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Thread: Got iPhone problems? Wash it!

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DISCLAIMER: YOUR PHONE MAY EXPLODE OR CEASE TO EXIST OR THE WORLD MAY CEASE TO EXIST BECAUSE OF THIS. I am not responsible. Now onwards. So you've got some problems
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  1. #1
    I haz no shield Mars478's Avatar
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    Default Got iPhone problems? Wash it!
    DISCLAIMER:YOUR PHONE MAY EXPLODE OR CEASE TO EXIST OR THE WORLD MAY CEASE TO EXIST BECAUSE OF THIS. I am not responsible.
    Now onwards.
    So you've got some problems with an iPhone you've recently purchased, dropped in a puddle, etc. You're thinking of chucking the thing and getting one of the shiny new iPhone 4's.

    But If you're like me, you're a pretty poor chap. You are resourceful, you want to get the damned phone fixed.

    So what do you do? Well you wash that motherboard!

    Derived from a technique to fix old macintosh motherboards with leaking capacitors, this method I have used to fix dozens of water damaged iPhones.

    Corrosion on pins of the chips inside are causing weird things to happen. I recently fixed an iPhone which would not work correctly with ANY battery I tried. One day of drying and i popped that motherboard back in and it worked like a charm. I've also fixed problems with Wi-Fi, Display garbage, the phone not turning at all, with this amazing technique. I've also fixed a DIGITIZER with this.

    Here's what you'll need.
    • iPhone Motherboard
    • Water
    • Alcohol
    • (OPTIONAL) Diet Coke
    • A Cup big enough to fit the iPhone motherboard
    • Tools for taking the phone apart.
    • PATIENCE

    Take apart the iPhone using instructions available on the internet depending on the phone. In this example I used an 8GB 3G.

    Remove the Motherboard, and the camera. (IF ON A 2G, Remove the Mobo or Comm board depending on which has problems).

    Make a mix of the water and the alcohol, the more alcohol the better. If you want to get crafty put some DIET coke in here, it helps remove corrosion. Not regular coke, because it is sticky.
    Fill the cup so that the motherboard is entirely dunked in the concoction.

    Put the iPhone Motherboard in the cup/glass. This is the point of no return, if you're dedicated to this, you will continue.

    OPTIONAL, grab a spare toothbrush and clean the mobo gently while it is in the cup.

    Give this thing a day to soak in, if you want the BEST results. 6 Hours can also work too. I did 6 hours on this 8GB 3G.

    Once you have removed the motherboard, put it on a piece of paper in a place with sunlight or with a bright light.

    DO NOT Attempt to dry it with a hair dryer, you may likely fry fragile components which will render the board useless.

    Put the board back into your iPhone Carcass, see if it works, and see if your problem is solved.

    If it does not, you may have likely murdered the board some how, or it is usually that it needs more drying. :P


    I know this sounds seriously counter intuitive, and that your will just f up your phone more than it already is, but It works, and if you feel you cannot do this yourself, PM me, I'll do it for you.

    To be updated with pictures etc...
    Last edited by Mars478; 07-13-2010 at 03:33 PM. Reason: changed iPhone model to represent new release of iPhone 4
    iPhone 4, Yellow Custom Glass, 32GB, 4.3.3, non-working home button. And a prototype iPhone 4 White.
    Main Computer:MacBook Unibody Plastic, 2.26GHZ, 4GB RAM, 250x2GB, Red glowing Apple.
    Water Damaged iPhone? Don't throw it away; iPhone Motherboard washing tutorial!!! (PM me I will do it for you)

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  3. #2
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    Sounds interesting. I'll be sure to try it on my next water-damaged phone!

  4. #3
    iPhone? More like MyPhone
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    I would use distilled water, and no diet coke.

    If your phone is already ****** why not try this?

  5. #4
    I haz no shield Mars478's Avatar
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    There are all kinds of spins on this! Develop you own and post it here! I saw on Mythbusters that Diet coke removes some corrosion. I tested it on a phone with heavy corrosion on the battery terminals and it worked great! So give it a shot.
    iPhone 4, Yellow Custom Glass, 32GB, 4.3.3, non-working home button. And a prototype iPhone 4 White.
    Main Computer:MacBook Unibody Plastic, 2.26GHZ, 4GB RAM, 250x2GB, Red glowing Apple.
    Water Damaged iPhone? Don't throw it away; iPhone Motherboard washing tutorial!!! (PM me I will do it for you)

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  7. #5
    Green Apple
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    it sounds more likely wash iphone with alcohol

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    iPhoneaholic g0sbv's Avatar
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    I use ipa isopropyl alcohol and water 99% ipa to 1% water to clean pcbs which you can readily buy from a lot of chemists and a child's toothbrush when totally dry and repaired I then use Servisol Plastic Seal 60 PCB Lacquer to prevent any oxidisation

  9. #7
    Livin the iPhone Life mikerlx's Avatar
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    Not to get off topic but remember the scene of the Matrix washing everything in the mainframe so washing electrics is plausible.

  10. #8
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    my phone had 2 weeks in the closet .. felt in the pool vibrated till it die. i seen this turoria so i said the samething what do i have to lose. so i took the iphones logic board and took does aluminum plates off and deep it in the cup with alcohol for 1 hour. So i left it drying all night work in the morning and was amaze everything work... but the phone vibrates and won't stop when i lock the screen. My question is should i deep it in alchohol longer or should i stop messing with it...


    i also did it to my cuzins worked well but lost the wifi and its not the antenna...... should i try the diet coke?

  11. #9
    I haz no shield Mars478's Avatar
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    The Vibrate motor is on the whole time? replace the vibrate motor or clean the contacts on the board with some water and let it redry.

    Re dip your cousins board, either the contacts are still joined and it's not kicking in, or you fried the chip. The diet coke can work sometimes.

    Which model are these?

    Congrats I love when this works

    I'd also like to add that I'm using this method successfully on at least half a dozen phones since I've posted this. Right now, I'm doing it to a Blackberry that was dunked in a toilet.
    Last edited by Mars478; 07-13-2010 at 03:37 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    iPhone 4, Yellow Custom Glass, 32GB, 4.3.3, non-working home button. And a prototype iPhone 4 White.
    Main Computer:MacBook Unibody Plastic, 2.26GHZ, 4GB RAM, 250x2GB, Red glowing Apple.
    Water Damaged iPhone? Don't throw it away; iPhone Motherboard washing tutorial!!! (PM me I will do it for you)

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    alexz702 (07-13-2010)

  13. #10
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    both of them are iphone 3g 8gig... they did not show life at all..

    well mine vibrates and does not stop when the screen is off... i don't know whats going on with that problem... i try cleaning the contacts replacing the motor and still does the same thing...

  14. #11
    I haz no shield Mars478's Avatar
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    So it just vibrates the whole time? Might wanna re dunk the board.
    iPhone 4, Yellow Custom Glass, 32GB, 4.3.3, non-working home button. And a prototype iPhone 4 White.
    Main Computer:MacBook Unibody Plastic, 2.26GHZ, 4GB RAM, 250x2GB, Red glowing Apple.
    Water Damaged iPhone? Don't throw it away; iPhone Motherboard washing tutorial!!! (PM me I will do it for you)

  15. #12
    I haz no shield Mars478's Avatar
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    Update: This also works on BlackBerry's Just did it.
    iPhone 4, Yellow Custom Glass, 32GB, 4.3.3, non-working home button. And a prototype iPhone 4 White.
    Main Computer:MacBook Unibody Plastic, 2.26GHZ, 4GB RAM, 250x2GB, Red glowing Apple.
    Water Damaged iPhone? Don't throw it away; iPhone Motherboard washing tutorial!!! (PM me I will do it for you)

  16. #13
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    We use a heated ultrasonic tub with 99% isopropyl alochol, remove the logic board plates and place in the tub and let it do its thing for 3 minutes
    iPhone Repair

  17. #14
    Green Apple
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokemyi View Post
    We use a heated ultrasonic tub with 99% isopropyl alochol, remove the logic board plates and place in the tub and let it do its thing for 3 minutes
    That's hardcore! I have a huge industrial sized ultrasonic cleaner with side by side tubs. If I ever dunk a phone again, I'll try the tub with distilled water to remove whatever soaked the board in the first place followed by some IPA (alcohol, not beer) and a thorough natural drying cycle. Should fix any corrosion issues

  18. #15
    iPhone? More like MyPhone
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    in for pics, i'd try it, lol.

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    So if I buy a water damaged iPhone on craigslist, this should work most likely? I don't get it, why wouldn't the water mess up the motherboard? I mean it is the water in the first place that messed it up, two negatives don't equal a positive lol, care to explain? (I believe you though, just not grasping the concept)

  20. #17
    Green Apple riverratt's Avatar
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    been doing this technique(and various versions of it depending on materials available) since the age of the transistor radio.
    It used to be the best kept secret of collectors of second hand state of the art electronics. Thanks Mars478

  21. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by piston597 View Post
    So if I buy a water damaged iPhone on craigslist, this should work most likely? I don't get it, why wouldn't the water mess up the motherboard? I mean it is the water in the first place that messed it up, two negatives don't equal a positive lol, care to explain? (I believe you though, just not grasping the concept)
    First buying a water damaged iphone on craigslist is risky business. Water causes corrosion and that can permanelty damage the iPhone.

    If you use the method I stated earleir, with 99% isopropyl alcohol or distilled water it should increase the chances of it working. Regualr water contains minerals to increase the flavor, these minerals are what cause corrosion. And I recommend alcohol because that will evaporate almost instantly in the air.
    Best of luck
    iPhone Repair

  22. #19
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    I have an iPhone 3G with water damage,all working well now except Touchscreen/Digitizer. Tried replacing the Touch screen-no luck.
    Can I use this technique to get it working?
    Last edited by brahman; 08-13-2010 at 10:38 AM. Reason: Added word for clarity

  23. #20
    Green Apple
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    just curious, why not just dunk the entire phone in this concoction? maybe with it all taken apart so it has best absorption.

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