What to do if you drop your iPhone in beer

By: John McGarvey

Date: 14 October 2014

Well, Apple's iPhone 6 has been available for a couple of weeks now, so it's a fair bet that more than one of these shiny new phones will have fallen victim to water, beer or other liquid damage.

In a thinly-veiled PR stunt, Revivaphone - which offers a kit to resuscitate liquid-damaged phones - reckons it managed to dunk the first iPhone 6 in a pitcher of beer.

You can see the results in this video (warning: there are a couple of swear words in there):

If you do suffer the misfortune of dropping your smart phone into a pint of beer, water or some other liquid, all is not lost.

There's a reasonable chance it won't be destroyed, if you act quickly. Here's what to do:

1. Get it out of the liquid

Well, ok, this is the obvious bit. The less time your smart phone spends submerged, the better.

(As you retrieve your shiny phone from the toilet bowl, this may be the point at which you learn your lesson.)

2. Keep it switched off

Often, a swift dunking will cause your phone to lose power. But if it is still powered up, turn it off immediately.

If your phone has a removable battery, do this by yanking out the battery rather than by pressing any buttons. This will reduce the likelihood of causing further damage.

Whatever you do, don't be tempted to turn the phone on to see if it still works. This could do even more damage.

3. Dry the outside

If possible, remove the battery and SIM card. Then use kitchen towel (or something similarly absorbent) to get all the liquid off the outside of the phone.

You'll want to get as much water out of the phone as possible, so give it a good shake too.

4. Dry the inside

Now you need to be patient. For your phone to have the best chance of surviving, it needs to dry out completely before you try powering it up.

It's best to use something to draw out the moisture. A low-tech but surprisingly effective technique is to dump your phone in a bowl or bag of rice. If you do this, just be careful of dust getting into the phone.

If you can get hold of it, silica gel is even better. Either way, leave the handset to dry out for at least 48 hours.

Don't use a hairdryer or other heat sources to speed up the drying process. This can damage any heat-sensitive components in your phone.

5. Reassemble and cross your fingers

Ok, here goes. If you've left it a few days and your phone seems dry, pop the SIM back in, reconnect the battery and try to switch it on.

Depending on the level of damage, your phone could work perfectly, partly or not at all.

If your phone does seem to function ok, take the opportunity to back up any important data you need. Occasionally, liquid-damaged phones fail at a later date.

Is it worth buying a kit?

In addition to the Revivaphone product, there are a number of kits available to breathe life into water-damaged phones. These include Kensington's EVAP kit and the Save-a-Phone drying device.

These may provide a more effective way to dry out your phone. But as time is of the essence with liquid damage, it might be worth keeping one or two of them in the office. Well, that or a bag of rice, at least.

What does the * mean?

If a link has a * this means it is an affiliate link. To find out more, see our FAQs.