How To: All the Ways to Get Water Out of Your iPhone's Speaker

All the Ways to Get Water Out of Your iPhone's Speaker

Apple Watch owners know there's a built-in way to remove water from the device's speaker. However, even though modern iPhones are IP67 and IP68 water resistant, there's no official way to deal with water-clogged speakers that can muffle audio and cause prolonged damage if not ejected. Older iPhone models have it even worse, but there are some easy things you can do to get that water out.

Just because your iPhone is IP67 or IP68 doesn't mean it's waterproof. No iPhone is waterproof — IP67 and IP68 are simply ratings that specify those iPhones are capable of handling water submersions up to a certain depth for a certain amount of time. We in no way recommend intentionally submerging your iPhone underwater to test the tips in this article, as Apple does not cover water damage in its warranties.

Now, because all iPhones are not created equal, you'll want to be cautious which of the following methods you use with which iPhone.

  • iPhone 7 and newer: Skip Method 5 below. Opening an iPhone with an IP67 or IP68 rating will lose its water resistance since much of the resistance comes from special glues applied when sealing the device.
  • iPhone 6S/6S Plus: Think about skipping Method 5, as well, if possible. While not IP-rated, 6S models have some waterproofing technology, including a strong adhesive that will erode when opening the device. If the first four methods don't work for you, you can try 5, but just keep this in mind.
  • iPhone 6 and older: Use any method listed here. Because these iPhones are not built to resist water, opening the devices won't affect resistance in the slightest. If Method 1–4 don't work out for you, feel free to dive into the rest as well.

Method 1: Use a Shortcut

Shortcuts turn iOS from a simple, locked-down system into a jungle gym of possibility. Since its predecessor, Workflow, shortcuts have enabled users to create powerful programs capable of doing nearly anything on an iPhone. When it comes to getting lodged water out of your iPhone's speakers, you can build your own shortcut workflow, but others have already done all the work for you.

One of those options, developed by Josh0678, is a great tool that pulses water out of your iPhone's speaker using low-frequency sound waves. It acts much like the Apple Watch function and begs the question of why Apple doesn't include it as a built-in feature in the first place on iPhones. Nonetheless, we've got a shortcut to do the dirty work. Read more about it.

Method 2: Use an App

While shortcuts are great, they're also unregulated to a certain degree. Anyone can create and share a shortcut, regardless of content or execution. Plus, you need the Shortcuts app to use it. If you don't plan on making or using any other shortcuts, it might be better to just install a water-ejecting app. This way, you also get some peace of mind knowing that it's met Apple's rigorous App Store standards.

The app in question is called Sonic, and does more or less the same thing as the shortcut, using frequencies to eject any water inside the speaker. The main difference here is that you can adjust the frequency yourself. Read more about it.

Method 3: Use a Website

You don't need an app or shortcut to gain access to water-repelling sounds. Instead, try a tone generator site, such as Szynalski's Online Tone Generator. This site will allow you to manually set and play a frequency on your iPhone, much like the app in Method 2, which will shake the water out of your speaker until you tap "Stop."

While the creator of the water ejection shortcut doesn't specify what frequency they use, we've found it to be approximately 162 Hz. That makes sense since we've seen recommendations to set the app to 165 Hz. Set your frequency to that range, tap "Play," and watch your water issues spray away.

Method 4: Use Gravity

When all else fails, gravity can be your friend when water isn't. So grab a paper towel, and point your iPhone's speakers at it. You might see water come out on its own, being soaked up by the paper towel. If not, give the top of your iPhone a few gentle smacks. Finally, let the iPhone air dry in a well-ventilated room.

If water entered other areas of the iPhone, and it's not IP67 or IP68 rated, make sure to power it off first. You may also have better luck with the next method.

Method 5: Use Silica Gel

If your iPhone isn't water resistant, dropping it into liquid is sure to put you into a panic. You won't be thinking about simply shaking the water out of your speaker, you want to save your iPhone. And what's the easier way to save a water-damaged iPhone? Raw, uncooked, rice, right? Wrong.

Contrary to popular belief, rice isn't the best way to soak up water. "Wait a second," you say. "I've seen it bring back iPhones! Rice works!" Sure, rice works but not well. At least, not compared to other options. If you really want to prevent an untimely death for your iPhone, you'll want to go with something that's proven to best even the most absorbent rice your grocer can provide.

Instead, try silica gel. Those "DO NOT EAT" packets you see with some deliveries are there because they keep moisture away from your purchases. That trick can be applied to your water-logged iPhone as well. Just know, it's most effective when opening the iPhone itself, so only try this on non-IP-rated devices.

Submerging the iPhone in silica gel beads is the best way, but you always run the risk of popping some of the beads if you're not careful. If you're worried about that, silica gel packets will also help suck up water.

Image by multifacetedgirl/Pixabay

Method 6: Use a Repair Shop

For more severe cases, you can't rely on inexperience. When the water hits the fan, you want to follow the advice of someone who's been there many, many times. Enter our resident repair tech, Amboy Manalo, who's had plenty of experience with drowned smartphones, and as such, knows exactly what you should do in these situations.

The best thing to do for a non-IP-rated iPhone? Turn off the phone, don't plug it in, and take it into a repair shop. Technicians like Amboy have seen these issues a thousand times over and will know the best steps to take for the situation. It may just need professional drying or you may need to get a brand new speaker — it depends on wet things are.

You likely won't need to use this method if you have a newer iPhone rated at IP67 or IP68 iPhone, so this mainly concerns older models.

A water-damaged iPhone 5s. Note the corrosion and rust. Image by Amboy Manalo/Gadget Hacks

Water and iPhones may now mix better than ever before, but stuff still happens. Whether it be water damage, a pavement pummeling, or your iPhone simply stops waking up — oh yes, that happens — if you don't have a plan in place, your photos, messages, and more are as good as gone. These discussions are always an excellent opportunity to stress the importance of regular backups.

You can always buy another iPhone. You can't pay to reverse corrupted data.

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Cover image and GIF by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

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