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We don't agree that two wrongs make a right, however you did read the title correctly.
Conventional tap or drinking water is what causes rust to form inside the iPhone. We've linked a handy article below elaborating on the chemical reactions which allow rust to weaken the structural integrity of the metal bonds and connections.

rust chain iphone water damage - celltech blog

As phones are becoming smaller and slimmer, so too are their internal components shrinking - with manufacturers going as far as removing the convenience of a headphone jack - just to save space. The very small area inside the phone will rust quickly as the ratio of metal is minuscule compared to something like a bike chain - which may take months or years to rust and disintegrate. In a matter of days the level of rust can become significant based on the salt content - hence why the ocean is one of the worst places to sink your iPhone or iPad into. 

What causes rust:

When water in all its forms comes into contact with iron and is combined with oxygen - this will cause rust, read all about it here.


water damage iphone ultrasonic cleaner - celltech blog


Having covered the causation of rust by exposing metal to water, you must be thinking we're a crazy bunch trying to clean water damaged iPhones and iPads with another liquid based solution!

But hear me out, a commercial ultrasonic cleaner transmits thousands of waves per second of low frequency sound through our special ultrasonic solution mixture to cause the formation of tiny minuscule bubbles which burst on contact with the submerged iPhone logic board, clearing away the contamination and allowing the cleaning solution to jump in and go to work. This constant bombardment quickly and efficiently cleans any rust, oil and acidity from the metal no matter the size and shape of the object. 

Learn more about the ultrasonic cleaning procedure here.



The second liquid we utilise is isopropyl alcohol which is a high concentration solution made of 70% absolute alcohol mixed with water, denaturants and other oils. It is also known as rubbing alcohol owing to it's excellent property of separating contaminants and also evaporating quickly at room temperatures leaving behind little if any oil based residue.

isopropyl alcohol cleaning solution water damage iphone - celltech blog

It's also used in home cleaning products and even medical sanitation equipment. After the iPhone logic board or iPad circuit board is removed from the ultrasonic bath, isopropyl alcohol is used to clear away the ultrasonic solution, followed by a few minutes on a heated bench.  The logic board is now ready for further inspection under our microscope (Jackie). The next stage involves component testing and schematic reworking.

If this is your first time hearing about isopropyl alcohol, you can read about its 10 best home uses here.



The next time you hear about water damaged iPhone's being cleaned and restored with liquids, don't be put off. It's all part of the healing process. After the various cleaning solutions have been applied it is then time to see if your iPhone will power on or if the water damage has caused lasting damage to any components.

One thing to note is that no rice was used during the clean up process. Rice cannot absorb the water from the inside of the phone (which is the main focus of a clean up), and therefore the rice method is just a myth, probably started by someone trying to sell more rice.

If you have any interesting or unfortunate liquid-meets-phone stories, get in touch so we can mention it in our next blog article.


Please feel free to reach out to us by filling out our quick quote enquiry form. We would love to hear from you and are always ready to fix your water or liquid damaged devices.