Be as careful as you like, but it's all too easy to drop your iPhone in a bath, toilet or even a massive muddy puddle - especially now that its massive chassis has a tendency to poke out the top of your pocket. It doesn't have to be an expensive mistake, however. Here are several tricks that may help you to dry out a wet smartphone.Need a new phone? Check out the best smartphones of 2014.
These tips don't apply only to iPhones, of course, although Apple has yet to add the waterproofing credentials to its smartphone's spec that is now found in many (but not all) Android phones.
It goes without saying that the first step is to remove your phone from the water, then turn it off and remove its SIM. DO NOT TRY TO USE A WET PHONE. Do your best to dry the phone and its SIM with a nearby towel, jumper sleeve or whatever you have to hand. Give it a gentle shake, too, to remove any water from its ports. Then follow our advice to fix a water-damaged iPhone. Need a new iPhone? Check out our iPhone 5s vs iPhone 5c comparison review.
Note that your phone may already be damaged beyond repair, and these steps may not help you get your wet smartphone working. However, things can't get any worse, so you might as well give it a try.
How to dry out an iPhone: how to fix water-damaged smartphone: the rice trick
You know how you put a tiny cup of rice in a saucepan full of water and before you know it you have enough to feed the 5,000? That's because rice is amazing at sucking up water. Grab a big bowl, then into the bowl goes your wet phone and enough rice to adequately cover it. Now forget about it for 24 hours.
Only when the time is up should you reassemble your now hopefully dry phone and attempt to switch it on. If it doesn't work, stick it back in the rice and try again the following day. On the third or fourth unsuccessful attempt you should begin to consider noting the time of death.
How to dry out an iPhone: how to fix water-damaged smartphone: other tricks to try
If you have a nice warm airing cupboard in your house, leaving your phone in there for a day or three could help draw out the unwanted moisture. The key word here, though, is 'warm': avoid anything 'hot'.
You could also substitute rice for silica gel (you'll probably find some packets of this in the box for the last pair of trainers you bought). Just remember: it's not rice, do not eat it.
How not to dry out an iPhone: water-damaged smartphone don'ts
The following rules for what not to do when fixing a water-damaged phone are common sense, but it's worth pointing them out.
Do not throw your soggy phone against a wall in the midst of a tantrum: all hope is not yet lost.
Do not put a water-damaged phone in the tumble dryer (even if it's inside a sock or a pillow case).
Do not leave your wet phone on the radiator.
Do not heat up your wet phone with a hair dryer.
And we can't believe we need to say this one, but do not put your wet phone in the freezer.
If you are going to flutter your eyelids in an Apple Store and hope that they will take pity on you, at least tell them the truth: with internal liquid detectors inside iOS devices they will know that your iPhone got wet. They won't, however, know the difference between whether it was dropped in a toilet or a bath, so you can keep that one to yourself.