iPhone went through Washing Machine - what to do?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Droooooj, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. Droooooj macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2009
    London, UK
    A family member accidently put their iPhone 4S in the washing machine and it went through a full wash cycle.

    It came out very clean, but even now it's completely dry (4 days later) it doesn't switch on.

    In the meantime they've upgraded to a new 5C and left the old one for dead.

    I have 3 main questions:

    1. Is it possible to get the new iPhone to download all the apps/photos/settings of the old iPhone? I can't remember if such a thing relies on the old one having been sync'd or backed up???

    2. Is it possible to get *any* of the data that's physically off the dead 4S? (Photos mainly). Eg if a laptop gets wet you can still remove the hard dive and sometimes get the data off it.

    3. Is it safe to sell the dead iPhone 4S as it technically still has lots of personal data on it. Is there any way to ensure all data is unrecoverable (or did the washing machine do that already. :D )
  2. jbachandouris macrumors 601


    Aug 18, 2009
    Upstate NY
    If your pictures were not backed up to your computer or to iCloud, sorry to say, all is lost.
  3. Appl3FTW macrumors 603


    Nov 15, 2012
    put it in the dryer next...


    1. if you backed up recently.. i hope you did. all you have to do is restore from backup (the most recent backup of your old phone that got washed out) and then restore the new phone from there.

    2. you cannot. the drive is a flash component not a hardrive. just to be plain, the drive capacity is embedded in the motherboard. so unless you can still salvage the phone, no.

    3. more than likely the washing machine killed the mobo. is there still posibility someone can revive it, maybe. its the risk you're willing to take if you sell your personal items.
  4. Lloydbm41 Suspended


    Oct 17, 2013
    Central California
    You may think it is dry, but it likely is not inside. Get yourself a rubber maid tupperware bowl or equivalent and fill with dry, white rice. Take phone and completely submerge it in the rice. Put top on bowl and let sit for a minimum of 2 days.
    Take phone out of rice after 2 days and blow out all the open holes like the headphone jack, to ensure no rice fragments are in the phone.
    Plug phone in and wait about 15 minutes before trying to power it on. After 15 minutes, unplug phone and try powering on like normal.

    I did the same thing with an iPod 4th gen. Washed it and left it in the wash overnight. Did the rice trick and to this day, that iPod is still perfect. Screen and all. Try it out. Can't hurt.
  5. sunking101 macrumors 604


    Sep 19, 2013
    I would have removed the rear casing, battery and mopped up what moisture I could. Then I'd have packed it in rice, but that window of opportunity is now gone. Perhaps only the battery is dead? You can pick up a 4S battery online for peanuts so it might be worth a shot.
  6. Woochifer macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2007
    I had an iPod touch go through the wash, and it too was DOA. Took it to a local Mac repair shop, and they diagnosed it as a dead battery. Replaced it, and the iPod actually fired up. Yeah, the screen has some marks on it, and the battery life is now only about 2 hours. But, the thing works.

    Might not be worth the expense and trouble to fix your 4s, especially if you now have a replacement. But, if you are concerned about safeguarding the data, then the only way is to either keep it, or try fixing it just to offload the data and reset the phone. When you offload the data, then you can use that backup to restore the apps and data onto your new phone.
  7. FieldingMellish Suspended

    Jun 20, 2010
  8. Droooooj thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2009
    London, UK
    Thanks for the replies guys. Gives me bit of hope. A new 4S battery is only £15 so might be worth a shot trying to revive the dead iPhone.

    Regarding trying to get apps and photos from the old phone - I've checked their iCloud account, and also looked in ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup on their Macbook and there's no backups of any device in either. So I guess the only hope for recovery is if I can ressurrect the dead device.

    But - doesn't the App Store keep a record of every app you've bought/downloaded? Is it possible to go in there and just re-download everything? Where should I look? (sorry, not familiar with this side of Apple products)
  9. mhunter6378 macrumors regular

    Feb 20, 2015
    Yes, if you go into the App Store while logged in under the Apple ID used for that device you can see all the purchased/downloaded apps.
  10. Droooooj thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2009
    London, UK
    Will it charge me again for downloading paid for apps?
  11. mhunter6378 macrumors regular

    Feb 20, 2015
    No you should not be charged again. Once an App is purchased you can re-download/re-install the App under that same Apple ID again without charge. I've done it for years and never been charged a second time as long as the App remains in my purchase history.
  12. IpadSC400 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 7, 2013
    A mile high
    It can be repaired, all for a price of course, but it can be repaired. Start with the battery, replace it and remove all LCD/digitizer/camera/battery connectors and clean them with isopropyl alcohol and a q tip. What's to lose? Not much, and to gain? :cool:
  13. ET iPhone Home macrumors 68040

    ET iPhone Home

    Oct 5, 2011
    Orange County, California USA
    I would've hung it to air dry on a laundry line outside.
  14. bushman4 macrumors 68020

    Mar 22, 2011
    No guarantee that if you sell it that pictures and other Data will not be able to be retrieved.
    Being its a iPhone 4 put it in a drawer and keep it for a souvenir
  15. BeeGood macrumors 68000


    Sep 15, 2013
    Lot 23E. Somewhere in Georgia.
    The App Store only saves a record of what you've purchased/downloaded, and it wouldn't save data for native apps (since these aren't purchases). App data (photos, videos, etc) is only saved in iTunes/iCloud backups.

    Like others have said, youll have to revive the 4S for any hope of getting back what you've lost. Get a pentalobe screwdriver, take the back off and see if you can dry it out some more. Put it in rice with the back cover off. As a last resort, swap the battery out (it's not hard and there are YouTube videos on how to do it).

    Good luck

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14 March 13, 2015