Thread Number: 72357  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Fixing a washed Iphone
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Post# 956331   9/5/2017 at 20:54 (262 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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Ok- I finally did it! (GRrrrrrrrrrrrrr) I inadvertently left my iphone 6 in my jeans pocket after I lost my clip-on case the other day. So to make a long story short it took a ride in my Speed Queen. Tide and fabric softener to compliment.

Forgive me if this sounds dumb (rather not able to come to terms with grief)- but if I let the phone dry, will it work again?

Also, washing it didn't release anything like Mercury into the wash water, correct? I know things like back lit displays sometimes have mercury in them.

Post# 956336 , Reply# 1   9/5/2017 at 21:29 (262 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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There are videos all over YouTube about drying out electronics. I've known a couple of people that have done this and put the phone in a bag of uncooked rice for a few days to help draw out the moisture. Good luck and keep us posted!

Post# 956338 , Reply# 2   9/5/2017 at 22:07 (262 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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I was low on rice so I added instant oatmeal to it... hope it helps.

Post# 956339 , Reply# 3   9/5/2017 at 22:15 (262 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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I got my instant read thermometer wet today and it wouldn't work. I was going to get another, then I thought what the hell, I opened the battery compartment, took out the batteries, they were wet, tried to gently dry out where the batteries go then I took the hair dryer and hit it with low heat, slow speed for about a min., then put the batteries back in and voila, it works!

So, maybe trying a hair dryer on low heat may speed the process for you.

This post was last edited 09/05/2017 at 22:38
Post# 956344 , Reply# 4   9/5/2017 at 22:55 (262 days old) by Dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

Do you have access to a commercial convection oven? I once had a lifeguard at one of the camps I worked at come into the kitchen and ask me how to dry her phone out after it had taken a swim in the pool (deep end of course!) And I was finishing up in the kitchen for the night, so the oven was cooling down. I popped the battery out and laid the phone in the oven, which was probably around 150 degrees (possibly less) closed the door and put the convection fan on for about 45 minutes (no heat, just residual) and after that time, took it out, let it cool down for a few minutes (it was still quite warm) and then put the battery back in. It worked fine, surprisingly. The speaker was messed up but the phone worked otherwise. I would not do this unless you can remove the battery, heat+battery=boom. Less than an hour from swimming to working. We joked about that for a long time, the time I baked a phone. If only I could fix mine so easily, it took a ride from my hand to the cement driveway, face down, of course. I've used duct tape twice to remove broken glass..... And stuck a couple pieces in my finger while using it. Needless to say my screen is toast, although it still works.

Post# 956371 , Reply# 5   9/6/2017 at 07:00 (261 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

Wow...a full cycle, eh? Good luck, but that's a lot of time for an iPhone to be agitated through the water. It didn't just take a quick dip in the sink. Hopefully it will work for awhile, anyway. Let us know the outcome! 🙏

Post# 956397 , Reply# 6   9/6/2017 at 10:50 (261 days old) by RevvinKevin (Between Mickey Mouse & the Queen Mary (So. Cal.)        
Chances are it's D.O.A.

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I'm not trying to be Mr doom here, just realistic.


If you dropped it in (standing water/liquid) then pulled it out immediately, it may have a chance at survival.  However, going through an entire wash cycle??   I'm sorry to say the odds are NOT in your favor.   If the back cover and battery were easily removable like other brands (it's not), you could open it up to carefully and thoroughly dry it, but even then the chances would be slim.  Yes a bag of uncooked rice or oatmeal could help for brief water exposure, but that's only if the phone is opened up and separated into as many pieces as possible.  Leaving it assembled while in the rice/oatmeal will not remove ALL the moisture from inside the phone.... even if it stayed in the bag for many months.


I have found enough things in pockets or bouncing in the dryer over the years, that I've trained myself to A L W A Y S check pockets on everything AS I'm loading the washer.   This has saved a number of things from dying in the wash.



Post# 956401 , Reply# 7   9/6/2017 at 11:32 (261 days old) by retro-man (nashua,nh)        

Batteries Plus and Staples have a service that is supposed to dry your phone out in an hour. Never tried it or needed it, but you could five them a try.


Post# 956484 , Reply# 8   9/7/2017 at 02:23 (261 days old) by iej (Ireland)        

I think it's likely a write off. Check if your home insurance policy might cover it. It's unlikely but you could still check it out.

The chances of a piece of complex electronics surviving a run through a washing machine cycle are extremely low. The detergents are also usually quite electrolytic so, you'll have deposits of chemicals all over the electronics.

Also there has been no mercury used in Apple products since 2009.

Irish version of the site:

Post# 956486 , Reply# 9   9/7/2017 at 02:30 (261 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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Thanks everyone for the replies. Its still drying, I want to give it at least 48 to 96 hours. Chances are its gone for good but might as well use the opportunity to see if there is a chance at recovery.

Never thought about HO insurance covering it. Anyone know how it might work out?

Post# 956488 , Reply# 10   9/7/2017 at 04:39 (261 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

Homeowner's Insurance: I began renter's insurance with State Farm last month and was told phones are not covered by accidents. 

Even if it is covered in your policy, should you choose to file a claim over such a relatively small item, you'll receive a cheery letter from your insurance company stating that if you have one more claim in the next 36 months not related to an act of nature/God, you will be dropped.  I'm assuming your deductible is at least $500, so there's that as well.



Post# 956638 , Reply# 11   9/8/2017 at 13:45 (259 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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Years ago I dropped my pager into the toilet! Luckily post flush but still.

I pulled it out and rinsed it off. I opened it up and rinsed the internals with fresh water and shook it dry. I placed all the parts on a cookie sheet and put them in a 150 degree oven for an hour.

I reassembled it and it came to life right away. But it took a few hours till it would receive pages, my hunch is that residual moisture detuned the radio. Used it for a number of years after that.

By and large electronics are totally immune to water. I have washed populated circuit boards in the dishwasher before. The big concern is allowing the water to cause corrosion if it is moist too long. The drying needs to be done FAST.

Ideally it would help if you had the tools to pop the phone open, an iPhone is easy to open but you need a P1 Pentalobe screwdriver and a suction cup screen tool. To dump out the water and maybe give it a quick alcohol wash would really help. The rice trick is commonly stated but it likely isn't any better then a warm oven or a place with airflow. Putting the device in a ZipLock bag with Silica Gel desiccant might work well.

Unfortunately I fear that just waiting for the phone to dry without opening it will not end up well. It could take days before it truly dries out :(

The phone has a sticker inside of it that changes color if it is exposed to water, so don't try to tell Apple "It just quit" lol

I had a friend that was canoeing years ago and they capsized the boat. He had two Nikon N90 SLR bodies go into the lake. He called the tech and the advice was to open the cameras up and douse them with distilled water. Then place each body into a ZipLock bag FULL of more distilled water (lack of air minimizes corrosion), and get them to the repair shop ASAP. Both cameras were fully functional after repair.

Post# 956978 , Reply# 12   9/10/2017 at 20:05 (257 days old) by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        

Years ago an ex lost a hearing aid... looked everywhere for it. Nothing. A day or two later I was woken up by screams of "OH! MY! GOD!" at 3am, followed by the sound of someone bounding to the basement.

The fairly new Siemens 604PP had gone through both wash and dry cycles while sitting the pocket of a pair of sweatpants. It worked perfectly.

Years later I told the story to an audiologist who told me those things were built like tanks

Post# 957076 , Reply# 13   9/11/2017 at 04:40 (257 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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Doesn't look like HO insurance will cover this, at least not in full. Fortunately this phone is 2 years old, dinosaur old by today's standards. So I am not to bummed, just like it when things last a while. In so far it still won't turn on. I want to try the charger, but want to wait a little longer.

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