Modern iPhones can withstand a splash of water, but you shouldn’t rely on Apple’s water-resistant rating and take too many chances. Just follow a few simple steps to improve your device’s chances.
Your iPhone is Probably Water Resistant
If you have an iPhone 7 or newer, the good news is that your device has some level of water resistance. The bad news is that this rating may have waned over time, so it shouldn’t be taken for granted.
The following iPhone models are able to withstand a depth of 6 meters for up to 30 minutes (IP68):
The following iPhone models can withstand 4 meters for up to 30 minutes (IP68):
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone 11 Pro Max
The following iPhone models can withstand 2 meters for up to 30 minutes (IP68):
- iPhone 11
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XS Max
These remaining iPhone models can handle 1 meter for up to 30 minutes (IP67):
- iPhone SE (second-generation)
- iPhone XR
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8 (including 8 Plus)
- iPhone 7 (including 7 Plus)
If you have an older device, there is no guarantee of any water resistance. This doesn’t equate to moisture meaning game over, but rather the chances of your device surviving a dunk are much slimmer.
Age and damage to the chassis may severely impact water resistance. Using compressed air to clean the charging port may also damage the seal (clean the charging port carefully instead). You should take care not to get your iPhone wet, even if you have a modern iPhone with a relatively high level of protection. Water damage is not covered by Apple’s standard warranty.
iPhone Not Water Resistant? Turn It Off
Water may damage your iPhone because it conducts electricity, so turning your iPhone off is a good idea if it gets wet. This is especially true if you have an iPhone model that lacks water resistance, is old, or has been damaged in some way that you believe may have jeopardized the water-resistant seal.
Drying your device out thoroughly before turning it back on will give it the best chance of survival. You should wait around 48 hours before powering it up and leaving it in a warm, dry place for the moisture to evaporate.
Dry Off and Don’t Panic
Most modern iPhone models can withstand a splash of water, whether that’s a heavy downpour, a spill at the dinner table, or being dropped in the bath. After turning your device off, dry out your iPhone thoroughly. Use a soft cloth to remove moisture, paying close attention to the charging port where droplets are harder to reach.
You should wait for your iPhone to dry out thoroughly before charging. Your iPhone may give you a warning about moisture being detected in the charging port if you don’t do this, with a recommendation to wait 48 hours before charging again to make sure all moisture has evaporated.
If you’re confident that your iPhone’s water-resistant rating hasn’t been jeopardized you may decide to continue using it as normal during this time. If you’re low on charge, consider charging wirelessly so that the charging port has time to dry out.
Remove Moisture from the Speaker Too
If you’ve decided to use your iPhone as normal, you may notice that the speaker doesn’t work quite as it should. A muffled or crackling tone may sound, which is caused by moisture that has yet to evaporate. You can either wait for this to occur naturally or try using an app like Sonic Ⓥ.
This app is a tone generator that has a dedicated button for generating a tone designed to remove moisture from an iPhone speaker. It’s ad-supported so you can experiment with a full range of tones from 0Hz to 25,000Hz to shift any moisture that’s causing issues.
Salt Water is Far Worse Than Fresh Water
Salt water causes corrosion at a much faster rate than fresh water, so it’s important to rinse your iPhone thoroughly if you drop it in the ocean. You should do this as soon as possible since the longer you wait the worse things can get. If you fail to get rid of the salt, corrosion may continue even in the absence of moisture.
Since salt water is so corrosive, the damage may already be done. The gold contacts in the charging port can quickly corrode, which will prevent your iPhone from charging at all using a cable. You’ll want to remove any salt residue using a soft brush and fresh water to give your iPhone the best chance of survival.
This advice goes for sugary and alcoholic drinks too, though they won’t cause corrosion like salt water.
Rice is Useless
Putting your iPhone into rice won’t help to dry it out, and may instead cause grains of rice to become stuck in the charging port. We recommend cooking your rice and eating it instead, perhaps with a nice curry or in a sushi roll depending on the grain.
You’re far better off leaving your iPhone in a dry, warm place with plenty of airflow for around 48 hours to evaporate any remaining moisture.
Often Near the Water? Get a Waterproof Case
If there’s a good chance your iPhone is going to get wet, why not take the preemptive step of getting a waterproof case? These can provide peace of mind for the clumsiest of iPhone owners, with a range of designs to choose from.
There are waterproof cases to satisfy just about every kind of user. The LifeProof FRE all-rounder is a good choice and protects against drops and moisture at a depth of up to 2 meters.
LifeProof FRE Waterproof Case
If you’re a recreational user who loves to boat or kayak, a floating dry bag may be a better choice. Something like the CaliCase Universal Waterproof Floating Case hangs around your neck and ensures your device will float should it drop in the water. You can spend a lot less on a case like this, but make sure it’s tough enough to withstand some wear and tear depending on your hobby.
CaliCase Universal Waterproof Floating Case
CaliCase Universal Waterproof Floating Case – White
Protect your iPhone while out on the water with a floating case that you can hang around your neck. If the worst should happen you should be able to find your iPhone again because it’ll be floating on the water, not at the bottom of a lake.
If you’re keen to take your iPhone a little deeper, a diving case will allow you to use it for underwater photography and videography. Look into the YOGRE Diving Case which can withstand depths of 15 meters (50 feet) and has a handy camera grip design.
YOGRE Diving Case
Even with a case, you should still take care to rinse the housing thoroughly with salt water before you remove your device.
iPhones are More Water Resistant Than Ever
The good news is that your iPhone will probably be fine in most instances. Apple’s smartphones are more resistant to water ingress and drops than ever before. With that in mind, AppleCare+ might be a good idea if you’re especially concerned or have a history of destroying personal electronics.