How to dry a water-damaged iPhone

User guides Richard Goodwin 10:49, 31 Oct 2013

How you can fix an iPhone that has got wet - an issue that Apple does not cover under its warranty or Apple Care

Whatever you do with your iPhone, don’t get it wet (even if you do believe the rumours that iOS 7 will make it waterproof). Why? because the warranty and the paid-for Apple Care plan specifically exclude any faults that are due to water damage.

This means that if your iPhone stops working after you, say, drop it in the sea or leave it in a steamy bathroom, your options are limited.

But if you do take your iPhone back to the Apple Store or your mobile supplier, don’t lie  - they’ll find you out. The iPhone has four 'Liquid Submersion indicators' inside it that turn pink on contact with water - so they will know if you're telling porkies.

(One of these circular sensors is visible if you look down the headphone socket with a bright light - if it's been triggered the circle will be half pink and half white).

So Apple won’t - or can’t help - but all is not lost. There are plenty of reports online showing people successfully ‘drying out’ their iPhones. If you have completely immersed your iPhone in water don't try to restart it by plugging it into a power source - seriously. And put away that hairdryer.

Instead follow the steps below to have the best chance of resurrecting it. First wipe off the liquid and gently shake the phone to clear ports and sockets.

Out of all the tried and tested methods, the most successful is using Silica gel - which is an incredibly moisture-absorbent substance often found in new handbags or with new pairs of shoes. If you keep your packaging for hi-fi or cameras you may already have some lying around the house. Otherwise you can find it at Arts & Crafts shops - it's used for drying flowers - or you may be able to blag it from an electronics store. You can also order it online from places like Davpack 

Then pack the iPhone in a sealed plastic bag, safely nested among packets of Silica gel, and store it in a dry place (like the back of a cupboard) for three days. If you’ll miss your phone during this time you can always pop your SIM in a temporary one - and giving it time to dry out should ensure the moisture is drawn out from the electronic innards of your iPhone

If you can't get hold of the Silica gel quickly place your iPhone in a bag or box of uncooked rice and reseal it. This will keep it as dry as possible in the meantime. Transfer the iPhone to the Silica gel bags when you get them.

Finally connect up your iPhone to your PC, load up iTunes and try to do a complete Restore. This will provide you with the best chance of getting the iPhone to its pre-drenched working state.

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