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Revamped version of the iPhone 3G with faster processing speeds. Repair of this device is similar to the 3G, and requires simple screwdrivers and prying tools. Model A1303 / 16 or 32 GB capacity / black or white plastic back.

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The Right Way to Fix Water Damage?


I just got an iPhone 3GS off of eBay with water damage. It hasn't come here yet, but it doesn't look bad from what I've seen. I've read a lot about it, but somebody says do one thing, while another guy says to do another. So I ask:

I use rubbing alcohol with at least 90% concentration, right?

What kind of brush do I use?

Do I just clean it off, or do I dunk it in a pool of the alcohol? Or do I clean it then dunk it? If so, for how long?

Once its clean, how do I dry it? I've read hairdryer yes, an no. Sunlight yes, and no. Can someone clarify on the best practices to cleaning this damage up?


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Corry, for the proper cleaning guide, follow this link. It was expertly written for the 3G but it most certainly applies to the 3GS as well. Hope this helps, good luck.

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Great article old turkey! In all cases shown in that article

I would be using the toothbrush and contact cleaner.

Electrowash doesn't need to be stored below 30 degrees as shown

on the alcohol bottle. That's bull. Alcohol is a marginally

acceptable substitute for The Right Thing.

I wish people wouldn't demonstrate The Wrong Thing for others

that want to learn how to Do It Right. I will NEVER use alcohol.


@cns, to each their own. You are so funny:) most of the electronic contact cleaner sprays contain alcohol and CO2. Good thing you'll never use alcohol....:) BTW "Electrowash doesn't need to be stored below 30 degrees as shown on the alcohol bottle." "That's bull". You do realize that the 30 degrees is centigrade. Absolutely appropriate to store isopropyl alcohol below that temperature. "I wish people wouldn't demonstrate The Wrong Thing for others that want to learn how to Do It Right. I will NEVER use alcohol." Hope you are not implying that the guide is wrong. All you have to do is check on how many people successfully cleaned their iDevices that particular way.


cns, I'm glad you've had success with your method, as with all things..each to their own. Some swear by ultrasonic baths, some use electronic cleaner, I use alcohol because it was good for me. Next time I get a liquid damaged item I'll try your method and see what happens..Sometimes though you receive an item that is never going to come good no matter what you do :-(


I will end up using the alcohol. It seems to be tired and true, and I am hearing again and again thats what I should use.

Also, it seems everytime I check this thread the comments change.


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There's alot of different techniques.

I use a soft toothbrush and an electronic contact

cleaner spray. The kind that leaves zero residue.

Available at radio shack or over in the electronics

section of lots of stores like Fry's. Got my last spray

can at the auto parts store. Alcohol is a good substitute

but zero residue contact/electronic spray can is The Right Thing.

Using contact cleaner in a spray can works best because

the spray pressure will chase water out of small components.

The key to using a hair dryer or heat gun is to put it on low. heat, just blow room temp....whatever

your favorite tool has settings called like that. Low temperature

is the key. I let it blow for a full day. Or many hours.

Some people say no heat gun/ hairdryer because they're

afraid you'll melt the solder or wire insulation and do

additional damage. Well, I've got news for them.

I use precision of judgment and I do not fry my

delicate electronics under a 650 degree heat gun

set on high. And I'll bet you can pull it off too.

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....and remember....90% isopropyl alcohol actually

contains 10% water. Lose the $7.00 on a pressurized can

of electronic contact cleaner.


So I just spray on the contact cleaner, then let it dry? Or do I make it puddle up and have the MB soak?


So I guess that I should use contact cleaner over rubbing alcohol? If so, do you have a link to the smallest can I can get that you know works?



This is one example. But there are many brands - they all do the same thing.

Just look for zero residue contact cleaner at your local hardware store

or radioshack.

A quick google on "electronic contact cleaner" turns up lots of info.

Here's a youtube video......

I stay away from any electronic cleaner that contains 10% water.

Here's some on Amazon....


Spray it on...drench the area......spray it again and chase off any

loosened scunge....look closely at it....respray if necessary....toothbrush

again....respray if necessary...........


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Consider a wet phone recovery pack - you place your phone inside for a few days and they pull the moisture out using their absorption technology. They are often several times more effective than rice and silica gel packs.

I used a product called Rescuetec - - when I dropped my phone in the sink.

Hope this helps, and good luck :)

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The phone wasn't wet when I bought it. What you linked t was for pulling moisture out. I was trying to fix corrosion and damage, as the liquid was already gone.

Thanks for the tip though.


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Apple does not repair iPhones, but will replace the entire iPhone for a flat fee; see the tutorials here:

There are independent iPhone repair services that may be able to replace the screen for less. Do a web search for "iPhone repair". Note, though, that if you elect to have the iPhone serviced by an unauthorized shop, all further support from Apple will be voided.


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What you do in order to dry it is put it in 3 inches of mexican rice

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Rice does absolutely nothing for a water damaged device.


I beg to differ. My iphone 5 went through the washer. I put it in a coffee can filled with white rice. 3 days later it was fine. BUT....5 months later it quit working, blank screen no power. I am going to take it apart and clean it with CRC electronic cleaner....pray that works. Worth $7 to not use it as a paper weight.


Considered corrosion damage from improper cleaning? Rice does not work.


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Todd zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.

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