I dropped my iPhone 4 in the toilet for literally 3 seconds, dried it off with a towel, and it was actually lit up and working, so I thought I had just cheated my poor phone's death when all of a sudden it went black. It continued to vibrate when receiving messages and then began to vibrate every few seconds until it stopped working completely. I quickly put it in a bag of rice and the liquid indicating sensors don't seem to be activated but it still won't respond or be recognized by my computer. Is it time to give up or should I be patient and give it more time? If so, how long is long enough to know that it has reached the point of no return?

  • You can try dying it up completely using a hair fan to see if that helps, if you could open the back panel that would help drying it.
    – Ruskes
    Commented Sep 24, 2014 at 21:16
  • You ask how much time you need, without specifying how much time you have already spent. Give it at least 24 hours in the rice, more if you can. Commented Sep 24, 2014 at 21:31
  • it's already been in rice for about 24 hours now, (give or take the few times i've checked to see if it's operating) but i've read a few articles that say to leave it in for up to 48 hours. i'm not sure if leaving it in for so long will actually be effective or if it'll just be time spent without a communication device
    – user91959
    Commented Sep 24, 2014 at 21:41
  • 1
    Just so you know, the liquid indicators don't actually affect the performance of your device. They are just there so that people can't attempt to deceive service personnel (or perhaps other buyers) after a device has been in contact with liquid. Commented Sep 24, 2014 at 22:19
  • One comparison test I read a few years ago claimed moistened phones could be dried out using absorbent cat litter granules in a sealed Tupperware container. Silica gel packets work, too.
    – IconDaemon
    Commented Sep 24, 2014 at 22:38

1 Answer 1


The liquid sensors are only there to determine if the device is still good for warranty, they're placed in strategic spots where the Apple so-called "geniuses" can quickly look and tell you that your device isn't eligible for warranty anymore (even if your problem happens to have obviously nothing to do with water damage).

In fact, the places where the liquid sensors are located on your device (dock and headphone connector) aren't that vulnerable to water and you can usually wipe whatever liquid is in them and the device would still work. This has changed with the iPhone 5 though, and the liquid contact indicator is now inside the SIM tray, which is tightly closed and water is unlikely to get inside accidentally (you'd need to completely submerge the device, in which case it'll completely kill it).

If you happen to be lucky and your device is still under warranty I suggest you go to an Apple Store, you'll get it replaced immediately.

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