The Complete Guide To iPhone Water Damage

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Water damage on the iPhone is one of the most common problems faced by smartphone users. Since we carry our iPhones with us literally everywhere, they are prone to getting water damage. 

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What Are The Signs Of Water Damage On An iPhone?

You can tell your iPhone has water damage by removing the SIM tray and looking for a red color inside the SIM card slot. The Liquid Contact Indicator (LCI) has been activated if it turns red, indicating water damage. If it turns white or silver, there is no water damage.

With the release of newer iPhone models like the iPhone 11, Apple has increased water resistance to achieve a higher IP rating. For example, the iPhone 11 Pro can last 30 minutes in up to four meters of water, two meters higher than the iPhone XS.

However, that should not give you the idea of taking your iPhone 11 Pro underwater. All iPhone models are water-resistant, not waterproof. Moreover, Apple discourages users from taking their iPhones underwater or under high-velocity pressurized water. 

If you take your iPhone in the shower, does that mean it’s bad for your iPhone? Read my article to find out if you can take your iPhone in the shower.

So if your iPhone has recently come in contact with water, here’s to tell if it has water damage:

  1. If you have a cover on your iPhone, remove it and find the SIM card tray on the bottom right side of your iPhone.
  2. Use the SIM tray removal tool to press into the tiny hole at the bottom of the tray and take the SIM tray out. 
  3. Now take a torchlight and point it at the empty SIM slot. If the Liquid Contact Indicator (LCI) is red, it means your iPhone has water damage. If the LCI is white or silver, it means your iPhone has no water damage. 

Every iPhone comes with a Liquid Contact Indicator (LCI) inside the SIM slot. If your iPhone has come in contact with water or other liquids and has water damage, the LCI will be activated, and you will see a red color. Typically, where there is no water damage, the LCI will remain white or silver. Check this table to see where the Liquid Contact Indicator (LCI) is for each iPhone model. 

Does Rice Work For A Wet iPhone?

Drying iPhones with rice can introduce dust and starch into the iPhone. Rice dries out a phone slower and less effectively than leaving the phone to dry out on the counter. A study by Craig Beinecke, co-founder of TekDry, an electronic drying company, said after 48 hours in rice, only 13% of water came out of the phone.

Bein clarified that before the phone thoroughly dried out, the corrosion damaged the delicate electronics inside. Although I knew first hand when I tried to dry out my One Plus 7 Pro for 48 hours in rice, it didn’t work. I wish I had done the method mentioned below.

Bein preferred to safely dry phones to boil off the water inside them at low temperatures under a vacuum. You can put your phone in a sock and place a low-power hairdryer on the outside of the sock to blow air into the phone, drying it out. Then, use a fan to help keep the phone cool.

You will find many people suggesting that you should put your iPhone in a bag of rice immediately.

But that’s not effective at all. So not only are you putting your iPhone at the risk of further damage, but you are also missing out on much more effective drying techniques.

There are lots of other ways that people try to dry off their iPhones. For example, using a hairdryer, putting their phones in an oven, and dumping it into a bowl of rice for days. But as you can imagine, all of these are pretty dangerous for your iPhone and can cause significant damage. I, too, damaged my phone with my hairdryer as I accidentally placed the speed at level two. So you have to be very careful.

The truth is, rice cannot effectively absorb all the water from your iPhone’s internal parts. Moreover, rice has a lot of dust and particles that get stuck inside your iPhone cause severe damage. It’s impossible to get these particles out as they are very tiny. So it would be best if you never dumped your iPhone in a rice bag.

Instead, try these methods to dry your wet iPhone.

How to Dry a Wet iPhone

  1. First, turn off your iPhone immediately. 
  2. Now dry your iPhone with paper towels, and make sure to dry the ports too.
  3. Put the device in an airtight bag and put as many silica gel sachets inside it as you can.
  4. Keep the bag sealed for at least three days.
  5. Take out your phone after 72 hours and turn it on to see if it’s working.

Although this method is not guaranteed to dry out your iPhone, it works in most cases. Grab some silica gel from Amazon to help you out with this problem. 

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