How I fixed my “iPhone has no sound” problem

The other day my iPhone 3GS glitched. I could make calls with the headset plugged in or use the speakerphone. It would ring but no sounds when texting, clicking the sleep button, unlocking the slider, playing music or videos, sms alerts, etc. I brought it to the SingTel service at Comcentre (Exeter Road) where the iPhone service technician (they’re not called “Genius”) told me it could be a OS malfunction and they would have to reset the phone and reinstall the latest OS.


That means a total wipeout. Everything. Gone. Contacts. Smses. Notes. Photos. Videos. EVERYTHING.

My last backup was a month ago. 30 days. Oh well. Que sera sera, right?

So he reinstalled. But the problem remained. Whereupon he told me, “I’ll get you a ticket and you can get a replacement.”

Happy news? Oh, not quite yet.

When I got to the counter, they took another look at the water triggers and said, “Your phone’s has suffered water damage. And when there is water damage, one by one the components will start to fail. Which is why the receiver is now failing. The replacement will cost SGD 350”

I shouted (yes, shouted) THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS?!?!

Forget it. I’m not paying SGD350. I’ll adapt. Use the headset to make calls. Whatever.

By the way, I have no idea how sensitive those liquid sensors in the iPhone are. But if you want to know what to look for, check out this site. You’ll need a torch light, and its standard practice for SingTel to check. And boy, do they CHECK! The service technician will check, the counter staff will check, everyone down the line checks if the liquid sensors have been triggered. REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU SAY THE PROBLEM IS! I know, because I waited in line and watched them check for those little pink lines whether the customer’s complaint was a software bug or battery failure.

Anyway, I went online and starting searching all over. Lo and behold, I found a forum thread with several suggestions, including “most of the time its dust in the headphone jack, blow it out good and try again”. So I did. I twisted the corner of a piece of tissue paper, stuck it into the headphone jack and wiggled it about and… IT WORKED!!! Some people snip off the bulbous tip of a cotton bud and lightly spray the remaining cotton with window cleaner and clean out the headphone jack, much like how you would clean out your ears. I didn’t want to do that. But if you are brave enough to try it, let me know how it works for you.

Stupid SingTel. No wonder you don’t call your iPhone service technicians “Genius”.


UPDATE: (23 Feb 2012)

If you live in Singapore, you may want to check out these repair guys. I’ve been hearing good things about them and someone I know got their iPhone 4S soaked. These guys were able to sort it out.

87 thoughts on “How I fixed my “iPhone has no sound” problem

  1. Exact problem, exact solution. I was panicking when my friend accidently threw a water bottle in my bad that wasn’t closed all the way and my phone had your exact symptoms. Thanks a bunch!!

  2. you are a wicked GENIUS! i just did a yoga class, put my water in my bag, pulled out iphone a minute later and it was a little wet – but no biggie – and this no sound thing happened – i FREAKED!
    anyway, i did what you asked and lo and behold FIXED!!! I love you! So Much!

    • Same as Lisa!! I FREAKED out when i dropped my ipod in the bathtub!! I put it in a plastic bag full of rice and waited like what all the other people say but i couldn’t wait that loong! So i saw this and i am saved! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  3. OMG. you are my savior my jesus christ. thank you! i used a cotton swab to clear out some dust and used an air can to blow out the dust. it works. THANKSSSSSS!!!

  4. Thank you, thank you. I drop mine in the toilet. Got it to work except for the sound. Followed your advice with cotton swab and yes, it worked!

  5. Thank u so much! I dropped my phone into water and had the same problem.
    tried ur tip and it worked!!!! just cleand it a bit and blew and it works perfect now!!!!
    thank u thank u thank u !!!!

  6. hey just tried what yah said omfg worked wonders i been panicing for weeks after i dropped my phone in the bath thank u so much

  7. Thank you soooo much! I just knew this would not work for me – doused my phone with the water hose – but I tried it anyway. Swabbed with a dry cotton Q tip. And omg it worked! Thanks again!!

  8. Thank you so much!!! Worked like a charm. My phone had gotten wet & had no sound. Pulled most the cotton off a q-tip & cleaned the headphone jack & all be damned my phone is back!! Thank you thank you!!!

  9. Omg I already tried everything. Then I saw this, only thing that worked. Only took a second lik. Thanks a lot. Ur da best xoxoxoxoxoxo

  10. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
    Spilled coffee on my poor phone by accident and I just got it a coup months ago! I was so scared and upset, but tried this, and just used a piece of Kleenex. Worked immediately after. πŸ™‚

  11. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Water bottle spill at the gym this morning = no sound until now! I cleaned it out with a Q-Tip and then used the hairdryer. WORKING PERFECTLY NOW!!!

  12. Can I just say that you are my hero! I was panicing thinking that I was gonna have to take my phone in and get a new one, but i followed your tool and it started working again! I used kleenex to clean it out and then ran it under the hand dryer in the bathroom and poof! it started working again!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! YOU ARE A LIFE SAVER!!!!!

  13. try blowing canned compressed air into headphone socket it may have a foreign body making iPhone think it is in use when it is not therefore cutting out speaker

  14. Thank you!

    I did this with paper sheet, but volume didn’t appear. I leave iPhone in “on” state for hour and now it works.

  15. Thank you so much for posting this! I totally worked immediately! I accidentally let my phone drop in the sink when there was clogged water. I saved it but noticed that the sound would only work when the speacker or headphone were on. I figured I would have to adapt too but thank you for sharing this!

  16. OMG could not be happier. My dog bumped into me while I was putting down his water bowl and my phone flew out of my pocket right into the bowl. I took it out after less than 2 seconds and it seemed to work just fine. Except for no sound when it wasn’t on speaker or plugged into the head set. I felt like crying while reading other people’s comments saying to dry it out for a week, and some even said to get a new phone since water damaged is not covered. I came across your page, tried it, and just like magic everything was working fine!! Thank you so much, you saved my phone!

  17. Just dropped mine in the hot tub while cleaning it. Everything worked but it thought the headphone were plugged in all the time. Took my son’s pipe cleaners to it and we are back in business!

  18. It did the trick at first but after a month it has stoped working again i tried to use the trick again but it hasnt worked plz HELP ME

    • I’m sorry to hear that your phone is still glitchy. I’m no expert. Only passing on information that I gleaned off the forums. If you are in Singapore, you could consider calling 8338 6781. These repair guys are professional and give great advice.

  19. Dropped phone down toilet and have tried this but it still dosent seem to be working? And other advice on what to do?

  20. It worked for me, too! Thanks! I think my problem was with the charging jack, on the bottom of the phone, but I did the same thing and it works fine. Keep those jacks clean…

  21. You are fantastic! I tried twisting a kleenex into the headphone jack and it worked perfectly! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  22. Amused by all the ways that people have got their phones wet. But I can top it.

    Fell in a duck pond yesterday. I’m house sitting and they have ducks, and I had to go into the pen to put them in their house, and I was holding phone and tripped (might have had something to do with imbalance of my ears and the cold meds.) And now I have the ‘no sound’ problem.
    I did the rice thing over night, restored the phone from back-up, and used an air can on the head phone port and the dock port. Nothing yet. But I’m just on my break at work, so I will get some pipe cleaners and give it a go.

  23. IT WORKED – I am so happy!!!!! Dropped in toilet about 5 or 6 hours ago, tried the rice all afternoon, saw this and after about 30 minutes or so it has started to work – HAPPY!! – its now working, there are a few glitches but hopefully they will sort themselves out. Will keep it in riceovernight for next few days or so THANKS – phew!!!!!!!

  24. Thank you thank you thank you!!! You helped a lot more than the “experts” I got my phone working in Seconds thank you!!!

  25. this workssss!!!!!! dropped my phone down the toilet buuuuh, its not sitting in rice for extra dryness but this brought the sound back πŸ™‚ thankyou!

  26. Thank you so much for this tip, my phone is back to it’s rockin’ old self again after being knocked into a sink full of water this morning

  27. I had the same problem. I thought your idea of the problem stemmed from the earphone jack. I used the canned air spray into the earphone jack and the phone was back to normal. Thanks for the inspiration.

  28. My phone went into the lake yesterday, I grabbed it super fast but when I was playing w it later, I noticed how the lock/unlock sounds, video’s, music and couple other sounds were not working. I of course tried search and THANK GOD I came across this site! I didn’t really think sticking a piece of paper towel in it would work and honestly felt like an idiot trying it lol. But holy shit, IT WORKED!!!!!!! I still cannot believe it! THANK YOU SO MUCH, saved me $129!!!!!! πŸ™‚

  29. Thank u! My phone fell in the toilet (ew, I know) but your solution worked perfectly. My iPhone is working again!

  30. Thank you so much, by reading this I just saved a bunch of money! I did this and it worked! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Phone was only 4 months old and got wet!

  31. Just came back from the apple store where the “Genius” told me I had liquid damage and that I’d have to pay 150 for a new phone or just get used to using headphones or speakers to make and receive calls. After reading your advice, I rolled up a piece of paper towel swiped the inside of the headset jack and…..Voila! Fixed!!!! THANK YOU!!! You are the GENIUS!!!

  32. Thank the lord. This was amazing. It seems redundant to say this but yes it worked. Did the toilet paper rolled up, then the q-tip, and finally the hair dryer. At first I was skeptical but lo-and-behold. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  33. I had the same problem my iphone was wet
    And the regular audio ceased to work
    Thanks to the qtip in the microphone hole and blowing hard in the microphone hole its working again

  34. Omg. I am going to kiss your feet. Ha ha……..i cleaned the charging dock not the earphone jack though but it does the magic. I am so happy.

  35. thank you so much!!! I had to clean the earphone jack about 3 to 4 times and then after 15 mins it worked like a charm….thanks a ton:)))))))

  36. Lol wow ok yep same thing happened to me and I was freaking out and tried everything nothing worked till I read this! I was skeptical but gave it a try and magic happened it worked!!!! U r a genius, thank u so much πŸ™‚

  37. OMG…dropped my iPhone in a bowl of soup. Everything worked except the sound. Tried the qtip trick…nothing…tried the compressed air…BINGO!!! Thanks!!!

  38. This JUST happened to me! Thanks for posting this!! I took some toilet paper and a bobby pin and stuck it right in there and the clicking to the keyboard is back!! Thank you so much for sharing this you amazing stranger!!!

  39. AMAZING! My son was ranting in total despair about his iphone being broken and how unfair life was when I googled the problem and found your site! He says it didnt get wet, but it has been raining pretty hard around here and he uses his phone all the time! Well he got a Q-tip and cleaned the jack port and YUP, IT WORKED! he is headed to his friends house to see if it works on his phone…his hasn’t worked for weeks with the same problem! Thank you so much!

  40. Just so you know…yes, you guessed it! His friend’s phone is now working! Hadn’t worked for months, not weeks as I said above. Think of how many people you have helped!

  41. Can I hug you??? Just got my phone as an early xmas present, some coffee spilled in my purse and I lost the sound. Did the rice thing, no sound. Your trick saved it!!! You deserve some kind of award for discovering this!! Thank you!!!!

  42. Thank you for keeping my insanity in check!!! I tried ur trick, but using a Q-tip (with some cotton still left on the end) and when i put it in the heasphone port, it came out slightly wet!! I continued using more Qtips until they came out dry, and now my phone works!!!! I have a 4S and definitely saved money on repairs πŸ™‚

    Thank you!!!

  43. My fone fell in the toilet while having a pee, Hypothetically, i followed all the Rice thing but if theres no Positive result, I will kill you all…

  44. OMG YOU ARE A LIFESAVER!! I spilled wine onto my iPhone 4 and everything worked except for the sound. I could hear out of the speaker but nothing else. No music, no texts, no key sounds, alarm, etc.! I put the end of rolled up tissue into the headphone jack and suddenly….. SOUND!!! Thank you SO much!!!

  45. OMG !!!! The whole tidsue inside the headphone jack idea really does work !!!! Thank youuuu so much Kus I was about to cry I have no insurance on this phone an I def wasn’t gonna pay $350

  46. Unreal! It worked. I am shocked that this worked. My phone was on the windowsill in the kitchen while making dinner. I set the timer to time some noodles and when the timer went off, the vibrate sent it flying into the sink into a pan of water. I picked it out right away, but the sound would not work. Everything else seemed fine – It would work with the headphone jack, ringtones worked, but no sound for music. I did the q-tip and tissue – several times and it finally worked! You made my night. I was so bummed, but now I’m happy! Thank you.

  47. OMG. I just dropped my iPhone in the toilet. I tried this and it works instantly. Thank you so much for posting this!!! Simply Amazing!!!!

  48. My phone fell in the toilet from my back pocket. Everything worked, but I had no sound at all. I couldn’t make or receive calls. I tried this trick and it worked! I couldn’t believe it. I used a q-tip and cleaned out the headphone hole a few times.

  49. Wow! This really worked. Dropped Iphone in glass of water yesterday. No sound and couldnt get back to home screen. Tried the earpiece and could hear. Then I cleaned with the QTip and it worked right away. Still cant get back to the home screen though. Will give it a few more days.

  50. Faith – thank you thank you thank you thank you! Worked like a charm! (same issue – iPhone 5 stupidly in my back pocket when I went to the bathroom)

  51. You are the “bomb”! I dropped the dumb phone in my coffee! Tried the q tip and the end broke off! I spent 1/2 an hour with a needle pulling it out…(the broken qntip end!) And 3 hours later my sound works! Tell our hubby to hug you! You are brilliant!

  52. OMG totally worked thank you so much!!
    I swabbed out the bottom too, like where the charger goes.
    Sound came back on almost immediately after that.

  53. My iphone 4 was submerged in a bath tub for approx 20 mins. All worked fine but no sound. I put rolled up toilet tissue in the earphone socket but also used a flat piece of metal inserted into the docking port and twisted it to flex the case & speaker. after 5 mins it burst back to life. I never would have believed it.

  54. Pingback: iPhone water damage causing no sound to come from the handset

  55. Thanks so much! My speakers weren’t working after a water incident but still functioning for alarms – tried a stripped-down cotton bud & blowing hard into the socket after reading this, and hey presto, my world has a soundtrack again! Grazie mille!


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