How to Dry a Wet iPhone

It’s been a rainy week here at Knotice, so when Kelly dropped her phone in a puddle… well, she needed help. When she sent out an email to everyone looking for help in reviving it, the suggestions flooded in.
Some ideas are obviously better than others, but most worth sharing. Enjoy!
Good Ones
DUTCH: “Stick it in a bag of natural long grain rice. It draws moisture out.”
KIER: “I’ve heard of removing the battery, drying as much water as possible, and then soaking the phone in rubbing alcohol and then letting it air dry with the battery out and the battery cover off. Supposedly the rubbing alcohol won’t affect the circuitry, but will aid in the rapid evaporation of the water. I’d assume it’s very important to remove the battery. FYI I’ve never tried this before so I really have no firsthand knowledge as to whether or not this will work. Caveat Emptor indeed. But I read it off the Internet once, so it’s gotta be right, right?”

SANDIE: “Technically, that’s the same principal as using WD-40 (which is basically alcohol in a fancy can) to displace moisture on electrical wiring, the carburetor, etc. on a car. It would probably work, but as Kier said, ‘caveat emptor.’”

BRENT: “Oil, gasoline, alcohol, these things do not corrode electrical equipment. Nor are they particularly electrically conductive. Case in point, the electric fuel pump in your car is INSIDE the gas tank.
Exposed wires and everything, gas sloshing all up on it, completely submerged most of the time, etc. That doesn’t mean you can submerge your phone in gasoline without affecting it, but it’s the corrosion that the water causes that kills a phone and the electrical conductivity that causes it to throw errors when it’s wet.

Dry gas (rubbing alcohol) is the best solution for that. It bonds with the water, and then evaporates quickly, drying the phone out quickly. This is why you can pour some in the gas tank of your car if you get water in your tank and it will absorb the water. Water doesn’t burn, but rubbing alcohol does. My solution was to hit it with a hair dryer and get the phone extremely hot, then rub it down with rubbing alcohol. Got my phone working in 30 minutes.”

ANTHONY: “Shake out all the water you can. Then open the phone and remove the battery. Get some silica gel. Most craft stores have it. Put the phone and the silica gel in a plastic bag for a day or two. The silica gel is a desiccant and as the water evaporates the gel will capture it.”

SARAH: “I would pull the battery right away. (Electricity + water = fried phone.) I usually pull the battery and let it slowly dry. If it’s an iPhone and you don’t have that option, power down immediately.

Not-So-Good Ones*
*We’ve removed the names to protect the not-so-innocent.
“I heard to put it in the oven – so if you’re daring, you could try a toaster….”
“If it stops working, take it to the Apple store and tell them the truth about what happened. If it’s the first time, they may give you a new one for free. (My boyfriend) fell in a lake and told them the story and they gave him a new one.”

“There’s not much outside of the rice solution that works. I’ve heard kitty litter can be as effective, too.”

“Dryer! Sadly, I know that sounds like the dumbest idea in the world. However, I’ve put mine in a zipped pocket with a load of clothes and it actually started working again. But I know this sounds crazy. I don’t know if I’d fully recommend it unless you have no other options.”

“Swap your phone with an unsuspecting colleague’s phone…”

NOT RECOMMENDED: “Put it in the microwave, along with the battery, on high for ten minutes, and then go to the store to get a six-pack. When you return, I can guarantee that you will either have to get a new microwave, or that you will have a shiny new glob of a phone for a paperweight!”

Happy Endings
The phone is now dry and working just fine. The rice trick worked.

Have you tried any of the above methods? Do you have any to recommend?

One Comment

  1. Lori Grim
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Before joining Knotice I worked at an Apple Store and when someone came to the Genius Bar with an iPhone that had gotten wet, we told them to try the rice in a bag solution. It’s about the only thing that will possibly work. So there you have it, folks, directly from the “Geniuses” ;-)


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