How to dry a water damaged iPhone

The new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models are water resistant, however, old models aren't. Whether you’ve dropped it in the bath, the sea, or the toilet, water damage to iPhones can be fatal. But if you act quick, you can save your phone and the data contained within it.

The first thing to do, obviously, is get the iPhone out of the water as soon as possible, and remove as much water as you can by using paper towels or a cloth. Do not attempt to plug it in as this can cause short circuits. If it’s in a case, take it out, and remove the SIM card, too. You then need to shake the phone to remove excess water - so the charger/headphone ports are facing down.

When your iPhone is in use, circuits are activated inside. So if you get a notification while it’s water damaged, this could be damaging. Similarly, turning the phone off causes the phone to wake up and ask you to slide to turn off. Both are not ideal, but at least with turning it off, there’s only one risk of short circuiting the phone. So this is what we recommend. Again, do not even think about plugging it in.

The next step is to get as much interior water out as possible, and the best way to do this is with rice. Leave your iPhone completely submerged in uncooked rice for a couple of days, but this isn’t completely without risk – small particles of rice could get inside your phone. But this is still a great, quick and effective method to draw moisture out. You can also use silica gel packets, but you’re not as likely to have these lying around the house as you are rice. Resist all temptation to apply heat, for example from a hair dryer.

Once you’ve waited a couple of days, try switching your phone on, to see if it responds. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to get the internal mechanics of the phone checked out, by going to the Genius Bar at any Apple Store. If the phone is unable to be repaired, and it contains precious data that you haven’t backed up, you’ll need to enlist the help of a professional data recovery company.