Don’t put a wet iPhone into rice, says new Apple support document

February 19, 2024

While current and recent iPhones have better water-resistance than older models, they are still susceptible to water damage – and one of the most frequent pieces of advice you’ll find on the Internet is to put a waterlogged iPhone into rice to help it dry out …

This WikiHow piece is typical.

Oh no! Your smartphone is soaking wet! Don’t panic—if you’ve dropped your smartphone into the sink, toilet, or any other body of water, you may be able to save it. The most important thing you can do is act fast. Unplug it (if it’s plugged in), remove it from the water, and power it down as quickly as possible. Try to remove as much water from it as you can with towels and a vacuum cleaner. Then, put it in a bowl of instant rice or other absorbent material for 48-72 hours before turning it on. 

Even reputable sources like BBC Science Focus say that it works, even if it’s not the best approach.

But a new Apple support document spotted by Macworld specifically advises against it.

  • Don’t dry your iPhone using an external heat source or compressed air.
  • Don’t insert a foreign object, such as a cotton swab or a paper towel, into the connector.
  • Don’t put your iPhone in a bag of rice. Doing so could allow small particles of rice to damage your iPhone.

Instead, says Apple, the key is patience.

  1. Tap your iPhone gently against your hand with the connector facing down to remove excess liquid. Leave your iPhone in a dry area with some airflow. 
  2. After at least 30 minutes, try charging with a Lightning or USB-C cable or connecting an accessory.
  3. If you see the alert again, there is still liquid in the connector or under the pins of your cable. Leave your iPhone in a dry area with some airflow for up to a day. You can try again to charge or connect an accessory throughout this period. It might take up to 24 hours to fully dry.
  4. If your phone has dried out but still isn’t charging, unplug the cable from the adapter and unplug the adapter from the wall (if possible) and then connect them again.

If that doesn’t work, you’re advised to contact Apple support.

Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash

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