Revealed: Can Water Damage a SIM Card?

dr Drashco
dr Drashco Mobile Phones

After I accidentally dropped my SIM card into a snow and found it few days later when the snow has melted, the first logical question that came to my mind was - Can water damage a SIM card?

In other words, if my SIM card gets wet will it still work?

Here is what I found.

But first, let's see what sensitive electronic parts does the SIM card have.

All SIM cards have two major parts:

  • an electronic circuit (or chip) embedded inside the plastic card;
  • electric contacts (or pins) placed on top of embedded chip;

Can SIM cards get water damage?

The truth is - If SIM card got wet, water cannot easily damage the SIM that was manufactured according to strict quality standards. SIM card would need to be in the water for a very long time (days, or even more) before the corrosion would start to damage the contacts.

For example, cards used by T-mobile or Metro are mostly produced in a way that makes them virtually waterproof.

See also: Metro PCS SIM card not working in unlocked iPhone?

Will a SIM card work after getting wet?

In most cases it will work without any issues if your SIM has been submersed into water, or some other liquid for a short period of time.

However, with salty water and other aggressive liquids it gets complicated. Here, the odds of getting a damaged sim card are much higher.

In any case, it is advised to clean the SIM first, then dry it completely before putting it into a phone again.

Pro Tip: If you're in a hurry, soak the wet SIM card into 70% alcohol and then dry the SIM with a piece of paper and soft cloth. The alcohol will help to collect all the moisture.

Read also: Why does the SIM card keeps disconnecting

How to know if your SIM card is water damaged?

Follow these steps to find out will a sim card work after getting wet:

  • Check the SIM and its gold contacts (pins) for any visible damage or deformation. If damage is noticeable, ask for replacement SIM. It is better than to risk damaging your phone sim slot;
  • Soak the card in a bowl with 70% alcohol, for 5 minutes;
  • Gently dry the SIM with soft cloth, and let the remaining wet evaporate for another 24 hours (or less if you put the card in a dry and hot place);
  • Put the SIM card into your phone and check if you got the service.

So, what does a water damaged sim card look like? 

How to fix water damaged SIM card?

Although SIM card damaged by water is a rare thing, it is not the question can water ruin a SIM card. Yes it sure can, if the card is submersed / wet for a prolonged period.


You may not want to hear this, but here we go:

There is absolutely nothing you can do to fix the SIM that was damaged by water.

The only solution is to contact your mobile operator and ask for a replacement SIM.

does water damage SIM cards and phones

By the way, if you got your mobile phone submersed in water, take it out immediately and turn it off. Then open every single part that can be dissembled (like battery cover, SIM lid, etc.) and let it dry completely.

Unlike SIM card, cellphones can easily be damaged by water.

So take good care of your smartphone...