Previous 1 2 Next 27 Replies Latest reply: Feb 10, 2016 2:48 AM by JouGerlah
Byrnes Level 1 Level 1
On Thanksgiving, my iPhone went through the wash. I put it in a bowl of rice. What should I do now? How long should I keep it in there? After I take it out, should I charge it or try to turn it on?

iPhone 3GS, iOS 4
  • Tamara Level 6 Level 6
    It should be turn off and left in a bag of rice for about a week. After that, you can try and turn it on. You may get lucky but I wouldn't get my hopes up.
  • iditelliano Level 1 Level 1
    I don't know what all this rice business is about ... The ONLY way to sort an iPhone (or any phone) that has gone through the wash or left in a sink or whatever it to, as soon as possible, open it up as much as possible and then get rid of any water or dampness with a hair dryer set on warm. Then leave it open with air circulating for a few hours or more. If you see any connections that have gone a bit green, gently scratch off the corrosion. Then put it back together and it'll start.

    My iPhone just went through a 40C wash with the colours and although I initially abandoned it as lost, I saw how to open it up on YouTube. Now it works just fine, but the screen's a bit funny - there's still some dampness in between the layers of glass of the screen which is inevitable and probably incurable.

    Ditch that stupid rice idea and get it open as soon as you can, if you want to have a hope of saving it.

    Good luck.

    <Edited by Host>
  • deggie Level 9 Level 9
    Rice is a desiccant, i.e. it dries things like silica gel packets. So if you put the iPhone in a plastic bag with raw rice (a bowl really doesn't work as well) it will absorb moisture and dry the electronics device in a shorter time than just leaving it in a warm, dry cupboard.

    You should NEVER use a hair dryer, on the warm setting or otherwise to dry an electronic device. It will actually force moisture farther into the device resulting in eventual corrosion.

    The screen would have dried had you put it in a bag with rice and left if for 3 - 4 days, and it is not incurable.

    Have used both raw rice and silica gel packets to dry out numerous electronic devices. Works well and I just looked at an iPod Touch that has survived this and the screen works. Too bad about yours.
  • Macsastic Level 4 Level 4
    No matter what you do if it went through a complete cycle, I would be highly surprised if it ever works again. Not to be negative but if you think of the time your phone spent being whirled around in the three distinct cycles most U.S. washers go through you can imagine how soaked that phones internals must be, not to mention if it was set on high temperature wash and rinse.

    I hope it DOES work with the rice, (although I've never heard of that technique being used for a wet electronic. The hair dryer idea I have heard of.) but anyway good luck and maybe you'll get lucky and it will turn on. I hope it does. The iPhone 4 unfortunately doesn't qualify for insurance replacement on AT&T's rules. Not sure why. Because it should be covered.
  • deggie Level 9 Level 9
    Then you would be surprised more than a few times.

    If you have not heard of using raw rice being used to dry wet electronics then you haven't been around much, haven't read too many threads here about iPods going into toilets (don't know why but there are quite a few posts on this, Shuffles and Nanos tend to go through washing machines), and haven't worked with small electronics much. Everybody uses a hairdryer to drive assorted things but if you heard about it being used with wet small electronics then you heard the wrong way to do it. Please don't pass that technique on.

    For the most part AT&T has not covered most smart phones, and neither do most home owners insurance. They don't do so because they lose money on the coverage, or they have to charge such a high rate no one would buy the insurance.
  • Macsastic Level 4 Level 4
    Your assumption is quite wrong. I DO know my way around electronics, especially Apple products. I've had a cell phone since 1983 back to the brick sized phones and never damaged ANY of the cell phones, also I have had all sorts of "small electronics" and yes you guessed it, never broken one of them. Just because I haven't noticed any posts on this subject doesn't mean anything about my "experiences".

    Maybe your assumption should have defaulted to the fact that I am very careful with my electronics and check pockets and such before I do laundry.

    So try not to be rude. With all the blue squares next to your name I would expect more from you. No offense intended. Your post has nothing to do with a fix for the original poster, try to stick to the question. You'll come off much more helpful rather than being a bit cursory.
  • deggie Level 9 Level 9
    Gee, thanks for the lecture too.

    Ok, I'll amend my statement, you have lots of experience with small electronics (didn't you love the higher power on those old Motorola phones? Did you get to use a satchel phone? Those were the days.)

    And like you I've been very careful with them and have yet to send one swimming.

    But if you had experience with working on small electronics you would have known about the use of rice and would have known the use of a hair dryer is not a good idea. So your comment that you didn't know about this is ill-advised.

    But I do apologize for my assuming you are young and didn't have usage experience with small electronics.
  • Macsastic Level 4 Level 4
    Lol, yes those were the days. Days of the $350 cell phone bills!!!

    Didn't mean to lecture. Sorry if ZI came across that way.

    And your'e right I know nothing about "working ON" small electronics, just using what I buy. It is odd to me that I have yet to see any posts about water damaged iPhones. Which is probably because I usually read and post under general, basics not under the specific "phone" category.

    Thank you for amending your response. Have a good new year. And keep on helping the Apple community to the degree that you do, it's people like you who really help all us users who perhaps know a little less on some issues, problems, or techniques on drying a washed iPhone in this case.

  • deggie Level 9 Level 9
    I think just to add to the mix you should my a 6th Generation iPod Nano, lose it in the snow (think you can find any), then put it in a baggie with rice!

    Wish I still had access to the old Motorola beast so I could take a picture of it next to my iPhone 4.

    Used to participate on a BBS that was on the Jersey shore. Don't EVEN try to tell me you don't remember BBS's.

    Message was edited by: deggie
  • Macsastic Level 4 Level 4
    By the way, to answer your question I never had the "briefcase sized" or any of the satchel phones. My first phone was a Motorola DynaTAC 8000X. I also had a car installed, I forget the make now, one installed in my car at the time, a 1983 Nissan 280ZX. Part of the phone was under the passenger seat and the handset was installed to the right of the stick shift. Those were the days of phones being status symbols. Somehow you felt "entitled" being able to have one, even if you couldn't really afford to use it every time you wanted to. lol.

    It's amazing how far we've come since 1983. Makes you wonder what another 30 years will bring to us in the communications department. Probably a chip that we all will have surgically implanted behind our ears. All we will have to do is flick our ear lobe to answer calls.

    As an aside, I think the only one of the many phones I have had over the years that I absolutely loved and still remember was the Motorola Star-Tac. It was so small for the day and if you had the phone it still rivals most "clamshell" phones out to this day, as far as it's very compact size!

    From the old Motorola's to the Apple iPhone 4's. Wow, what an amazing transformation!
  • emjainteractive Level 1 Level 1
    Rice does NOT dry like Silica Gel. Silica Gel has a much better moisture absorption rate and capacity then Rice. It's like comparing a palm treo to a iPhone, it's just no match. The iPhone (Silica Gel) is just better!

    There are a few products out there for drying iphones or any cellular devices, try: or just find some Silica Gel packets ( and add them to a zip lock bag with your phone and silica gel inside the zip lock bag. Leave it there for a few days and the Silica Gel will pull all the moisture from the phone!

    Hope it helps!
  • deggie Level 9 Level 9
    I agree, silica gel packets are better than rice. But a lot of people don't want to go buy them and they don't want to pay for them so raw rice stands in nicely. My complaint about raw rice is the dust it leaves behind.

    I had a palm Treo and moved to an iPhone. They are of different eras but my biggest dislike about the Treo was being on the EDGE network. But then again so was the first iPhone (which I skipped). The Treo still had several functions the iPhone does not have, but the apps that are available is what makes the iPhone successful.
  • Jayne Okell Level 1 Level 1
    I had a water incident with an iPod and a mobile phone a couple of years back and rice worked. Phone was perfect. iPod was a bit upset by it all, but the rice idea works!!
  • deggie Level 9 Level 9
    Did it cry? Did the rice absorb the tears?
Previous 1 2 Next