Stop putting your wet iPhone in a bag of rice ― it can cause permanent damage, warns Apple

a iphone is pictured with a warning about liquid in the charging port with rice scattered in the background

Apple has issued a warning to iPhone owners about following the superstition and treating your waterlogged iPhone with a sealed bag of rice

Aaron Brown

By Aaron Brown

Published: 27/02/2024

- 04:30

Superstition that rice helps draw out trapped water from inside the iPhone is wrong

  • Apple updated its support page to warn about the dangers of drying an iPhone
  • It dispels the myth that placing a wet iPhone in a bag of rice will help
  • Apple also cautions against using a cotton bud to clean the charging port

Everyone knows that if you accidentally drop your phone in water and it won’t power on or charge ― all you need to do is seal it inside a bag of rice for a few days and everything will be fine. The urban legend claims that rice naturally draws out the water from hard-to-dry nooks and crannies inside the phone.

Except, that isn’t true.

Apple has published a new support document for 2024 for 2024that comprehensively quashes the decades-old advice to fix a water-logged smartphone. Despite a seemingly endless supply of anecdotal evidence that this household staple can save your phone's internal components from water damage, Apple is now recommending that iPhone owners avoid the practice entirely.

The Californian technology brand warns that submerging your iPhone in rice could make things much worse as “doing so could allow small particles of rice to damage your iPhone”.

In the same document, Apple offers a few alternative tips to deal with water in your iPhone. First, it recommends gently tapping your iPhone against your hand with the Lightning or USB-C port (Apple switched its charging cable with the launch of the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro last year to comply with European Union regulation) facing down to shake-out excess liquid.

“Leave your iPhone in a dry area with some airflow," Apple advises. Even with some airflow, it can take “up to a day” for the smartphone to dry out completely and be ready to use again, Apple says.

If your phone has dried out but still isn’t charging, Apple recommends unplugging the cable from the adapter and adapter from the wall (if possible), then reconnect everything again.

Most importantly, Apple has outlined a few other options that sit alongside rice on the naughty list. The company, worth $2.8 trillion, says you should never use “an external heat source”, like a portable heater or hair dryer to try to speed up the drying process. Likewise, “compressed air” is a no-go.

“Don't insert a foreign object, such as a cotton swab or a paper towel, into the connector,” Apple warns. This could damage the port, stopping you from being able to charge via a wired connection.

Apple has worked hard to improve the water-resistance on its iPhone range over the years. Since iPhone 12, launched some four years ago, its handsets have been able to withstand 6-metres (19ft) of fresh water for 30 minutes. That means you shouldn’t have to worry about water damage.


However, if you’ve taken your iPhone into the water, or accidentally spilled a drink over it, you’ll need to follow the above advice from Apple before you’re able to connect a cable to sync with a computer or charge. But whatever you do, save the rice for your next curry night.

You may like