How to Dry a Wet iPhone

Modern iPhones can withstand a splash of water, but you should not rely on Apple’s water-resistant rating and take too many chances.

iPhone Wet Header

RAYMOND OGLESBY @RaymondOglesby2
October 20, 2022

Modern iPhones can withstand a splash of water, but you should not rely on Apple’s water-resistant rating and take too many chances. Let’s improve your device’s chances.

This is for the iPhone

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Your iPhone is Water Resistant

If you have an iPhone 7 or newer, the good news is that your device has some level of water resistance. The bad news is that this rating may have waned over time, so it should not be taken for granted.

The following iPhone models are able to withstand a depth of 6 meters for up to 30 minutes:

  • iPhone 13 (including mini, Pro, Pro Max)
  • iPhone 12 ((including mini, Pro, Pro Max)

The following iPhone models can withstand 4 meters for up to 30 minutes:

  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max

The following iPhone models can withstand 2 meters for up to 30 minutes:

  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max

These remaining iPhone models can handle 1 meter for up to 30 minutes:

  • iPhone SE (second-generation)
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8 (including 8 Plus)
  • iPhone 7 (including 7 Plus)

If you have an older device, there is no guarantee of any water resistance. This does not equate to moisture meaning game over, but rather the chances of your device surviving a dunk are much slimmer.

Age and damage to the chassis may severely impact water resistance. Using compressed air to clean the charging port may also damage the seal (clean the charging port carefully instead). You should take care not to get your iPhone wet, even if you have a modern iPhone with a relatively high level of protection. Water damage is not covered by Apple’s standard warranty.

Turn Off Your iPhone If It Gets Wet

Water may damage your iPhone because it conducts electricity, so turning your iPhone off is a good idea if it gets wet. This is especially true if you have an iPhone model that lacks water resistance, is old, or has been damaged in some way that you believe may have jeopardized the water-resistant seal.

Drying your device out thoroughly before turning it back on will give it the best chance of survival. You should wait around 48 hours before powering it up and leaving it in a warm, dry place for the moisture to evaporate.

Dry Off

Most modern iPhone models can withstand a splash of water, whether that’s a heavy downpour, a spill at the dinner table, or being dropped in the bath. After turning your device off, dry out your iPhone thoroughly. Use a soft cloth to remove moisture, paying close attention to the charging port where droplets are harder to reach.

You should wait for your iPhone to dry out thoroughly before charging. Your iPhone may give you a warning about moisture being detected in the charging port. If so, it is recommended to wait 48 hours before charging again to make sure all moisture has evaporated.

If you are confident that your iPhone’s water-resistant rating has not been jeopardized you may decide to continue using it as normal during this time. If you are low on charge, consider charging wirelessly so that the charging port has time to dry out.

Remove Moisture From Speaker

If you have decided to use your iPhone as normal, you may notice that the speaker does not work quite as it should. A muffled or crackling tone may sound, which is caused by moisture that has yet to evaporate. You can either wait for this to occur naturally or try using an app like Sonic Ⓥ from the App Store. Refer to the below image:

iPhone Wet 1
Sonic V from the App Store

This app is a tone generator that has a dedicated button for generating a tone designed to remove moisture from an iPhone speaker. It’s ad-supported so you can experiment with a full range of tones from 0Hz to 25,000Hz to shift any moisture that’s causing issues. Just tap Stop when finished.

Use Fresh Water

Salt water causes corrosion at a much faster rate than fresh water, so it’s important to rinse your iPhone thoroughly if you drop it in the ocean. You should do this as soon as possible since the longer you wait the worse things can get. If you fail to get rid of the salt, corrosion may continue even in the absence of moisture.

Since salt water is so corrosive, the damage may already be done. The gold contacts in the charging port can quickly corrode, which will prevent your iPhone from charging at all using a cable. You will want to remove any salt residue using a soft brush and fresh water to give your iPhone the best chance of survival.

This advice goes for sugary and alcoholic drinks too, though they will not cause corrosion like salt water.

Using Rice Does Not Help

Putting your iPhone into rice will not help to dry it out, and may instead cause grains of rice to become stuck in the charging port.

You are far better off leaving your iPhone in a dry, warm place with plenty of airflow for around 48 hours to evaporate any remaining moisture.

Get a Waterproof Case

If there’s a good chance your iPhone is going to get wet, why not take the preemptive step of getting a waterproof case? These can provide peace of mind from water damage, with a range of designs to choose from.

There are waterproof cases to satisfy just about every kind of user. The LifeProof FRE all-rounder is a good choice and protects against drops and moisture at a depth of up to 2 meters.

LifeProof FRĒ Compatible with Magsafe SERIES Waterproof Case for iPhone 13 Pro Max (ONLY) – BLACK


Protect your iPhone against drops and moisture with the LifeProof FRE, a MagSafe-compatible case that now uses 60% recycled plastic in its construction.

Amazon: $89.27

Model Number77-87690
BrandLifeProof
Compatible Phone ModelsIPhone 13 Pro Max (ONLY)
ColorBlack
Compatible DevicesIPhone 13 Pro Max (ONLY)
LifeProof FRĒ case

If you are a recreational user who loves to boat or kayak, a floating dry bag may be a better choice. Something like the CaliCase Universal Waterproof Floating Case hangs around your neck and ensures your device will float should it drop in the water. You can spend a lot less on a case like this, but make sure it’s tough enough to withstand some wear and tear depending on your hobby.

CaliCase Universal Waterproof Floating Case – White


Protect your iPhone while out on the water with a floating case that you can hang around your neck. If the worst should happen you should be able to find your iPhone again because it will be floating on the water, not at the bottom of a lake.

Amazon: $29.99

Model Number3311858
BrandCaliCase
Compatible Phone ModelsSamsung Galaxy S8/S9, iPhone 8/Plus, iPhone X, Note 8, Pixel 2, IPhone X, IPhone 8, Samsung Galaxy Note 8Samsung Galaxy S8/S9, iPhone 8/Plus, iPhone X, Note 8, Pixel 2, IPhone X, IPhone 8, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 See more
ColorWhite
Compatible DevicesIPhone, Android
CaliCase

If you are keen to take your iPhone a little deeper, a diving case will allow you to use it for underwater photography and videography. Look into the YOGRE Diving Case which can withstand depths of 15 meters (50 feet) and has a handy camera grip design.

YOGRE iPhone Samsung Diving Phone Case, Underwater Photography Video Housings Case with Lanyard[50ft/15m], Diving Waterproof Case for iPhone 13/13 Pro/13 Pro Max/12/12 Pro/12 Pro Max LG Google etc


Take your iPhone to new depths with the YOGRE Diving Case. Engage in underwater photography at depths of up to 15 meters (50 feet), just make sure your iPhone model is supported before you buy.

Amazon: $55.99

BrandYOGRE
Compatible Phone ModelsCompatible with iPhone, Samsung, LG, Google, OPPO, vivo, Xiaomi, Redmi, Huawei Series One Plus etc
ColorOrange
Compatible DevicesCompatible with iPhone, Samsung, LG, Google, OPPO, vivo, Xiaomi, Redmi, Huawei Series One Plus etc
MaterialPolycarbonate, Thermoplastic Polyurethane
YOGRE case

Even with a case, you should still take care to rinse the housing thoroughly before you remove your device.

iPhones Are Getting More Water Resistant

The good news is that your iPhone will probably be fine in most instances. Apple’s smartphones are more resistant to water ingress and drops than ever before. With that in mind, AppleCare+ might be a good idea if you are especially concerned.

Quote For the Day

The technology you use impresses no one. The experience you create with it is everything.

Sean Gerety

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Author: Raymond

I am Raymond Oglesby, an Information Technology (IT) specialist with 30 years in the field. I have taught Microsoft Applications and troubleshot computers in 15 countries and many States. My career was focused on mainframes and desktops from application development to implementation. I have written hundreds of programs for various architectures. I decided to start a blog to share my knowledge and experiences with you. I plan on updating this blog at least twice a week about smart phone apps to Windows. Please feel free to leave a Comment or Tweet. I would love to hear from you. Do you have a computer tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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