Rice Won’t Save Your Wet Phone. Please Stop, Apple Says.

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iPhone in a bowl of dry rice
Orapruek / Shutterstock.com

In the early days of smartphones, as we all got used to holding and carrying them, there were a lot of aquatic accidents.

One particularly disputed solution rose up and has stuck around: that leaving your phone in a container of uncooked rice for a day will fix things by absorbing the moisture before it can ruin your phone.

A quick search of the Apple forums shows thousands of people have discussed the issue over the years. Now, a recent tech support article from the company gives a definitive response: Don’t do it.

Says Apple:

  • “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.”

The article — about “liquid-detection alerts” triggered when you try to charge a wet phone — suggests other methods to dry out your device safely.

The gist of the official advice is to gently shake out what moisture you can, leave it unplugged, then let the remaining water evaporate naturally in a dry area.

But is the rice trick worth trying anyway?

Can you ignore Apple’s warning and speed up the process with a bag of rice? Probably not.

Many people say it’s a myth or that it didn’t work for them. Research has shown the rice method technically does draw out water — but it’s often too little, too late.

“We did a study, and rice was slower to work than just leaving the phone out on the counter. And neither worked fast enough [to save it],” TekDry co-founder Craig Beinecke told USA Today in 2017. “After about 48 hours in rice, only 13% of the water came out of the phone.”

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