How to Repair Water Damaged iPhone or iPod Touch

By Techwalla Contributor

The iPhone and iPod Touch are expensive to replace, so water damage is a serious problem. The damage is not covered by the device warranty or the optional AppleCare coverage. A moisture sensor is included in the inner workings of the phone, so it is not possible to claim the damage is anything other than water-related. Although not all iPhones or iPod Touches can be saved from water damage, quick action and a little patience can bring some of the mobile devices back to life.

Things You'll Need

  • Bag of white rice
  • 1 zippered plastic bag
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Hair dryer or handheld vacuum

Step 1

Turn the device off and disconnect any cables from it immediately. Do not attempt to turn it on. Do not press any of its buttons throughout the attempt to salvage the device.

Step 2

Remove the SIM card from the iPhone. Use the SIM card removal tool or the end of a paperclip to eject the SIM card. Dry it with a microfiber cloth as gently as possible. Set it aside on an absorbent paper towel.

Step 3

Wipe any visible dampness from the device using a microfiber cloth. Shake the device and wipe away any additional moisture.

Step 4

Turn a hair dryer to the cool setting and blow air into the openings on the mobile device for at least 15 minutes in an attempt to force moisture out of the device. If your hair dryer does not have a cool setting, do not use it. Any heat can damage delicate adhesives inside the device. Instead, hold a handheld vacuum up to the openings on the device to draw moisture out.

Step 5

Place the iPhone or iPod Touch into a zippered plastic bag full of rice. Cover the device with rice. Close the bag but do not seal it. Leave an opening so the humidity can escape. Keep the bag somewhere dry and relatively cool or at room temperature.

Step 6

Leave the phone in the bag of rice for 24 hours. Replace the rice and wait an additional 24 hours. If you have the patience, replace the rice again and wait another day.

Step 7

Turn on the device. On the iPhone, insert the SIM card and see if you can get reception. Use several of the apps. If everything is working, congratulations. However, if the iPhone or iPod Touch is not working properly, take the device to the nearest Apple Store to inquire about repair or replacement.

Tips & Warnings

  • The Apple Store can replace water damaged iPods and iPhones for $199.99 with a used one if you decide you cannot follow the steps indicated.
  • Do not turn the device on until you are sure it is as dry as possible.