Canon Camera Got Wet and Won’t Turn On

So your Canon camera got wet and won’t turn on? That sure does suck the happiness out of you.

The question is, do you know what to do next?

Here’s a mixture of both bitter and comforting truths. How about we start with the bitter pill?

Any small amount of water splash can render even the most expensive cameras useless. It all narrows down to where exactly the water landed.

Extra-sensitive parts will likely give in—sometimes in a matter of seconds.

And now to the sweeter pill.

Many modern Canon cameras, even those not labeled “waterproof” can stomach a small amount of water.

If you know the right tricks and at the same time act fast, you might just save yourself from ruining a good day.

Let’s quickly check out a few tricks to resort to when your Canon camera doesn’t turn on after getting wet.

What To Do When Your Canon Camera Got Wet and Won’t Turn On

How do I fix my wet Canon camera?

1. Dry the Camera First

Sometimes we all act hastily in a crisis and ‘catastrophize’ things. Once your Canon camera gets all splashed up, do not turn it on if it was off.

More so, don’t turn it on if you are still in the rain.

Pressing those buttons furiously only opens the edges to water which could harm interior parts the more. 

Secondly, detach the lens, and remove the battery and SD card from their slots.

Now, assuming you are already under some shelter, grab a dry towel, paper towel, or any absorbent material nearby. 

Gently use those materials to wipe the water off the exterior parts of the camera.

While doing this, you could put the lens on a pile of soft tissue paper while facing up so it too can release any water droplets it had.

Next, find a fan, turn it on and expose the camera over it for about 15 minutes.

If you are not close to a fan, turn your car on and hold the camera near its air conditioning vent. That’s hot air and it works perfectly.

A hairdryer is also another choice. Just don’t resort to compressed air. It will push cold water deep inside the camera making matters worse.

Now, once you have the feeling that the camera is well dried up, slide the SD card and the battery back in their slots and try to turn it on. 

If it doesn’t turn on, then there’s possibly some more water hiding in the camera’s internal chambers.

The next step would require both courage and some Canon camera disassembling knowledge.

You can remove the outer shells to expose the camera’s interior parts. Be gentle.

You don’t want to cause more damage.

Using tissue paper, trace any water molecules and wipe them out. Afterward, you can assemble the camera back and try to turn it on again.

Warning: If you must open the camera, understand that most optical parts, the mirror, in particular, are far delicate and never to be wiped with tissue paper or any other similar material.

Use pure isopropyl alcohol to clear any water that could be on the mirror or any other delicate electronics.

Make sure you have tissue paper strategically positioned to catch any runoff.

Also, we carry with us a substantial amount of static electricity.

So while stripping the camera down, you are likely to discharge that electricity into its components and end up frying it. 

The solution here is easy. Get yourself a grounding bracelet.

It will earth you so you don’t dump energy into your camera’s delicate parts.

2. Rinse your Camera

Yeah, yeah, yeah; it sounds silly, right? Hold your horses for a while.

You see, if you dropped your camera in salt water, it will start rusting sooner. Saltwater is extremely corrosive.

So, the first obvious step should be to avoid corrosion by baptizing your camera in fresh water for just 5 seconds. Just 5 seconds.

Don’t give it a 5-minute shower.

Optionally, you can drop a piece of cloth in fresh water and use it to wipe the external parts of the camera.

This process merely gets rid of salt water.

You should continue with other drying methods mentioned in this article to ensure your rig is entirely free from water.

3. Dry Rice

Rice is a magical drying component. If it works on footwear, it sure can handle a camera.

To begin, put a considerable amount of rice in a bag and then sink in your camera. Make sure the battery component is open while the sensor remains covered.

Let the camera remain in the bag for a couple of days before getting it out. 

4. Evaluation by a Professional Technician

If none of the methods above gets your Canon camera working, then the damage was already done.

It might be time to pay your local technician a visit.

The faster you do it, the better the chances that your rig will be fixed.

If you travel with your gear a lot and luckily you have travel insurance, it’s good to call the concerned company and inquire if such accidents are covered.

Otherwise, as a professional photographer, you should have a habit of investing in waterproof DSLRs or having a backup camera just in case the unexpected happens.