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Rice is not included in Apple’s official guidance for a wet phone



Getting water on phones happens to the best of us. Lucky for us, there’s one household staple the internet consistently suggests will draw that liquid out and save phones: uncooked rice. But contrary to popular advice, Apple, like most people in tech support, explicitly advises against putting your wet phone in a bag of rice. 

“Don’t put your iPhone in a bag of rice. Doing so could allow small particles of rice to damage your iPhone,” Apple support documents said.

The support documents first spotted by Macworld are technically addressing what to do when you get the liquid detection alert on your iPhone. They’re not just out to put a long lingering internet myth to bed.

To that end they also suggested avoiding using an external heat source, like hair dryers, or compressed air to blow off liquid. Also, don’t insert cotton swabs or paper towels into charging ports either.

Instead, Apple suggests tapping your phone against your hand with the connector pointing down. Think of it like getting water out of your ear after swimming. Then, just leave it in an area with good airflow to dry and wait 30 minutes before charging it. If the alert still pops up, leave the phone and just wait. It can take up to 24 hours to really get dry. Unplug the charging cable and reconnect if the phone is dry but still isn’t charging. 

For years, rice was supposed to be the thing that would dry out waterlogged electronics faster. It’s a desiccant that people assumed would draw additional liquid out. I did it after stubbornly refusing to turn my iPhone off during a rain-soaked Taylor Swift concert. But it was probably the time spent powered down and out of my hands that helped my phone—not a dunk in rice.

The Verge wrote way back in 2015 that uncooked rice wasn’t very absorbent, so it’s mostly the time spent drying out that worked. And leaving it in a bag of rice often keeps phones out of sight, out of mind, so people don’t get tempted to power it on. 

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