Water is usually a death sentence for electronic devices.
That’s because water conducts electricity, passing it instantly from one component to another causing them to overload. Impure water (such as fizzy drinks or sea water) also contains impurities that bind to electronics and corrode them. These impurities stay in the device even when it’s dried, causing further damage over time. The impact of water damage can be lessened if a device is fully turned off when it falls into water. That’s because there’s no current inside the device that can be transferred from one component to another. However, the device must be fully dried both inside and out before it can be turned back on.
There are a number of ways water can get into your device. It might be dropped directly into water or splashed by a drink, Very damp environments such as steam rooms or a sweaty pocket can also cause droplets to form in the connector port.
Every iOS devices includes a liquid damage indicator. This is a small strip inside the Lightning Bolt port that changes color on contact with water. Apple uses this strip to detect the presence of water when identifying problems with a device. So if you’ve dropped your iPhone into water there’s little point pretending otherwise at the Genius Bar!
If you’re wondering by Apple hasn’t released a waterproof device yet, then take into consideration that every hole and port would need to be fully sealed, causing the speakers to sound muffled and distorted. It’s likely Apple is working on a solution, but at the time of writing this has yet to happen.
Don’t turn on a wet electronic device!
Water and electronics don’t go together. It seems obvious, but there are many people who quickly shake the water off their device then turn it back on. This is the worst thing you can do with a wet iPhone or iPad. Even if you’ve rubbed it down with a towel and blown inside the connector port, there will still be water inside the device that’s trickled in from numerous sources. At room temperature it will take days for the water inside to evaporate. But don’t worry, there are a couple of methods of quickly drying a water-clogged device.
The best way to dry a wet device
First of all, avoid any heat sources. Hairdryers are hot enough to warp and melt the solder inside an iPhone or iPad. Similarly, avoid other heaters or sources of fire. Room temperature is your friend. The most efficient way to dry a wet device is to place it in a sealed container with silica gel packets. These are the same gels you find packaged with most large electrical devices. They typically come in small paper sachets.
If you don’t have gel packets to hand, then white rice has been known to work. It’s highly advisable to leave the device encased in rice for 24 hours, before repeating the process with a second portion of rice. Be patient, the longer you can leave the device to dry the more likely it will still work when it’s turned back on. Good luck!