How long should I leave iPhone to dry?

Quick Answers

If your iPhone got wet, you should turn it off immediately and let it air dry for at least 24-48 hours before trying to turn it back on. Don’t try to charge or turn on a wet iPhone, as this can cause short circuiting. Be patient during the drying process for the best chance of saving your iPhone.

Assessing Water Damage

If your iPhone has been exposed to moisture, the first thing you’ll want to do is assess the extent of the water damage. Here are some quick things to check:

How wet is it?

– Is it just a little splash or has it been fully submerged? The more water exposure, the higher the risk of serious damage.

Which areas got wet?

– Was just the exterior housing wet or did water get inside the ports or other openings? Water in interior components raises damage risk.

Are there signs of malfunction?

– Does the screen work? Can you turn it on? Any smoke or odd smells? Functionality issues indicate possible short circuiting.

Is there visible corrosion?

– Check for corrosion around ports, buttons, or SIM tray. This can signal prolonged water exposure.

By quickly checking these areas, you can get an idea of how badly your iPhone has been affected and whether professional data recovery services may be needed.

Drying Steps for Light Splashes

If your iPhone just got a little wet but is still working, here are some steps you can take to dry it out:

1. Turn off the iPhone

Immediately power off the iPhone even if it still seems to be working normally. This helps prevent short circuiting or damage to components from occurring when powered on.

2. Disconnect all cables and accessories

Remove any connected chargers, headphone cables, cases or other accessories. You don’t want to introduce any additional moisture into interior ports while drying.

3. Dry exterior and ports with cloth

Use a soft, absorbent lint-free cloth to gently dry the iPhone’s exterior and ports. Carefully wipe any accessible moisture away.

4. Let air dry 1-2 days

Allow the iPhone to sit unpowered for at least 24-48 hours in a dry environment to give moisture time to fully evaporate. Resist the urge to check it periodically.

5. Check for functionality

After letting it thoroughly dry out, reconnect the cable and power it on. If it works normally, the iPhone should be fine after drying.

Drying Process for Submerged iPhones

If your iPhone was fully submerged in water, especially if it was on when it got wet, follow these more extensive drying steps:

1. Immediately power off

Don’t delay – as soon as it’s out of the water, hold down the side button to power off the iPhone before serious internal damage can occur. Don’t try charging it while still wet.

2. Rinse residue if needed

If the iPhone was in saltwater, draining water, soda or other liquids, gently rinse with distilled water to remove residue. Tap water can leave mineral deposits.

3. Dry with absorbent cloth

Carefully dry the exterior and ports by blotting gently with a soft lint-free cloth. Avoid rubbing as this can push moisture further inside.

4. Submerge in rice (optional)

Some recommend submerging the iPhone in a bowl of uncooked rice. The rice can help draw out moisture, but air drying works too.

5. Let air dry 2-3 days

Allow it to thoroughly air dry in a dry environment for at least 48-72 before attempting to turn on. The longer the better for drying interior components.

6. Check for functionality

Only after it is completely dry, try plugging it in and powering up. If it doesn’t turn on or seems damaged, you’ll need professional data recovery services.

Extending Drying Time

How long you should leave an iPhone to dry depends on the water exposure, but when in doubt longer is better. Here are some tips for extending the drying time:

– Leave it powered off – Don’t attempt to turn on until completely dry.

– Let it sit 5-7 days – Allow several days of drying if fully submerged.

– Use desiccant packs – Place phone in a sealed bag with desiccant packs to actively absorb moisture.

– Avoid drying shortcuts – Don’t use things like hairdryers or vacuum cleaners which can push water further inside.

– Be patient – It’s better for the phone to sit drying too long rather than trying to power on prematurely. Wait until you’re confident it’s had time to thoroughly dry out.

Taking the time to let your iPhone thoroughly dry helps minimize potential for shorts, corrosion, and other moisture-related damage.

Signs Your iPhone Got Too Wet

How can you tell if your iPhone suffered serious water damage? Here are some warning signs:

It won’t power on

If your iPhone won’t power on or respond after drying, the internal components likely got too wet causing functionality loss. Professional recovery services may be your only option.

Blurry rear camera

Blurriness, spots, or lines in the rear camera can signal water damage. The camera components are susceptible to moisture.

Diminished battery life

If your iPhone battery starts draining abnormally fast after getting wet, moisture may have compromised the battery or charging components.

Flickering display

An erratic, flickering or distorted display when powered on can indicate moisture reached the display and touchscreen components.

Corroded ports and buttons

White or blue corrosion around charging ports, headphone jacks and physical buttons often means prolonged water exposure that led to permanent damage.

If you notice these types of issues after drying, your best bet is to contact professional repair and data recovery services. Internal moisture damage can be difficult to fix without technical expertise.

Professional Repair Options

For iPhones with suspected water damage that persists after drying, seek professional assistance. Repair shops offer several tiers of service:

Diagnostic testing

This allows them to pinpoint which components were affected by moisture and requires replacement.

Component-level repair

Damaged ports, connectors, cameras and other modules can be replaced to restore full functionality.

Data recovery

If the phone can’t power on, data recovery specialists use specialized tools to manually extract data from the storage chips.

Full device replacement

In cases of extreme liquid damage, complete replacement of the device may be most cost-effective.

Professional technicians have the skills and tools to properly diagnose and address a wider range of water damage than the average user can handle at home. For the best chance of saving an iPhone that got excessively wet, seek professional assistance sooner rather than later.

Water Resistant vs Waterproof

It’s important to understand the difference between water resistance and waterproofing when it comes to iPhones:

Water resistant

– Can withstand splashes and brief submersion
– Not impervious to moisture damage
– Still requires drying out after wet


– Impervious to water at given depths
– Can be continually submerged
– Unaffected by moisture exposure

No iPhone is fully waterproof. Newer models like the iPhone XR or iPhone 11 have IP68 dust and water resistance ratings, meaning they can withstand submersion for brief periods, but are not invulnerable to liquid damage. All iPhones should still be dried out after water exposure as a precaution. Assume water resistance has limitations.

Outlook After Drying iPhone

What is the outlook for an iPhone after thoroughly drying it out? Here’s what you can reasonably expect:

Best scenario

– iPhone suffered only minor moisture exposure
– Drying process was done effectively
– Phone works normally after drying
– No visible physical damage
– Full functionality restored

Moderate scenario

– More extensive water exposure
– Drying helps but some issues remain
– May have blurry camera, quiet speaker, etc.
– Operational after partial repair

Worst scenario

– Phone was powered on while wet
– Major water damage occurred
– Does not power on after drying
– Corrosion visible on components
– Requires professional data recovery and/or replacement

The sooner you can power off and dry out a wet iPhone, the better your chances of a full recovery. But extensive water exposure can lead to irreparable component damage. Be realistic about the extent of liquid damage.

Preventing Future Water Damage

To avoid needing to dry out your iPhone again, here are some tips to keep it protected from moisture:

– Use a waterproof case

Invest in a waterproof case or pouch designed to withstand immersion. These provide significantly better protection than the iPhone’s native water resistance.

– Avoid baths, hot tubs and pools

Don’t take your iPhone into bathtubs, hot tubs, swimming pools or other bodies of water where it could become fully submerged.

– Stay alert in rain and storms

Be cautious about getting your iPhone wet in the rain. Seek shelter or use a waterproof covering to be safe.

– Keep away from sinks and spills

Try to avoid setting your iPhone on counter edges near sinks where it could get splashed or dropped into water.

– Turn off before cleaning

When wiping down your iPhone, make sure to power it off first and avoid excess moisture. Only use slightly damp cloths.

Exercising some basic precautions can go a long way towards preventing moisture damage and saving you from having to dry out your iPhone.


If your iPhone gets wet, don’t panic! Just be sure to turn it off, dry it thoroughly with an absorbent cloth and allow 1-2 days of air drying time. For iPhones that have been fully submerged, extend the drying time to 5-7 days if possible and watch for signs of permanent water damage. With quick action, there’s a good chance of reviving your iPhone after light splashes or spills. But more extensive water exposure may require professional repair and recovery services, especially if the phone was on when it got wet. With proper drying precautions, you can help minimize the chances of liquid damage to your iPhone.