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What You Should Do When Your iPhone Gets Wet (Hint: Don't Use Rice)

by Ava Alonzo on February 29, 2024

Apple recently formalized its guidance on drying out wet iPhones, officially advising against one of the most common home remedies found online – using a bag of rice. Apple's support document now explicitly warns, "Don't put your iPhone in a bag of rice," citing the potential for rice particles to damage the device further.

Iphone lying in a pool of water

The problem with the rice method is twofold: a bag of rice can contain tiny broken rice grains, and when rice gets wet, it releases starch particles. These small contaminants can work their way inside your phone, potentially causing damage. Also, rice particles that absorb water can become mushy and clog your phone's ports and speakers, adding to any liquid damage.

Read moreHow Much Your iPhone Screen Repair Should Cost

Apple also dispels other myths about drying wet phones, such as using hair dryers, compressed air, or inserting cotton swabs. These methods can push water deeper into the device or force dust and other contaminants inside your iPhone. And the heat from a hair dryer could damage your iPhone's delicate electronics.

What you should do when your iPhone gets wet

Apple suggests these simple steps to mitigate water damage.

  1. Turn off your phone to prevent electrical damage.
  2. Remove the case, any accessories, and the SIM card, and wipe off any visible water.
  3. Prop your phone up and gently tap it to encourage water to drain out.
  4. Place your iPhone in an area with good airflow to help it dry.

Apple advises waiting 24 to 48 hours before attempting to turn the phone back on, allowing ample time for drying. In my experience, though, the components can take up to a week to fully dry out. So don't lose hope if your phone isn't operational within a day or two.

Read moreIf you have an iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods, you need this charger

While iPhones have been water resistant since Apple launched the iPhone 7 in 2016, they are not fully waterproof. So, if your iPhone isn't working properly after a dunk in the pool, follow the steps for drying out your phone to protect it from water damage.

[Image credit: Suzanne Kantra/Techlicious]

Ava Alonzo is a reporter and freelance writer with four years of experience covering a wide range of topics, including technology, science, and business. She is a former reporter for the Latin Times.


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