My iPhone Got Wet. What Do I Do? Don’t Use Rice!

When your iPhone gets wet, it’s an emergency. We know what to do in other emergency situations, but what most people do when their iPhones get wet is about as effective as throwing water on a grease fire: It causes a lot more harm than good.

The most important thing in any emergency is to be prepared: Know what to do if your iPhone gets wet, and even more importantly, learn the mistakes people make that cause irreparable damage to iPhones that could have been saved.

I got a lot of first-hand experience with wet iPhones when I worked for Apple. Over and over again, I met people who had damaged their own iPhones beyond repair because of the crazy advice they had gotten from a friend.

You’re reading part 1 of a three-part series about what to do to rescue, repair, or replace a wet or water-damaged iPhone. I’ll debunk the myths I’ve heard about how to save a wet iPhone, tell you what absolutely not to do, and explain the best options for rescuing an iPhone that may have water damage.

Step 1: Remove All Water From The Outside Of Your iPhone

The first thing to do if your iPhone gets wet is to remove as much water as possible from the outside of your iPhone. Don’t turn it off – we’re in triage mode now.

Your best bet is a microfiber cloth, but if you don’t have one of those lying around (and you probably won’t), the next thing you’ll reach for will probably be a tissue. Warning: This is where we’ll see the first all-too-common mistake people make when their iPhone gets wet.

Mistake #1: The Broken-Apart Tissue Problem

You’ll want to use something that’s very absorbent when you dry your iPhone, but absolutely not something that might break apart or leave residue inside. Yes, tissues are absorbent, but they have a nasty habit of breaking apart when they come into contact with water.

What Could Go Wrong?

If you’re attempting to remove water from your headphone jack and part of the tissue breaks off, now you’re got two problems: A wet iPhone and a headphone jack with a wet tissue stuck inside.

Unless you’ve had experience with headphone jacks on iPhones, you would not believe how difficult it is to get anything out of there without damaging the jack itself.

Tissues have a second strike against them: They tend to leave dust or residue inside of your iPhone. Don’t use a tissue with aloe: In this case, the cheaper the tissue, the better. If you can rip a regular tissue and dust doesn’t come out of it, it’s probably OK to use.

How To Do It Right

If you do use a tissue, be very gentle, especially when cleaning the charging port and headphone jack. Just stick the tissue in, let it absorb the liquid, and gently remove it. Don’t twist it – the edges inside of the headphone jack can cause the tissue to break apart.

On the next page, we’ll deal with the deadliest mistake people make while trying to save their wet iPhone. Read on to find out how trying to dry your iPhone using rice can cause irreperable damage to your iPhone.

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About Author

I'm a former Apple employee and the founder of Payette Forward, and I'm here to help you with your iPhone.

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Uncle Ben
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Uncle Ben

My son’s iphone 6s was put in a bag of rice for several weeks after he jumped into a pool with it in his swim trunks pocket. Should we attempt to turn it on, or should we try using a dessicant? This happened a month ago. Thank you for your advice.

Uncle Ben
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Uncle Ben

We have just realized that the touch screen has separated from the body of the phone. Can this be repaired?

Uncle Ben
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Uncle Ben

My son’s iphone 6S was in his swim trunk’s pocket when he jumped in a pool a month ago. Unfortunately, the phone was put in a bag of rice for several weeks. What should we do now? Should we try to turn it on or does it make sense to try using dessicants at this point? Thank you for your advice.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Ok so can you please help me i have an iphone 6s and i had my noodles spilled all over the floor and my iphone was there and i cleaned the wet stuff in it and blew threw my phone charger place it doesnt want to charge tho anf its been in the charger all night its still on 1%

Anonymous
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Anonymous

hi can you help me
my phone got moisture from the noodle agt the same time the top cover is wet aslong as the front camera thingy and beside the camera is wet too and i think it gets water inside
my phone starts to lag and having straight lines what should i do pls help its been 13 hrs since my phone got wet helpp me pls

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Would gauze work too?

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Step 3 is not clear to me, do I leave the cell phone on the counter with the dessicant on top of it or do I put the cell phone in the bag with the dessicant.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Alex Seto, Courtney Seto, Max Seto, Katie Seto

Anonymous
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Anonymous

if I have to click forward again and again to read a story , I stop on the first page

Anonymous
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Anonymous

There’s a little bit of water on the inside top corner of my screen. I don’t have a ziplock and stuff what do I do?

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Where are parts 2 and 3 of this article?

Jackie79
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Jackie79

I just dropped my I phone 5s in water yesterday. I actually put in in minute rice overnight and now I completely regret doing that. Everything works fine except I’m not able to use Touch ID anymore because it apparently has water damage. I regret not reading this first. Sadly the warranty just expired about five months ago so I don’t have the money to replace the phone. Probably just going to wait another few years and get another iPhone. I can’t pay around $250 for them just to replace my phone.

Lily S
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Lily S

Hi! I dropped my iPhone in water yesterday evening, did the rice thing, and now, I’m regrettably reading your site. The phone is turning on just fine, I am able to get messages, and it makes sounds. Does this mean that ive nothing to worry about in terms of getting it fixed and paying money for that or a new phone?? It is an iPhone 6

Lakhi Kipa Bhutia
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Lakhi Kipa Bhutia

I recently got an iPhone 6 and it was working fine but yesterday i couldn’t abort a call so I turned my phone off . After that I couldn’t turn it on. And also the phone showed no signs when I charged it. On holding the home button and wake button my phone finally turned on. But the phone couldn’t connect to any network and only if I connected it manually, the phone showed network for a few minutes and then no service again. And also my wifi was greyed out. I followed the steps you mentioned and it did… Read more »

Sue Rose
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Where is part 2 and 3 of the My Phone Got Wet article?