Don't put your wet iPhone in rice, Apple warns owners

People have been saying for years that wet iPhones should be put in rice to try and dry them out, but Apple now says that's a bad idea.

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If you get your iPhone wet, whether that's by dropping it in the ocean or knocking over a bottle of soda, there has long been general wisdom that one of the best things that you can do is give it a could dry down with a cloth and then throw it into a bag of rice. The theory is that the rice will suck all of the moisture out of the sealed bag - including from within your iPhone - and then you'll be able to go about your life as if nothing had happened. Except, that might not be the best course of action after all.

That's according to a source that should probably know as well. That source is Apple, and it's published a new support document that explains the situation. First spotted by Macworld, the support document explains that there are a few things that owners of wet iPhones should do - and three things in particular that they should not.

Don't put your wet iPhone in rice, Apple warns owners 02

Starting with the things that people should do, Apple says that tapping the iPhone against a hand with the charging port facing down should ensure that most of the moisture falls out just fine. The iPhone should then be placed somewhere dry and left for 30 minutes before plugging it into power and crossing fingers.

If that doesn't bring the iPhone back to life the next thing to do is ... leave it longer. A full day is the timeframe Apple recommends. No dice? Unplug the cable from the charger and unplug the charger from the wall before plugging everything back in and trying the whole rigmarole all over again. If that doesn't work, it's off to a local Apple Store for you.

Alongside its tips for things that users should do, there are three things that Apple says you shouldn't do, with the rice solution being particularly notable.

  • 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.

So there we have it. The age-old claim of the magic of rice is apparently bogus, although there's no denying the food's ability to suck up moisture. Apple seems to be concerned about rice getting into the iPhone which would definitely be unfortunate. The best option? Just try not getting your iPhone wet, although we all know that isn't always as easy as it might sound. Apple does say that its phones are water resistant, but this clearly shows that getting them wet probably isn't the best of ideas. And we do already know that Apple's warranty may not cover liquid damage, too.

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Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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