What Should I Do When My Smartphone Gets Wet? Is My Phone Waterproof?

We all know that electronics and water just don’t mix. This combination tends to be deadly for most devices and dropping our precious phone in the dunny — well, that’s the stuff that nightmares are made of. 

smartphone dropping in toilet

source: Canva

But what should you do if the unspeakable happens? Are smartphones waterproof now? Do you need to run to the kitchen for a bowl of rice? The answer is a little more complex these days. 

Many of the recent smartphone releases are some of the most sophisticated pieces of tech that you can get your hands on. So you won’t be surprised to hear that a lot of these models are now built with some serious water resistance.

In fact, Apple notes that the iPhone 12 and 13 models have a water resistance rating of IP68 under IEC standard 60529, which basically means that they can be submerged in water up to 6 meters deep for up to 30 minutes. Really?! That’s great news. But does it mean that you should take your phone in the shower? We don’t recommend it. And let’s be real, we’re not all walking around with an iPhone 13 in our pocket.


What’s really important to know here is that older models don’t boast the same water resistance as some of the newer models. Be sure to read the fine print, because when you do you’ll discover that a phone’s resistance is not permanent. Water resistance will likely wear down over time as a result of regular use. 

So what do you do when your smartphone takes a plunge?

1. Firstly, power off your phone. Don’t try to turn it on if it’s already off. 

2. If the smartphone is plugged in, you need to unplug it.

3. Remove the case and any external accessories

4. Rinse off your phone. Say what? 
If you dropped your phone in something other than water (like juice or beer) you need to rinse it WITH water. Sounds counterintuitive right? You don’t need to douse your phone in water and you’ll need to avoid the ports. Aquick wipe down with a damp cloth is okay. 

5. Dry off your phone

6. Wipe off any excess water with a lint free cloth until it’s nice and dry.

7. Remove the SIM card

If you’re using a physical SIM card remove it from the SIM tray on the side of your phone. Open it up with a SIM ejector or the tip of a dull paperclip. 

SIM ejector and SIM cards

source: Canva

8. Lose the excess water
Hold your phone upright and tap it against the palm of your hand. This helps tap out any excess water from the lightning cable where you plug it in.

9. Set your phone aside to dry
Set your phone aside in a clean and dry area. You need to let it dry for at least 5 hours before testing it out but we recommend 10 hrs or even overnight. To help with this step you can add a cool fan (don’t use warm air or a heater) and aim it towards the lightning port. 

10. What else can I do?
If your smartphone really took a soak, you might want to consider placing your phone in a bag of rice. Some people swear by this, saying it helps draw out excess water. Just note that we mean dry rice (not cooked) 😎. 

smartphone in rice

source: Canva

IN A NUTSHELL

If you drop your phone in water it might not be a disaster. You might just need to wipe it off. Technically the latest phone models are built with pretty great dust and water resistance. They can go underwater but that doesn’t mean they’re waterproof. Generally they’re built to withstand some water penetration but won’t always survive a drop in deep water or being submerged for an extended period of time. 

Even if a phone survives a water drop (if water gets inside) there could be issues in the future, with corrosion or shorting that causes some functional issues. We say it’s best to err on the side of caution and try to keep your phone nice and dry.

On a refurbished or second hand phone the resistance might not be as strong. We like to say that some intense rain might be okay...the toilet, you might not be quite as lucky and we wouldn’t recommend swimming with your smartphone 🌊🚫. 

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