Can an iPhone be fixed if it got wet?

Quick Answer

An iPhone that has been exposed to water or other liquids may be fixable, but it depends on the extent of the water damage. If the iPhone was only splashed or had a small amount of water spilled on it and it still functions, drying it thoroughly may resolve any issues. But if the iPhone was fully submerged, fell into a pool or toilet, or has damaged ports or buttons, professional repair is likely needed. Acting quickly to dry out and power down a wet iPhone can increase the chances of a successful repair.

What should I do if my iPhone gets wet?

If your iPhone has been exposed to water, follow these steps immediately:

  • Turn the iPhone off – Press and hold the side or top button until the “slide to power off” prompt appears, then drag the slider. Turning the phone off helps prevent electrical shorts.
  • Dry the iPhone with a soft lint-free cloth – Gently dab water from the ports, buttons, speakers, camera lens, and other openings. Don’t rub the screen.
  • Absorb excess moisture – Lightly drape the iPhone in a super absorbent towel or pack it in a bag of uncooked rice. The rice will slowly draw out moisture.
  • Avoid heat sources – Don’t use a hair dryer, heater, or microwave to dry the iPhone, which can damage the internal components.
  • Don’t try charging it – Don’t attempt to power on or charge a wet iPhone until it’s completely dry.
  • Be patient – It may take 24-48 hours for the iPhone to fully dry out before you can test it.

What causes liquid damage in iPhones?

When an iPhone is exposed to water or other liquids, damage can occur for several reasons:

  • Short circuits – Water can bridge connections and create short circuits on electronic components and logic boards.
  • Corrosion – Water promotes corrosion on metallic electrical contacts and connectors.
  • Mineral deposits – As water evaporates, it can leave behind mineral residue that affects touchscreen sensitivity.
  • Damage to seals – Water can degrade the seals around cable connectors and openings.
  • Interference with mechanics – Liquid getting into buttons, switches and motors can inhibit mechanical operation.

The severity of the damage depends on factors like the water exposure time, the type of liquid, and which components were affected. Extended immersion usually causes more extensive damage.

What are the signs of liquid damage on an iPhone?

Look for these symptoms if an iPhone has gotten wet:

  • Touchscreen unresponsive or behaving erratically
  • Speakers and earpiece sound muffled
  • Buttons and switches feel sticky or don’t click
  • Camera has foggy lens or makes grinding noise
  • Charging port or headphone jack won’t recognize accessories
  • Battery charges intermittently or drains quickly
  • Corrosion around ports, buttons or sim card tray

Any of these issues can indicate moisture has gotten inside the iPhone and caused damage. The more problems that manifest after water exposure, the more extensive the damage likely is.

Can you fix a water damaged iPhone yourself?

It’s possible to fix some minor iPhone water damage yourself, but the tools and technical skill required makes professional repair the safest option in most cases. Here is what you need to know about DIY repair of a wet iPhone:

  • Disassemble carefully – Taking apart an iPhone involves heating adhesive seals, unclipping delicate connectors, and installing new water seal gaskets.
  • Clean corrosion – White vinegar and isopropyl alcohol can be used to gently clean corroded contacts and connectors.
  • Replace damaged parts – Moderate damage may require installing a new dock port, headphone jack or battery.
  • Avoid power issues – Improper techniques when working inside an iPhone can cause short circuits and other electrical damage.
  • Restore waterproofing – Fully sealing an iPhone and achieving the original IP67 rating is very challenging without the right tools and training.

Unless you have specific experience and equipment for iPhone repair, it’s safest to take a water damaged device to a professional. Independent repair shops and mobile repair technicians can often offer competitive pricing compared to Apple and have the skills to reliably fix liquid damage.

How much does it cost to repair a water damaged iPhone?

iPhone liquid damage repair costs typically range from $50 – $800+ depending on the extent of the damage. Here are the average repair costs for common water damage issues:

iPhone Repair Average Cost
Dried out charging port $50 – $100
Speaker or earpiece replacement $80 – $150
Battery replacement $50 – $100
Screen replacement $150 – $300
Logic board repair $150 – $350
Full device replacement $400 – $800+

Factors like the iPhone model, repair shop pricing, and parts cost differences can make the final repair bill higher or lower. Extensive water damage often totals an iPhone, requiring full replacement. Apple charges a $600+ out-of-warranty fee for a replacement iPhone.

How can I prevent water damage to my iPhone?

These tips can help safeguard your iPhone from accidental water exposure or immersion:

  • Use a protective case – A waterproof case creates an extra barrier against moisture.
  • Avoid bathrooms – Don’t use your iPhone near sinks, showers or tubs where it can be knocked into water.
  • Keep it away from pools and beaches – Don’t swim with your iPhone or leave it unattended near water.
  • Shut off water-detecting features – Disable indicators that could falsely trigger from splashes like waterlogged speaker alerts.
  • Insure your device – Mobile phone insurance can offset repair or replacement costs if your iPhone does get water damaged.

While no iPhone is truly waterproof, taking basic precautions goes a long way towards keeping your device safe from liquid damage.

Can iPhone liquid damage indicators be reset?

The iPhone’s internal liquid contact indicators can’t be reset or altered once they are triggered. These tiny paper-like stickers turn red when exposed to moisture, providing a visual indicator that water or other liquids have gotten inside the iPhone casing.

Attempting to dry out, bleach, or paint over activated indicators won’t revert them to their original white color. The indicators are designed as a one-time-use diagnostic tool. The only way to restore them is to replace them with new stickers during an iPhone repair or refurbishing process.

Ignoring triggered liquid contact indicators also won’t prevent an iPhone from exhibiting functional issues from water damage. If your iPhone’s indicators are red, it’s best to have the device evaluated by a repair technician, even if it still seems to work normally.

Does rice actually help dry and fix a wet iPhone?

Placing an iPhone in a bag or bowl of uncooked rice is a popular home remedy for drying out water-exposed devices, but how well does it work? Here is an overview of using rice to dry an iPhone:

  • Absorbs some moisture – Rice can help absorb some external water from an iPhone due to its starch content.
  • Insufficient for immersion damage – Rice does not draw enough water from inside the iPhone’s sealed casing to fix extensive immersion damage.
  • May cause dust or residue – Rice can leave behind particulate that can further damage an iPhone’s internal components.
  • Better humidity control options – Silica gel packs or desiccant beads absorb moisture better and less messily than rice.
  • Should not be the only method used – Rice works best in combination with powering off the iPhone and allowing it to air dry.

Overall, rice should not be relied upon as the sole drying method for a water damaged iPhone. It may supplement air drying, but professional repair is still the best solution for significant liquid exposure. Don’t attempt to power on or charge an iPhone until you are sure all moisture has evaporated.

Can I trade in or sell a water damaged iPhone?

Water damaged iPhones typically have little to no trade in or resale value due to their questionable reliability. Here are some things to know if you are considering trading in or selling an iPhone that has been exposed to water:

  • Disclose any liquid damage – Fail to mention water exposure and your iPhone may be rejected or returned.
  • Expect a low valuation – At best, a water damaged device will be valued at a fraction of normal trade in prices.
  • Repair first for improved value – Professional repair and restoration maximizes the trade in amount you can recoup.
  • Selling privately is difficult – Few buyers will take on the risk of water damage without steep discounts.
  • Recycling or donation may be better options – Eliminates the need to invest in repair costs for minimal return.

To receive a competitive trade in offer, fully repair any water damage prior to trading in your iPhone, or replace it with a functioning used, refurbished or new model. Be transparent about damage history to avoid issues during the valuation process.


Minor splashes or spills on an iPhone can often be remedied by immediately powering off and thoroughly drying out the device. But for significant water exposure like immersion or submersion, professional repair is the only reliable fix. Act quickly, don’t turn on water damaged iPhones until completely dry, and be prepared for costs up to a full replacement if the liquid exposure was severe. With care and quick response when accidents happen, water damage doesn’t have to mean the end of your iPhone’s lifecycle.