How do you dry out a wet iPhone?

Having your iPhone get wet can be a scary experience. Water can cause serious damage to the sensitive electronic components inside smartphones. However, there are steps you can take to try to dry out a wet iPhone and potentially save it from permanent damage.

What to do if your iPhone gets wet

If your iPhone has been exposed to water, it’s important to act quickly. Here are the initial steps you should take:

  • Retrieve your iPhone from the water source as quickly as possible. The less time it spends submerged, the better.
  • Do not try to turn on your wet iPhone. Powering on an electronic device before it has fully dried can cause short circuits and permanent damage.
  • Dry off the outside of your iPhone with a clean towel or cloth. Gently dab at any water on the screen and ports.
  • If possible, remove the SIM card tray to drain out any water trapped inside.
  • Do not try to charge your wet iPhone, as this can also lead to short circuits.

Use rice to absorb moisture

One of the most popular methods to dry out a wet smartphone is to submerge it in uncooked rice. Here’s why this technique works:

  • Rice is hygroscopic, meaning it naturally absorbs moisture from the air and surroundings.
  • When you submerge your wet iPhone in rice, the rice will gradually draw moisture out from the interior and ports of the device through small openings.
  • The rice absorbs and contains the moisture, while the heat generated from the rice also helps to dry out the phone’s interior.

To dry an iPhone with rice:

  1. Fill a sealable bag or airtight container with uncooked rice. You want enough rice to fully cover and submerge the iPhone.
  2. Power off the iPhone and place it into the bag/container of rice. Seal it closed to lock in the rice and moisture.
  3. Let the iPhone sit buried in rice for at least 24-48 hours to give the rice time to fully absorb any moisture.
  4. After 48 hours, retrieve your iPhone and check it. If it still seems wet, re-submerge it in fresh, dry rice for another 24 hours.
  5. Once the iPhone appears dry, you can remove it from the rice and attempt to turn it on.

Use a drying agent

Instead of rice, you can also use moisture-absorbing silica gel packets to dry out a wet iPhone. Here are some tips if using this method:

  • Silica gel packs work similarly to rice, soaking up and trapping moisture inside them.
  • Bury your wet iPhone in a sealable plastic bag or airtight container along with multiple silica gel packs.
  • Use enough packs to fully surround and cover the iPhone.
  • Let the phone sit for 24-48 hours to allow the packs to absorb moisture.
  • Check your iPhone periodically and change out the gel packs if they appear saturated with water.

You can obtain silica gel packs by saving the ones that often come in product packaging. You can also purchase them in bulk online for cheap.

Try a desiccant drying kit

For a more convenient drying solution, you can purchase an electronic dry box kit designed specifically for drying wet phones and other devices. Here’s how they work:

  • These kits contain very powerful moisture-absorbing desiccant packs.
  • The desiccants are contained in an air-tight chamber along with a small fan to circulate air.
  • You place your wet iPhone inside, seal the chamber, and turn on the fan.
  • The circulating air accelerates the moisture absorption process, drying out the phone much quicker than rice.
  • Complete phone drying can be achieved in as little as 3-6 hours.

This quick drying makes a desiccant kit the best option if you need to salvage a wet iPhone urgently. The kits can be reused over and over by drying out the desiccants after each use.

Use a hair dryer

A hair dryer on a cool setting can also be used to expedite the drying process of a wet iPhone. Here are some precautions to take:

  • Make sure the iPhone is powered off before using a hair dryer on it.
  • Never use a hair dry on high heat, as this can damage electronic components.
  • Hold the dryer 6-8 inches away from the iPhone to avoid concentrating heat in one spot.
  • Slowly move the dryer back and forth over all sides and ports of the iPhone.
  • Check the iPhone periodically to gauge drying progress.
  • It may take 30 mins to 1 hour to fully dry the phone interior.

The moving air from the hair dryer will help evaporate any moisture left inside small crevices and openings. Just remember not to rush the process or overheat the phone.

Place it in front of a fan

For a more passive drying approach, you can place your wet iPhone in front of a fan to slowly air dry it. Here are some tips for this method:

  • Position the fan 6-10 inches from the phone so it blows a gentle stream of air over the phone.
  • Prop up the iPhone so air circulates all around and inside the ports.
  • Use a desk fan or air circulator on the lowest speed setting.
  • Let the fan run for 12-24 hours, periodically rotating the phone for even drying.
  • The constant air movement will help evaporate moisture over time.

This slower fan drying method reduces risk of overheating but requires more time. It works best in combination with another technique like rice or desiccants.

Use a salad spinner

An unusual but effective iPhone drying trick involves using a simple salad spinner. Here is how to dry out a phone this way:

  1. Place your wet iPhone inside the salad spinner chamber and close it securely.
  2. Spin the handle to rotate the inner chamber rapidly around the outer bowl.
  3. Centrifugal force will pull water out of the phone and fling it against the edges of the bowl.
  4. The spinning motion also circulates air to aid evaporation.
  5. Run the spinner for 30 seconds to 1 minute bursts, checking drying progress between spins.
  6. Remove the phone once no more water appears to be exiting it.

The salad spinner method provides a quick mechanical way to forcibly remove water from a wet device. Be sure to thoroughly clean and dry the spinner first before using it.

Use moisture-absorbing pads

There are disposable moisture-absorbing pads made specifically for drying out wet phones and electronics. Here’s how to use them:

  • These pad kits contain super absorbent pads that soak up water.
  • Wipe down the phone with the pads to absorb exterior and surface moisture.
  • Place pads underneath, on top, and all around the phone to draw out interior water.
  • Pad thickness depends on kit, but multiple pads can be layered around the phone.
  • Replace pads whenever they appear saturated with moisture.
  • Kits often contain 20-50 pads to fully dry a phone.

Absorbent pad kits offer an easy and disposable way to thoroughly dry your iPhone. They are very affordable and each pad can hold 5-10x its weight in water.

Do not use a microwave or oven

While heat can speed up drying, you should NEVER use a microwave or oven in an attempt to dry out a wet iPhone. Here is why this is unsafe:

  • Microwave radiation and extreme oven heat can damage iPhone components.
  • This level of concentrated heat can melt adhesives and protective seals inside the phone.
  • Moisture trapped in crevices can turn to steam, increasing internal pressure.
  • Pressure buildup can blow out sensitive flex cables and soldered connections.
  • There is risk of overheating battery cells and other flammable parts.

The rapid drying achieved by microwaves and ovens does not outweigh the potential for catastrophic damage. Always stick to gentler drying methods.

Avoid abrasives and cleaners

It may be tempting to try and dry out headphone and charging ports with compressed air or abrasive cleaning tools. Avoid doing this, as it can cause further damage:

  • Never blow compressed air into the ports, as this can push water deeper inside.
  • Avoid poking around the ports, as this may damage the water-resistant seals.
  • Do not use cleaning chemicals, solvents, or alcohol to dry the ports.

The best practice is allowing the ports to air dry unaided. The rice and desiccant methods will draw moisture out gradually without harming sensitive internals.

Be patient during drying

It is important to be patient while drying out your iPhone. Here are some tips:

  • Do not continually check on drying progress every 5-10 minutes.
  • Opening drying vessels frequently lets in new moisture and resets the process.
  • Wait at least 6-12 hours before periodically checking dryness.
  • Expect that thorough drying can take 24-72 hours based on the method.
  • Letting the phone dry out gradually is safer for components than rushing.

Understand that fully drying an iPhone’s interior without causing issues requires a slow, steady process over an extended period.

Test iPhone before restoring power

Once your iPhone appears dry:

  • Visually inspect charging ports for any remaining moisture or corrosion.
  • Shake the phone gently and listen for any internal rattling of loose parts.
  • Press buttons and switches to check they still have a snappy tactile response.
  • Plug in the phone briefly to see if it will take a charge.

If everything seems normal, proceed to testing the phone fully by powering it back on. However, if issues are detected, you may need to dry the phone longer or have it assessed by a repair technician.

Back up data before restoration

After verifying your iPhone will power on post-drying, an important precaution is backing up your data before using the phone further. Here’s why:

  • Water damage can cause software glitches to occur after the fact.
  • Components weakened by moisture may fail down the road.
  • Issues like non-responsive touchscreen can still arise.
  • Backup provides peace of mind and recovery options if problems surface.

To backup an iPhone, sync it with iTunes on a computer or use Apple’s iCloud online backup. This safeguards your data if moisture issues persist.

Watch for residual issues

In the days and weeks after drying your iPhone, keep an eye out for the following problems:

  • Erratic battery that drains abnormally fast.
  • Corrosion around charging ports or headphone jack.
  • Non-responsive buttons or switches.
  • Blurry camera, microphone, or speaker.
  • Prolonged condensation or fogging under screen.
  • Repeating software crashes or freezes.

These can indicate sustained water damage internally. If serious issues occur, you may need to replace damaged parts or have the phone professionally repaired.

Use moisture-detecting cards

To double check for lingering internal moisture, you can use moisture-detecting cards:

  • These thin cards have moisture-reactive chemical strips.
  • Insert a card into the SIM tray and seal it inside for 12-24 hours.
  • Check the card strips after removal – color changes indicate remaining moisture.
  • Repeat the process until a card comes out unchanged to confirm dryness.

Detection cards provide an inexpensive way to validate that no water remains trapped inside before continuing to use your iPhone.


Drying out a wet iPhone involves patience but can be done using common household items like rice, gel packs or fans. Avoid heat sources like microwaves or hairdryers on high settings. Check for residual moisture issues like battery drain or corrosion in the days following. With luck, a gradually dried phone can be restored to normal function after a quick dip or spill. But for severe water exposure, it’s wise to enlist professional help assessing any internal damage.