Can an iPhone Survive the Washing Machine?


If you have accidentally washed your iPhone in the washing machine because you forgot to pull it out of your pocket after a long day at work, don’t worry because you are not the first person to do so. The iPhone 12 is IP68 certified, which means that it can be submerged underwater under 1.5 meters for 30 minutes. So, can an iPhone survive the washing machine? 

An iPhone can survive the washing machine if you take it out as soon as you can, rinse it under clean water, and immediately put it in rice or, even better, silica gel. Do not try to turn it on because that would be the final nail in the coffin. Once the phone is thoroughly dried, it would be wise to take it to a professional to have it cleaned. 

But what’s the point of leaving it in rice or silica gel? What are some things that you should never do if your iPhone went into the washing machine? And what if you washed it at 90°C? Let’s take a closer look to see what can be done. 

Can an iPhone Survive the Washing Machine? 

Several YouTubers have tried to wash different iPhones in the washing machine. Everything from the iPhone X to the iPhone 12 was washed either on purpose or accidentally in the washing machine and most of the devices surprisingly survived. But the steps that you take after your phone was put in the washing machine are the most important as this can either kill or save the device. 

Here are the steps that you should follow if you ever forget to take your iPhone out of your pocket and wash the garment in the washing machine: 

  1. The first and most important thing is that you do not panic. Your phone will most likely survive being washed in the washing machine as it has great water resistance, but you must still follow all the steps correctly. 
  1. Turn the washing machine off immediately and take the phone out of the pocket. 
  1. Turn the phone off if it was not already off and do not press any other buttons or try to use your iPhone. 
  1. Remove all removable parts and your iPhone case, if you use one. 
  1. Rinse the iPhone under the tap and thoroughly dry it with towels. 
  1. Put the iPhone in silica gel or rice and leave it in there for a day or two. 
  1. You can try turning the phone on, but ideally, you want to take it to a professional to have it cleaned from the inside. 

Note that even if you do all the steps correctly, it is still not guaranteed that your phone will work. Taking it to a professional will both increase the chances and the cost of the repair. You can even skip step 4 and just take the iPhone directly to a professional, just remember to tell them that the phone should be thoroughly dried as it will still be wet. 

The reason why you want to leave the phone in silica gel is to absorb moisture. Silica gel is absolutely phenomenal at doing that. Rice absorbs moisture too, but it is much slower and the starch from the rice can make your phone dirty and sticky, making it much harder to repair. This is why professionals advise against putting the phone in rice, but anecdotal evidence supports the idea nonetheless. 

What if the Washing Machine Was Set to 90°C? 

Let’s start off by saying that this is a highly unlikely scenario because you do not wash your pants and shorts at 90°C. However, your phone might still fall into the washing machine while you weren’t paying attention. You should still follow the same steps laid out above to try to save your iPhone. 

The chances of your phone surviving a wash at such a high temperature is much lower than if it were, let’s say 40°C. But don’t lose hope because iPhones are surprisingly sturdy and heat-resistant. The most important thing to do is to cool the phone as soon as you take it out of the washing machine under ice-cold tap water. 

Once the phone is cooled, check to see if there is any water under the glass. If you do not see any obvious water damage, your phone has most likely survived and you can proceed to leave it in silica gel. Once it is completely dry, take it to a phone repair shop or try to turn it yourself if you want to risk it, which is not encouraged. 

What Not to Do if You Accidentally Put Your iPhone in the Washing Machine 

Just like there are some steps that are absolutely crucial if you want to rescue your iPhone, there are some things that you should never do. These will not only reduce your chance of recovery, but they will also kill your phone if it has not already been broken in the first place. Here is the list: 

  • Do not use blow dryers, compressed air, and do not blow into the iPhone. This can blow the water into the phone and cause even more damage. 
  • Do not take the iPhone apart yourself. Leave this to the professionals because there are many delicate parts that you can damage. Also, it will completely void your warranty if the water damage indicator has not already done it. 
  • Do not press any buttons or try to turn the phone on. You should turn the device off as soon as you take it out of the washing machine, but do not try to do anything else as it can short and kill the device. 
  • Do not put the phone into the freezer, microwave, oven, or anything else that can heat the phone up or cool it down. These things are extremely dangerous and can even blow up the battery inside your phone. Not to mention that it would cause additional damage to the screen and other components. 

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