You Dropped Your iPod Touch in Water: How to Repair and Prevent Water Damage

iPod touch water damage“I dropped my iPod touch in the toilet” or “I dropped my iPod touch in the pool” are two common phrases we hear from iPod touch users within the iFans forums, and most of these people think that the outlook of their water-damaged device is bleak. Fortunately, that is usually not the case.

Most damage to an iPod touch as a result of coming in contact with water — such as the pool, toilet, or sink — can be fixed for less than the cost of replacing the iPod touch altogether. Ahead, we’ve outlined potential remedies for your water-damaged iPod and preventative measures you can take going forward. 

Devices Affected

  • iPod touch 5GiPod touch 1st generation (1G, original model)
  • iPod touch 2nd generation (2G)
  • iPod touch 3rd generation (3G)
  • iPod touch 4th generation (4G)
  • iPod touch 5th generation (5G)
  • iPhone, iPad and iPad mini

Repairing Damage

The Bowl of Rice Technique

rice uncooked

If your iPod touch has come in contact with or been submerged in water, try placing your device into a bowl or zipped bag of uncooked rice for 24 to 48 hours. During this time, the rice acts as an absorbant and removes the water and moisture from the internals of your iPod touch. There is no guarantee that this method will work, but many people have successfully dried out their smartphones and other portable devices using this trick.

Of course, it all depends on the severity of the water damage and other circumstances. In the worst scenario, you’re out a few dollars on a bag of rice. It’s worth a shot. Alternatively, you could place your iPod touch into a bag of silica packets — those “do not eat” baggies that are often found in the bottom of product boxes — for the same effect.

blow dryer

Use a Blow Dryer

Using a blow dryer will help remove the moisture from the inside of an iPod touch, although the heat could do more damage than good. If you are going to try this, it is recommended that you use the blow dryer on the lowest setting possible. Moreover, it would be wise to do this only if the rice or silica packet technique is unsuccessful. Do this at your own risk.

Manually Dry the Internals

ipod touch inside

It is said that submerging the internals of your iPod touch in isopropyl alcohol can help eliminate the water and moisture from the nooks and crannies of the components. Afterwards, the alcohol will evaporate. More information on this can be found at iFixit. This will require you to open your iPod touch, which voids your warranty with Apple, and instructions on this are also commonly available at iFixit.com.

Visit the Genius Bar

Apple-Retail-EmployeesWhile water damage is not covered by any Apple warranty policies applicable to the iPod touch, including AppleCare, sometimes a trip to the Genius Bar — coupled with an honest explanation — can be the best thing to do. You’ll need to book an appointment beforehand, through Apple’s website or 1-800-MY-APPLE.

When you arrive at the Genius Bar, do not be lie or be abrupt with the retail staff. Simply explain what happened in an honest manner, and admit that it was a mistake, and sometimes the Geniuses will be in a good enough mood to simply replace the iPod touch with a refurbished model at no cost to you.

Your individual experience will vary with this, so don’t go up to the Genius Bar expecting them to hand you over a free iPod touch. It all depends on which location you go to, who you speak with and the manager policies on dealing with water damaged devices. This is worth trying if you’re in close proximity to an Apple Store.

Preventing Damage

Purchase the Right Case

griffin_survivor_ipod_touch_5g_case_1

While most people purchase a case for their iPod touch to prevent cosmetic damage, such as scratches, scuffs or cracks, it is also important to consider a case that is water-resistant or fully waterproof. A number of accessory makers offer these types of cases, including LifeProof and Griffin Technology. A myriad of other waterproof cases for iPod touch are available on Amazon or eBay.

ipod touch screen protectorUse a Screen Protector

The logical next step after purchasing a case is to also get a screen protector for your iPod touch. These are simple adhesive films that are applied over the iPod touch screen and front bezel, with a cutout for the home button, that prevent water and fingerprints from getting in these areas. Almost every single case maker — such as OtterBox, Griffin and ZAGG — also sell screen protectors.

Check Your Pockets

If you are going swimming in a pool, doing laundry or performing another task that involves water, you should get in the habit of always checking your pockets to see if there are any electronics in them. This could potentially save your iPod touch, iPhone or whatever else you’ve got in your pockets from permanent water damage.

Don’t Turn Your Device On

If you do happen to get water on your iPod touch, the most important thing to do is not turn on the device. It may already be running in standby mode, with the display off, but this is better than checking to see if the device still works. This is often an impulse reaction that leads to the iPod touch short circuiting, when in fact following one of the steps above beforehand could actually save the device.

Conclusion

Hopefully one of the above solutions has helped you save your iPod touch from a premature death, or at least informed you of various ways you can prevent your device from water damage. On the flip side, if none of this troubleshooting has worked for you, perhaps you’ve learned a valuable lesson the hard way.

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