phones insurance in North America, said

About 20% of the claims coming in were because phones were damaged by some kind of liquid, including “being dropped in a lake, pool, and, yes, in toilets.”

Did your iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS just experience water damage? What did you do? You may share your experience, what steps did you carried out to save your iPhone from water damage?

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  • Hana

    Hi. I put mine in rice and it was working with some water effect but then it stopped suddenly and now nothing but when I plugged it into my MacBook the Mac recognised it and downloaded its photos. The screen though is black and doesn’t seem, to be on


    So my baby bro got my ipod in the toilet and thinking he was smrt left it in the charger for about a half an hour HELP ME PLZZZZZZ need to know what to do

  • Vickis_aqt

    help. i dried my iphone with rice and the handset works perfectly but i cannot make calls or use the 3g aspect. i can use the internet when connected to my internet at home. i know the sim card isnt damaged as it works in someone elses phone, i tried theres in mine (same network) and all it displays is searching. does anyone know how to get this bit of the iphone working?

  • Leonard Frost

    I just found the easiest fix for a water damaged iPhone. Put your phone
    in a thin sock and hang it over the door of your clothes dryer. Set
    the dryer on low heat and run it with nothing else in the dryer (to
    prevent static damage). The sock draped over the dryer door keeps the
    phone from tumbling in the dryer, and the dryer will eventually pull out
    the moisture. My daughter dropped her phone in a bathtub and, after a
    half day in the dryer, it works fine again

  • Paul

    who the fuck hangs their trousers behind the door when taking a shit?!

  • Aexcorrado77

    i heard somewhere.. to put it in rice. so it will absorb the water. i put mine in the washing machine..and i took the battery out and now have both in a rice baggy. i’m going to wait three days maybe.. two cause it’s killing me! to see if it worked.. many people said it has worked. i got it from many different websites.. not just one! gahhh this sucks. thanks for the tips though

  • pontus

    One thing you forgot about the iphone 4 is that there are two more stickers (“watersensors”) under the back cover. Those also has to be replaced, otherwise the apple service center will notice and it will not be warranty-friendly. If you have a friend with a iphone 4 you can use his/hers while handing it in and then switch back again after it has been fixed.

  • One_001_001

    Your whole schedule of how to save any phone is in
    dire need of HELP. I could save my iPhone 4 in an
    unexplainable(oh is that word to big for you?)amount
    time faster than getting lost in your ’25 killer
    ways to fumble through how NOT to save ANY phone’

  • E Miester

    I like the bleach tip, but I didn’t know that you could just rip out an iPhone 4 battery and put it back in, Android how ever, yes. And my story: got tackled into a pool with my phone in my pocket.

  • Guest

    Seriously bad post for iphone 4…. because? …. you can’t remove the battery in an iphone 4!!! and it’s your critical step!!!

  • Bd Sj

    this is bollocks – remove the battery on an iphone4…how…

    • Pontus

      it sure is possibly to remove the battery, open the back on your iphone 4 and the remove the screw holding the battery contact. then you can remove it easily

    • Pontus

      it sure is possibly to remove the battery, open the back on your iphone 4 and the remove the screw holding the battery contact. then you can remove it easily

  • Katmart60

    Hi! I did not see this great post until after the fact….Anyhow I did put my cell phone in rice and did set it in the sun and actually blew it out with a little compressed air….Well had to order another battery as it was shot!!! Anyhow everything is working great..EXCEPT…External Speakers! Can’t hear the phone ring or can’t turn the external speaker on! I can put it on vibrate and can hear a little rumbling thank goodness…Just keep having to check the phone. Anyhow this has been over 10 days ago..Is there any help or is it hopeless? This was not a very expensive phone. Is an LG 900G Smart phone BUT was brand new as only had it for 1 week. Baby dropped it in the toilet!!! Thanks for any suggestions…..HELP!!!!!!

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  • http://www.pridecarpetcleaning.com/pride-carpet-cleaning-water-damage-service.html Water Damage Ft Lauderdale

    Nice gadget. Thanks for the post.

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