Bringing a Soaking Wet iPhone Back From the Dead

Last week, Amanda (my wife) misplaced her iPhone. After searching for a bit, she decided to just go back to doing the load of laundry she had in the wash. She was in the laundry room, moving clothes from washer to dryer, and I heard her shriek “Nooooooooo!”. She didn’t have to say anything else. I pretty much knew what had happened immediately.

The phone had gone through a full wash cycle; soap, rinse and all. It was squeaky clean, but totally soaked to the core. No signs of life at all.

I had heard of remedies for phones that were briefly submerged in water (dropped in toilet) or just a little wet, but I really had no hope of these fixes working for Amanda’s phone. For some reason though, I decided to give it a try. Couldn’t hurt, right?

I did some searching, and came across a video from some guys at Bleeding Edge, explaining how to replace an iPhone battery (link), and in that video, they explained that if an iPhone gets wet, you should soak it in 91% (percent) alcohol and let it dry out. They said that the phone would work, but the battery would need to be replaced.

I’ve detailed exactly what I did to fix the phone below.

How I Brought the Completely Soaked iPhone Back

Fix Wet IphoneFirst, I soaked the iPhone in 91% isopropyl alcohol for over an hour. Made sure to swish it around a bit.

Next, I let the phone air dry for an hour or so, then I put the phone into a container of rice (another trick I found on Google) for about 3 days. At this point, I could still smell the alcohol in the phone, so I just sat the phone on my desk.

I let the phone sit for 3 more days, smelling for alcohol every day. On the 6th day, I grabbed the phone and gave it a smell. No alcohol sent, so I decided to go ahead and plug it in.

As soon as I plugged it in, the little white apple icon showed up on the screen. I was totally shocked, I waited, and nothing happened. I figured the phone was pretty much bricked, but I decided to do a hard restart, just for kicks. I held the home and power button for a few seconds until it turned off. When It came back on, the white apple logo showed up again, but to my utter surprise, the thing started up.

Apart from a strange smudge on the underside of the glass on the screen, everything worked perfectly fine.