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

Step 2: Use A Real Desiccant To Dry Your iPhone (If You Have One)

After people realize how bad the rice idea is, they begin to wonder, “Isn’t there anything that can dry out the inside of my iPhone?”

Yes, there is! A substance that produce a state of dryness in nearby objects is called a desiccant. I believe the rice myth came about from the mistaken belief that rice itself is an effective desiccant. Rice might work in a salt shaker, but it certainly doesn’t work for an iPhone.

You’ve seen desiccants before and you’ve thrown them away. They come in the packages of all sorts of everyday things that need to stay dry: Vitamins, pill bottles, electronics, clothes, and a variety of other common items ship with tiny little packets (sometimes called “freshness packets”) containing desiccants. They don’t ship products with little bags of rice.

Keep Desiccants Handy! Your iPhone’s Life May Depend On It.

This may, perhaps, be the most important thing you gain from this article. From now on, every time you receive a product that contains a desiccant packet, place it inside a ziplock bag that you keep handy. This is the beginning of your iPhone emergency kit. Benjamin Franklin’s phrase rings true here: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

Step 3: Leave Your iPhone Alone.

I know it’s hard to do nothing, but in this case, it’s the best thing you can do. If you have a ziplock bag containing desiccants, leave your iPhone flat on the counter and let the desiccants do their job. Don’t turn it off – let the battery run out by itself.

But Shouldn’t I Turn It Off?

If your wet iPhone is in good enough shape that you could turn it off, leaving it alone is the best thing you can do. Tilting or pressing buttons on your iPhone can cause water inside your phone to move around, and that could mean the difference between rescuing and replacing your iPhone.

How Long Should I Leave My iPhone Alone?

Each situation is different, so it’s impossible to say exactly how long to allow your iPhone to sit before you attempt to turn it back on. As a general rule of thumb, leave your iPhone alone overnight and reassess the damage in the morning.

It’s true that a completely water-logged iPhone won’t dry out overnight, but if your iPhone is that wet it’s probably too far gone.

On the last page of this article, I’ll tell you the safest way to revive a wet iPhone and explain the next steps to take to assess the extent of the damage.

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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.