An iPhone that’s been dropped in water is going to be a broken iPhone. Typically any iPhone that’s been dropped in the sink, or down the loo, will not start up okay.
A wet iPhone can have a blank screen, no sound, a touch screen that doesn’t work, or any manner of other defects.
Fortunately it’s often not the end of the world (or the end of the iPhone). Drying out the phone slowly, and properly, can help. It’s best to use a product like the Kensington EVAP Rescue Pouch, or collect old silica gel packets. But if you haven’t done either of those things, then this rice trick could help.
How to fix a water damaged iPhone
There’s a little-known but useful rice trick that can be used to attempt to repair an iPhone. It works in these steps (that are worth remembering):
- Do not switch on the phone. If it’s off leave it off (the charge will cause more damage).
- Get some dry rice (not cooked) and a tupperware food box. If no tupperware box is available get a bowl.
- Fill the tupperware box with dry rice and place the iPhone inside the rice (so it surrounds the device, covering the screen).
- Put the lid on.
- Go and do something for three days. Do not take the iPhone out of the rice.
- After three days (72 hours) Plug the iPhone in and switch it on. See if it works properly.
- If it doesn’t. Switch the iPhone off, put it back in the rice and wait another 24 hours.
- Keep trying it every day for a few more days.
This trick has been tried and tested by members of the Macworld UK team. The idea behind the rice trick is that the rice absorbs the water, and that when it’s all dried out the iPhone should work again. There are few moving parts in an iPhone so the water damage can be minimal. There’s some debate as to whether the rice actually does anything, or it’s just the process of leaving it alone and letting it dry out naturally that is the repair. But we’ve tried it and it worked for us.
Leave it like this for a good 48 hours before turning it on. It may take several days to dry out.