iPhone Battery Percentage Unreliable

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Jedi Guardian
Feb 3, 2014
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Not long ago I wiped down my iPhone with a Clorox disinfectant wipe. Apple's official site says this is safe to do. I did this twice, once on two separate days, allowing it to dry off in between. I did NOT submerge it in water, hold it under running water, or put any soaking wet towels or cloths on it, or anything like that - just the Clorox wipe.

But since then, I've noticed some weird things. I waited overnight until it was dry, then a few days ago I turned it on and it said 50-something %. I turned it off again, plugged it into the charger, and when it automatically turned on like it does when it charges, it said I had low battery and was in power saving mode. It charged up fine, but I thought I noticed it seemed to be draining slightly faster than it used to - but I wasn't sure if this was just my imagination or not.

Then I didn't have any issues for a few days. But again, last night I turned off my phone at 30-something %. And when I turned it on again this morning, again, it said I was in low battery mode and was only at 11%.

I charged it up to 80% today, and turned off other things that I usually left on that drain the battery, like WiFi, screen brightness, and other settings. It seemed to slow down the battery drain somewhat, but I also noticed another weird thing - when I turned my phone off, and then back on again, it said I had 85%, but I knew for a fact I only charged it to 80%. Then later, I turned it on and off again, and again it said I had a little bit MORE battery % than I turned it off with. This never happened before, to my knowledge.

I opened the SIM card tray, to look for the liquid contact indicator in red which would mean liquid damage, but I didn't see anything red in there.

Apart from these weird false battery readings, everything else appears to work normally - no visual or audio problems, it turns on and off fine, and it will hold a charge, at least somewhat. It also still charges up pretty quickly.

I'm currently looking into recalibrating the battery and seeing if that will solve the issue. The phone is used, so I know it's not going to work like it was in brand-new condition, and I checked the Battery Health under settings and it says it's at 86% of its original capacity - I figure it's a little worn down but should still work fairly well. So it could just be normal battery degradation over time. Maybe it was going to happen around this time anyway, and it's just a coincidence that it happened after I wiped it down, and it's not related to the cleaning at all. It just seems kind of sudden though, after I wiped it down with the Clorox wipes - that's what got me worried.

Has this happened to anyone else here?

Does this sound like liquid damage, or more like normal wear and tear on the phone over time?

And if you've had this false battery reading issue, what did you do to solve it?
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Well-known member
Apr 21, 2010
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I very much doubt the disinfectant wipes had any effect on the battery. Wipes don't contain that much liquid, and what they do have evaporates after a minute or so; it's probably more of a coincidence. It sound like the battery might be getting on a bit.

Is it an old iPhone or new? You can check the battery health in the system settings, and also what apps are using the most power.

Battery info on IOS.

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