Can a Water-Damaged iPhone Be Repaired?

Liquids and electronic devices don’t mix. In fact, water damage is one of the most common problems that iPhone users experience. If your iPhone tumbles into the pool, fish tank, or toilet, you’re probably starting to panic at the thought of losing your important information and ruining an expensive smartphone. But there’s no need to panic just yet—there’s a good chance that your water-damaged iPhone can be repaired. Once your phone has gotten wet, it’s critical not to charge it or put it in rice in a misguided attempt to dry it out. Instead, simply turn off your iPhone and call Gamers Warehouse in Tucson immediately.

What to Do During Store Hours

Gamers Warehouse is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM. We’re also open on Sunday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. If the water damage occurs during store hours, turn your phone off right away and contact us. The sooner you bring your phone in for water damage repair, the better.

In the meantime, it’s crucial that you avoid tilting it or shaking it. This can cause the water to spill over into other components, which worsens the damage. Instead, follow these steps:

  • Turn off your iPhone.
  • Hold the iPhone horizontally with the screen facing down.
  • Use a soft, absorbent cloth, such as microfiber, to carefully wipe away the water on the outside of the iPhone. Keep the phone horizontal with the screen facing down.
  • Remove the SIM card to prevent it from getting wet. Remember to bring the SIM card with you when you take your iPhone to Gamers Warehouse for repairs.

Please let us know if it’s a “toilet phone” before you hand it to a technician!

What to Do If the Damage Happens Afterhours

Gamers Warehouse offers extended hours and is open seven days per week, but we know that water damage can occur afterhours. If your iPhone has sustained damage and we’re not open yet, you should follow all of the steps outlined above. Then, take the following additional steps to help minimize the damage:

  • Place the SIM card in a safe place, away from sources of liquid.
  • Turn on a fan pointed in the direction of the iPhone’s SIM card slot. Ensure there is plenty of space between the fan and the phone—you only want a gentle breeze.
  • Do not use any device that blows hot air, like a hairdryer.
  • Let the iPhone stay on a flat surface with the screen pointing down. Ideally, keep it in a low humidity area—not the bathroom!
  • Place commercial desiccants on top of and around your iPhone, if available. Do not use rice.

Leave the iPhone alone and keep it turned off while you wait for Gamers Warehouse to open. It’s best to avoid jostling it as much as possible because this can cause the liquid to spread.

What NOT to Do

water-damaged iphone

Contrary to popular advice, you should never place a water-damaged iPhone in a bag of rice. Evidence suggests that rice doesn’t actually make an effective desiccant, which is why it’s best to use commercial desiccants. If you put your iPhone in a bag of rice, it can actually damage your phone beyond repair when it otherwise might have been saved. This is because grains of rice can easily get inside the ports, where they can be impossible to remove.

You also shouldn’t use a hairdryer to try to induce liquid evaporation. First, hairdryers expel air in a forceful manner, which will push the liquid deeper into the phone and cause it to ruin more components. Plus, heat can seriously damage your iPhone, sometimes beyond repair. As an example, the iPhone XS has a non-operating temperature maximum of 113 degrees Fahrenheit, and a maximum operating temperature of 95 degrees.

Yet another myth is that using isopropyl alcohol can help dry out the electronic components of a water-damaged iPhone. Unfortunately, this is another myth that will do far more harm than good. First, isopropyl alcohol is often diluted with water. This means that using it will only expose your phone to more water. Second, it’s a polar solvent, which means it’s highly conductive. In other words, exposing your phone to isopropyl alcohol will encourage electric charges to develop where they aren’t supposed to.

Your best chance of saving your water-damaged iPhone is to skip the DIY approach and simply bring it in to Gamers Warehouse for an expert fix.

Here at Gamers Warehouse, we’re experts in repairing iPhones damaged by liquids! Plus, most of our repairs can be performed while you wait, so there’s no need to worry that you will be without your iPhone for an extended length of time. We’re conveniently located on the second floor of the Tucson Mall, and we’re open seven days per week. Stop by and see us today for iPhone water damage repairs, or call (520) 347-8603 if you would like to make an appointment.