So yesterday I dropped my iPhone into the toilet, it was literally submerged for less than 15 seconds and after taking it out I left it in my airing cupboard overnight to dry. Today the phone seems to be completely functional other than a very dark screen (changing brightness won't help).

Was wondering what the best course of action would be and if this is fixable.

7 Answers 7


If you had been able to turn it off right away, and put it in a bag of rice, I have seen that work for some people, at least for a limited time. There are claims out there of various methods.

But if the screen is bad, at minimum you have to replace that, that's virtually certain. You don't say what model it is, so not sure whether that's possible or how much it might cost.

Try the rice thing for a few days, you have nothing to lose at this point. When I used to take calls for Applecare I had several customers tell me this worked, the idea being the rice would suck the water out. I don't believe it's really a great idea but it can't hurt at this point.

Having said that, your phone is pretty much toast, per the other answer. When I was lent out to the Apple store, we saw Macbooks and phones come in where the customer said they had "dried it out" but "it wasn't working" a few weeks later.

Invariably we'd open the thing up and see some residual water in there.

Sorry to say, you are probably on the road to a new phone. :( Now if you try a third-party place to repair it, at least the last time I worked for Apple about a year ago, if you put third-party parts in there Apple will never touch it to do a repair. Unlike Macs where you don't "void the warranty," any third party parts in an iOS device precludes Apple from doing any repairs in the future.

So balance out free (rice) vs. third-party screen (cheaper) vs. shiny new iPhone 6S!!

To clarify a statement above, with Mac products, if you add a third-party hard drive, for example, or memory, PROPERLY, without damaging anything in the process, you can still take your Mac to an Apple store for service and warranty.

Again this was a year ago, the last time I dealt with it, but if an Apple Specialist or Genius opens up an iOS product and sees a third-party screen or battery, etc, they immediately stop working on it, in most all cases. You'd be amazed how fine an eye these Geniuses have for sniffing out third-party screens -- so I'd only go third-party (non-Apple) parts on something that's out of warranty.

  • 2
    Just to add to this: if you have silica gel (those plans that come with electronics) that is better than rice.
    – Neil G
    Jan 23, 2016 at 21:05
  • Good point! Now that I think about it, a product like Damp-Rid might do the trick better than rice as well. I always wondered, once the phone dried did the customers eat the rice? Never asked :)
    – JimLohse
    Jan 23, 2016 at 21:29
  • 2
    Is the rice thing just an urban myth? It seems to spread on on the basis of "you have nothing to lose at this point."
    – djechlin
    Jan 23, 2016 at 23:45
  • When I worked for Apple on the phone (also in the store at Christmas) I heard several people that had decent results -- if only temporarily -- but temporarily can be long enough to get a good backup for those who ignored backups until they needed them :) I wouldn't call it quite an urban myth but I would call it the least effective method on this "test" gazelle.com/thehorn/2014/05/06/…
    – JimLohse
    Jan 23, 2016 at 23:50
  • I would try the rice thing AND take it to a repair shop. I ran a 4S through the clothes washer. Luckily it had been turned off. I put it in a container filled with rice for several days. I thought the phone was fine, but took it to a repair shop to have the battery replaced because even before the laundry it hadn't been holding a charge for long. Not knowing about the laundry, the repair shop said there was imminent water damage, but they were able to dry it out when they replaced the battery.
    – vlieg
    Jan 26, 2016 at 21:46

I've revived quite a few water-damaged iPhones myself. In fact, I just fixed a water-damaged iPhone 4 a couple weeks ago. I'd take it into a repair shop and at least see what they can do.


Liquid is the kiss of death for most electronics, it is not worth your time trying to fix. It will manifest itself in other areas later and go from bad to worse. If I were you, I'd look into replacement options.


Fill tupperware, or other container halfway with uncooked white rice.

Power-off phone, and place it in the container.

Cover phone with rice, leave for 1 - 2 hours, then flip over and leave for a few more.

Remove from container.

Power on the phone.

If this does not work you either have water trapped inside (in which case you can try looking into carefully disassembling the phone, and placing uncovered parts in a new container of fresh rice...)

Or you have a damaged part, that can be replaced at a shop.


All these posts about iPhones not being worth being fixed once wet is false. You can use 100% rubbing alcohol and submerse the main board into it for 10 minutes take the board out and dry it thoroughly then put it all back together. Most of the time the screen is not salvageable and needs to be replaced. If you replace the screen be very careful with the home button and the ribbon connecting it to the screen if You damage it the Touch ID will not work.

Hope this helps, check out YouTube I've seen a few good videos on there aswell which show you how to do what I have mentioned step by step.


So much misinformation here. First, Apple is not legally allowed to refuse warranty repairs just because you have used third party replacement parts, unless it is that part that is damaged. This is a violation of the Magnusson-Moss Act, and Apple knows this. Second, rice most certainly CAN work, as long as physical damage has not already occurred to the chips. If it has, the problem is almost always with the backlights circuit on the logic board, usually a blown filter. While replacing these requires some level of micro soldering skills, it certainly is not the case that any such device is "pretty much toast". If you do not have soldering skills, any number of shops can do the job for you, for far less than replacing the phone. Also, since the filter is on the main board, replacing the screen won't help you at all.


Go to ifixit.com and check their tutorials on how to replace iPhone screens. One good thing to do when electronic gets wet is to dry it straight away with a hairdryer, turning it off immediately prior to the drying is a good advice too.

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