You Just Dropped Your iPhone 5 In The Toilet. What Next?

by John Carroll on December 3, 2012

iPhone 5 in Water

It’s already happened… so stop agonizing over how you could have stopped it. In two-weeks this will be a terrific story you can tell people at parties.

A few quick safety tips:

  • As your iPhone is dripping wet… don’t try to use it to call anyone for help.
  • This is not a good time to attempt a backup.
  • I doesn’t matter if the phone has only a few minutes of talk time left. Stay away from electrical outlets.

I’d also advise not telling anyone who doesn’t own an iPhone 5. People with an iPhone 4S or lower will show little empathy for your plight.

So… what can you do?

  1. Power the iPhone off. Hold down the power button until you see the red slide to power off slider.
  2. If the phone is in a case… take it out. If it has a dust shield that’s easy to remove, take that off too.
  3. Standing over the bath, shake as much water from the phone as you can.
  4. Dry off your phone with a towel. Lint free if possible.
  5. If you have a cotton bud, do your best to mop any water from the headphone and charging port.
  6. Fill a sealable plastic bag or Tupperware container with plain, uncooked rice. Avoid enriched rice as it leaves a residue.
  7. Add the iPhone. Completely cover it with rice.
  8. Seal the bag or container.

It’s okay to put the bowl in a room that’s warm, but do not put it in the oven, use a hair-dryer, or apply an acetylene torch. To much heat will ruin your phone.

It will take 24 to 48 hours for the rice to draw out all the moisture. When the time is up, try to power your phone back on. Just hold down the power button until you get a white apple and it starts to boot up.

If all goes well, your phone will work.

If your phone won’t power up, you’ll need to get it repaired, but take some solace in the fact that you’ve done all the right things to minimize water damage.

Oh… and don’t forget to throw out the rice.


If you do need to replace your iPhone, you should be aware of Apple’s Out-Of-Warranty service.

Apple considers “liquid damage” to be outside the terms of their warranty, but may, at their discretion, provide Out-Of-Warranty coverage.

They will replace your iPhone with a refurbished iPhone at the prices listed below:

  • iPhone 5 – $269.00
  • iPhone 4S – $199.00
  • iPhone 4, 3GS, 3G and original iPhone – $149.00

This does not include shipping costs and any other applicable taxes. For more information, click the Warranty and Service button on this page.

Thank you for all your comments.

I’m happy to answer your questions, but unfortunately I can’t predict based on a given set of circumstances if a water damaged iPhone will work again.

Your best bet is to bring your iPhone to Apple or an Apple certified third-party repair center and let them take a look at it.

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