Dropped Iphone In Water: What To Do

So, you dropped iPhone in water: what to do? Well, don't worry, it may be salvageable. Just follow these simple steps and pray to Steve Jobs that your phone hasn't become an expensive paperweight.

What you will need:

  • a hairdryer (men know these as "heat guns")
  • a bag of uncooked rice (seriously, trust us)
  • canned air
  1. First things first: remove your iPhone from the water. This should be self-evident, but then again, you did just drop an expensive piece of electronics into water, so who knows.
  2. Do not turn the iPhone on. Getting electronics wet isn't inherently bad. The damage occurs when electricity is run through the wet circuits. The water causes electrons to zig when they should zag, ruining the device. Bottom line: don't turn the phone on.
  3. Shake as much water as possible out of the iPhone. Around now, you'll be wishing you'd bought any other phone, since you'd be able to remove the battery cover and dry out the internals. Try to get as much of the water out of the iPhone as you can. Be careful not to accidentally turn it on.
  4. Blow canned air into any openings. What you're trying to do here is evaporate as much of the water as possible by bringing it into contact with dry air. Since your phone is enclosed, the only way to get dry air to the inside of the phone is by blowing it in through the speaker, the earpiece, and the various ports.
  5. Using a hairdryer set to the lowest temperature, blowdry the phone for several minutes. Be very careful here. Your goal is to heat the air in the phone to dry it out, not to boil the water off. Overheating the phone will damage it. If the air from the hairdryer is too hot for you to hold your hand in front of it, it's too hot for the phone.
  6. Place the phone in a bag of dry rice. If you've ever owned a Blackberry, this step will be familiar. Although it seems like something your senile great aunt might do, the dry rice will actually absorb moisture from the phone over the course of a few days. Most people recommend that you wait for two or three days if you just got the phone a little damp, or an entire week if it took a bath. 
  7. Repeat steps 3 through 6 as necessary. Here's where you'll need a little luck on your side. To be safe, after step 6, shake the phone a bit. If no water comes out, try turning it on. Cross fingers as needed. If it doesn't turn on, repeat the drying process. Some people have actually been able to bring iPhones back from water damage after multiple weeks of drying. 

The bottom line is that you want to remove as much of the water as you possibly can from your iPhone before you turn it on. Following these steps will give you the best shot at recovering an iPhone from water damage, but, as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Which just means you shouldn't put your phone in the washing machine.

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