How to Dry Out Wet iPhones

by David Lipscomb

You carry your iPhone everywhere. In addition to making calls, you use it for music, movies and any number of useful apps. With this constant use comes the risk of the iPhone ending up in a pool, toilet or puddle. Water is fatal to most electronics, but you may be able to salvage the device using proven techniques. A quick response is necessary if you hope to save the phone.

Press the "Sleep/Wake" button at the top of the iPhone. Slide the red "Slide to turn off" switch to the right when prompted.

Remove any connected peripherals including headphones, dock cables or audio/video interconnects.

Remove any protective cases or bumpers on the iPhone. These only serve to trap moisture against the unit.

Remove the SIM card on models that support it. Dry the device with a clean towel. Do not turn or shake the unit in an attempt to expel moisture from any external ports or openings on the unit.

Place the iPhone in a zip-top plastic bag. Fill the bag with dry rice, low-dust kitty litter or silica gel packets. Seal the bag, allowing the desiccant to wick moisture from the phone. Let the iPhone and desiccant remain together for at least 24 to 48 hours.

Remove the iPhone from the desiccant. Turn the unit on and check for normal behavior, including touch screen responsiveness.

Go to an Apple Store to examine repair or replacement options if the moisture-damaged unit remains unresponsive after a few days of drying. Tell the technician precisely what happened. Explore recommended repair or replacement options provided by your assigned technician.


  • Apple offers discounted iPhones as replacements for water-damaged units. Explore this option if you need to replace the iPhone, since water damage is not covered by the warranty.


  • Never use direct sources of heat to dry the phone. These include hair dryers, heat guns or microwave ovens. While this may indeed dry the iPhone faster, the plastics and adhesives used in assembly will suffer.
  • Do not lie to the Apple technician. Moisture indicators inside an iPhone let the Apple representative know if the unit was wet.

Items you will need

  • Clean dry towel
  • Zip-top plastic bag
  • Uncooked rice
  • Cat litter
  • Silicone desiccant

About the Author

David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images