27 Nov 2010

Repair: Removing water condensation an iPhone camera

iPhone water condensation 1

Last night was a bit wild. I remember getting home sometime in the early hours and stumbling from the car (wife was driving) to the shower to soak away the drinking.  By the time I realised that I was still fully clothed and had my wallet and week old iPhone 4 in my pockets, they were dripping wet.  I dried off the phone the best I could with a towel and crashed on the bed.  I would deal with all that when I was in a clearer frame of mind.

I woke this morning and checked my phone.  I found water condensation on the inside of the camera lens and flash!  I flipped the phone over and even the front facing camera was foggy.  The water from the shower must have gotten in through the headphone jack or something. 🙁

I tried to take a photo but it was very blurry… well, at least the camera still functions!

I googled for solutions and found two suggestions:

  1. Remove the screws on the bottom and take the back off of the iPhone.
  2. Absorb the moisture with a desiccant, without taking anything apart.

Opening the phone is a last resort, so I opted for the dehydration method.

iPhone water condensation 2

A common desiccant is dry rice, so I zip-locked my iPhone with a handfull of rice and let it sit in a warm place for a few hours.  I placed on top of my PC tower near the back where the PSU kept it warm to speed up the drying process.

iPhone water condensation 3

After a few hours I took the iPhone out and tapped some rice grains out of the data slot and checked the headphone jack wasn’t blocked with rice.  Looks fine, and the cameras are crystal clear again.  🙂

Sillica-gel packets, like the type found in shoe boxes, should also do the trick.

About the Author:

Hardware and software engineer with experience in product development and building automation. Director at Cabot Technologies and Product Manager at NEX Data Management Systems.

1 comment

  1. kali

    Something similar with condensation has happened today to my iPhone 4′s camera, so I’m using the rice-in-a-bag method. Thanks for posting your before and after pictures. I’m glad it worked for you! I hope it works for me too!

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