Modern iPhones can withstand a splash of water, but you shouldn’t rely on Apple’s water resistance rating and take too many chances. Just follow some simple steps to improve your device’s chances.
Your iPhone may be water resistant
If you have an iPhone 7 or later, the good news is that your device has a certain 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 depth 6 meters for up to 30 minutes (IP68):
The following iPhone models can hold up 4 meters for up to 30 minutes (IP68):
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone 11 Pro Max
The following iPhone models can hold up 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 (2nd generation)
- iPhone XR
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8 (including 8 Plus)
- iPhone 7 (including 7 Plus)
If you have an older device, there is no warranty for water resistance. This doesn’t mean dampness means game over, but your device’s chances of surviving are much lower.
Age and body damage may severely affect the water resistance. Using compressed air to clean the charging port may also damage the seal (clean the charging port carefully instead). Be careful not to get your iPhone wet, even if you have a recent iPhone with a relatively high level of protection. Water damage is not covered by Apple’s standard warranty.
Related: How do hardware water resistance ratings work
iPhone not waterproof? turn it off
Water can damage your iPhone because it conducts electricity, so turning off your iPhone is a good idea if it gets wet. This is especially true if you have an iPhone model that lacks water resistance, is outdated, or has been damaged in a way that you think may have compromised the waterproof seal.
Drying your device thoroughly before restarting it will give it the best chance of survival. You should wait about 48 hours before turning it on and leave it in a warm, dry place for the moisture to evaporate.
dry up and don’t panic
Most modern iPhone models can withstand water splashes, whether it’s a heavy rain, a spill on the dinner table, or a drop in the bathroom. After turning off your device, dry the iPhone completely. Use a soft cloth to remove moisture, paying close attention to the charging port where drips are hard to reach.
You should wait until the iPhone is completely dry before charging. Your iPhone may give you a warning about moisture being detected in the charging port if you don’t, recommending waiting 48 hours before charging again to make sure all the moisture has evaporated.
If you are confident that your iPhone’s water resistance rating has not been compromised, you may decide to continue using it as usual during this time. If the charging level is low then consider charging wirelessly until the charging port is dry.
Remove moisture from the speaker as well
If you decide to use your iPhone as usual, you may notice that the speaker is not working quite as it should. It may sound like a muffled tone or crackling caused by moisture that has not yet evaporated. You can either wait for this to happen naturally or try using an app like Sonic Ⓥ.
This app is a ringtone generator that has a dedicated tone generation button designed to remove moisture from the iPhone speaker. It’s ad-supported so you can experience a full range of tones from 0Hz to 25,000Hz to turn off any problematic moisture.
Salt water is much worse than fresh water
Salt water corrodes at a much faster rate than fresh water, so it’s important to rinse your iPhone well if you drop it in the ocean. You should do this ASAP as the longer you wait the worse things get. If you fail to get rid of the salt, corrosion may continue even in the absence of moisture.
Since salt water is very corrosive, the damage may already be done. The gold contacts on the charging port can quickly wear out, which will prevent your iPhone from charging at all with a cable. You’ll want to remove any salt residue with a soft brush and pure water to give your iPhone the best chance of survival.
This tip applies to sugary and alcoholic drinks as well, although they won’t be as corrosive as salt water.
Related: What to do if you drop your smartphone in the ocean
Placing the iPhone in rice will not help dry it out, and may instead cause the rice grains to get stuck in the charging port. We recommend cooking rice and eating it instead, perhaps with curries or in sushi rolls depending on the type of grain.
It is much better to leave the iPhone in a dry, warm place with plenty of air flow for about 48 hours to evaporate any remaining moisture.
Often near the water? Get a waterproof bag
If there’s a good chance your iPhone got wet, why not take the precautionary step of getting a waterproof case? This can provide peace of mind for even the most seasoned iPhone owner, with an array of designs to choose from.
There are waterproof cases to satisfy every type of user. The LifeProof FRE all-rounder is a good choice and protects against drops and moisture at a depth of up to 2 metres.
LifeProof FRE Water Resistant Case
If you are a recreational user who loves to go boating or kayak, a floating dry bag may be a better choice. Something like the CaliCase Universal Floating Case hangs around your neck and ensures that your device will float if dropped in water. You can spend less on such a case, but make sure it is strong enough to withstand some damage depending on your hobby.
Calicase Universal Waterproof Floating Pouch
Cali Kiss Universal Waterproof Floating Case – White
Protect your iPhone while it’s on the water with a floating case that you can hang around your neck. If the worst happens, you should be able to find your iPhone again because it will be floating on water, not at the bottom of a lake.
If you’re keen to take your iPhone a little deeper, a diving bag will allow you to use it for underwater photography and videography. Look at the YOGRE Dive Bag that can handle depths of up to 15 meters (50 feet) and features an easy-to-grip camera design.
YOGRE diving bag
Even with the case on, you should still rinse the case thoroughly with salt water before removing your device.
iPhones are more waterproof than ever
The good news is that your iPhone will most likely be fine in most cases. Apple smartphones are more resistant to ingress and drops than ever before. With that in mind, AppleCare+ might be a good idea if you’re particularly concerned or have a history of destroying personal electronic devices.