How do you fix an iPhone 6 that fell in water?

If your iPhone 6 fell into water, don’t panic. There are several steps you can take to try and fix it. The most important thing is to act quickly, before corrosion sets in and causes permanent damage. Here are the best ways to try and revive a water-damaged iPhone 6.

Step 1: Retrieve the iPhone from the Water

If your iPhone recently fell into water, retrieve it as soon as possible. The longer it remains submerged, the more water can seep into its ports and openings. Carefully remove the iPhone from the water, making sure all parts of it leave the liquid. If it fell into a toilet or other unsanitary water, be very careful about contamination when handling it. You may want to wash your hands thoroughly after retrieval.

Step 2: Dry the iPhone Thoroughly

It’s important to dry the iPhone well, both externally and internally. Here are some tips for drying:

  • Use a lint-free cloth to gently blot away any external moisture. Don’t rub the screen as this could cause scratches.
  • If sand or dirt got on the phone, try blowing it off gently before wiping with a cloth.
  • Use canned air to blow out any water in the ports, speakers, camera, etc. Tilt and turn the phone as you blow air to help the liquid drain out.
  • Place the iPhone in front of a fan, which will help evaporate any remaining moisture inside the device. Let it air dry for at least 24 hours.
  • You can also try putting the iPhone in a sealed bag with drying agents like silica gel packs. This absorbs excess moisture.

Step 3: Remove the SIM Card and Battery

To help the drying process, you should remove the iPhone’s SIM card and battery. Here’s how:

  1. Use the SIM card ejection tool (or a paperclip) to pop out the SIM card tray.
  2. Slide the SIM card out from the tray.
  3. Turn off the iPhone if it’s still on.
  4. Hold down the power and volume down buttons for 5-10 seconds until the power off slider appears. Slide to turn off.
  5. Let the phone sit turned off for 15-30 minutes. This gives time for internal moisture to evaporate.
  6. Use a pentalobe screwdriver to unscrew the two bottom screws on either side of the Lightning port.
  7. Lift off the display starting from the bottom. Go slowly and gently.
  8. Disconnect the battery cable from the logic board.
  9. Gently maneuver the battery out from the adhesive strips holding it down.
  10. Leave the SIM card and battery out for 24-48 hours to allow thorough drying.

Step 4: Absorb Moisture with Rice

One of the most popular methods to draw moisture out of a wet iPhone is to bury it in uncooked rice. Here’s how to do it effectively:

  • Place the iPhone in a sealable bag or container. Add 2-3 cups of raw rice and seal the bag/container.
  • The rice will act as a desiccant, absorbing and drying out the interior moisture.
  • Bury the entire bag in the rice so the phone is fully surrounded.
  • Let the iPhone sit in the rice for 24-48 hours.
  • Check it periodically, changing out the rice if it becomes saturated.
  • When ready to remove, take the iPhone out of the bag and wipe off any rice dust.

Step 5: Try Water Displacement Methods

Some other DIY methods used to displace water and dry out an iPhone’s interior include:

  • Isopropyl alcohol: Soak the iPhone for 1-2 minutes in 99% isopropyl alcohol, which helps displace water.
  • Cat litter: Bury the phone in cat litter for 12-24 hours so it can absorb moisture.
  • Silica gel: Fill a container with silica gel packs and put the iPhone inside. The crystals bond to water molecules.

Step 6: Clean Off Corrosion

If the internal components got wet, corrosion can start to build up. Try cleaning it off with these methods:

  • Use a toothbrush dipped in isopropyl alcohol to lightly brush corrosion away.
  • Clean corrosion from the Lightning port with a wooden or plastic toothpick.
  • Spray contact cleaner into the headphone jack and charge port.
  • Dab vinegar onto corroded areas using a cotton swab.

Step 7: Dry Out Wet Internal Parts

Water exposure can short circuit electronic components inside the iPhone. Here’s how to dry them out:

  • Let the iPhone sit for 72+ hours after wetness exposure so interior parts fully dry.
  • Use a hair dryer on a low heat setting to gently warm and evaporate moisture inside.
  • Place the iPhone in front of a heating vent to utilize warm circulating air.
  • Pack the iPhone with dry rice and place near a dehumidifier for moisture removal.

Step 8: Check for Liquid Damage Indicators

Apple places special liquid contact indicator strips in iPhones that change color when exposed to moisture:

  • Use a flashlight to look for the indicator strips – they are pink or white when dry.
  • If they have turned red, that signals water damage. The strips won’t reverse back to their original color.
  • Liquid indicators are located by the SIM card slot, battery cable, and logic board screws.
  • If the strips are tripped, certain iPhone components may need replacement.

Step 9: Test iPhone Functions

Once the iPhone has had time to thoroughly dry out, the next step is to test its functionality:

  • Try turning the iPhone back on. If it won’t power up, the logic board likely sustained water damage.
  • Check that the touchscreen responds smoothly without any glitches.
  • Test buttons and switches to confirm they press down correctly.
  • Check if cellular service reconnects once the SIM is re-inserted.
  • Try charging the battery to see if it powers up and holds charge.
  • Test the front and rear cameras to make sure they still capture images.
  • Check speaker and microphone sound quality.

Step 10: Backup Data and Reset the iPhone

If you are still experiencing functionality issues, try factory resetting the iPhone:

  • First, backup your data via iTunes or iCloud.
  • Go to Settings > General > Reset and choose “Erase All Content and Settings”.
  • This will wipe the phone and set it back to factory defaults.
  • After the reset, test functions again. This may resolve software issues.
  • Restore your data backup onto the iPhone.

Step 11: Replace Any Faulty Parts

If certain components no longer work properly even after drying out, you may need to replace them:

  • The battery – Water can damage battery cells and their ability to hold charge.
  • Speakers – Liquid in the speaker mesh can muffle sound quality.
  • SIM card reader – Corrosion buildup can affect how it reads SIM cards.
  • Charging port – Debris and corrosion in the Lightning port can affect charging.
  • Logic board – If corroded or shorted out, it may need replacement.

Step 12: Contact Apple Support

If you’ve tried all troubleshooting steps and the iPhone still isn’t working, contact Apple support:

  • Make a Genius Bar appointment at an Apple store – Technicians can assess water damage and necessary repairs.
  • Call AppleCare support to walk through troubleshooting over the phone and explore your repair options.
  • Check if your iPhone is still under warranty. Water damage may not be covered, but other issues may qualify.
  • Inquire about out-of-warranty replacement costs from Apple Support.

Tips to Prevent Water Damage

To avoid water damage to your iPhone in the future, keep these tips in mind:

  • Use a waterproof case when going to wet environments like the pool or beach.
  • Keep your iPhone away from sinks, bathtubs, and toilets.
  • Never charge your iPhone near water or with wet hands.
  • Turn off your iPhone and remove the battery if it gets wet before drying it out.
  • Avoid spills by keeping drinks away from your iPhone.
  • Purchase AppleCare+ for iPhone to cover water damage repair costs.

Diagnosing the Extent of Liquid Damage

It’s tricky to diagnose how severely an iPhone was damaged by water. Here are some factors that provide clues:

  • Exposure time – The longer an iPhone sits in liquid, the more water seeps inside. A quick splash or drop has lower risk than being submerged overnight.
  • Water type – Pure freshwater causes less corrosion than saltwater, soda, or chlorinated water which conducts electricity and is more corrosive.
  • Drying speed – An iPhone left wet for days has higher chance of short circuiting versus one dried out quickly.
  • Indicator strips – If they turned red, components near them likely got wet enough to sustain damage.
  • Corrosion – Severe corrosion visible inside or outside the iPhone signals extensive water exposure.

Common iPhone Water Damage Problems

Here are some of the most common issues seen in an iPhone exposed to moisture:

  • Not powering on when pressing the power button
  • Glitchy, unresponsive, or discolored touchscreen
  • Poor sound quality from speakers
  • Faulty charging port preventing battery from charging
  • Buttons and switches that don’t click properly
  • Cracked or foggy camera lens
  • Corroded SIM card reader unable to read SIM card
  • Short circuited logic board unable to power on system components

Cost to Repair Water Damaged iPhone

The cost to fix an iPhone water damage varies based on the components needing repair. Here are average repair costs for common issues:

iPhone 6 battery replacement $40 – $70
iPhone 6 charging port replacement $90 – $130
iPhone 6 speaker replacement $35 – $55
iPhone 6 logic board replacement $180 – $300
iPhone 6 complete repair of water damage $250 – $400+

Prices can vary depending on your location and the repair shop. Apple charges $300+ for an out-of-warranty iPhone 6 logic board replacement.

How to Prevent Mold Growth

One complication that can occur if an iPhone gets wet is mold growth inside or outside the device. To prevent mold from developing:

  • Dry the iPhone thoroughly as soon as possible after water exposure using the drying methods suggested above.
  • Keep the iPhone in a dry, well-ventilated area during the drying process.
  • Use a dehumidifier to maintain low indoor humidity.
  • Place desiccants like silica gel packs around the iPhone as it dries.
  • Disinfect the iPhone’s exterior using isopropyl alcohol to prevent microbial growth.
  • Avoid heat sources that could cause trapped moisture to condense inside the device.
  • Closely inspect the iPhone for any fuzzy mold growth and remove it promptly.

Should You Turn on a Wet iPhone?

It’s risky to turn on an iPhone that got wet before thoroughly drying it out. Here’s why you should wait:

  • Powering up can short circuit water-logged components.
  • Using an iPhone with lingering moisture inside can electrically charge the liquid, accelerating corrosion.
  • Turning it on generates heat that can convert moisture into condensation inside.
  • The touchscreen can glitch or register false inputs if still wet on the surface.
  • Best practice is to dry it for 72+ hours before testing power functions.

The exceptions would be turning it on briefly to back up data or turn it off before drying. Avoid using a wet iPhone for prolonged periods.

Replacing Liquid Contact Indicator Strips

The liquid contact indicator strips inside an iPhone are irreversible. However, you can purchase replacement strips:

  • Carefully scrape off the tripped indicator strips using a plastic spudger tool.
  • Clean the areas where the strips make contact until only adhesive remains.
  • Purchase new indicator strip stickers that match your iPhone model.
  • Carefully attach the new strips in their correct locations.
  • Replacing the strips can make water damage appear less severe.

This cosmetic fix fools visual inspections, but cannot disguise actual water damage if problems remain. Use responsibly.


Seawater, chlorinated pools, and dirty pond water all spell trouble for the iPhone 6. But with some luck and the right drying techniques, an iPhone can recover surprisingly well from a dunking. Just be sure to give it plenty of drying time and don’t power it on prematurely. With diligent effort, there’s a decent chance of reviving a waterlogged iPhone.