Do not put your wet iPhone in rice, warns Apple

You know the nightmare situation: You dropped your iPhone in water—be it pool, ocean, or toilet. Although iPhone 12’s and onward are designed to survive 30 minutes of aquatic submersion as deep as 20 feet, your worries get the best of you. In a frantic bid to save your expensive device from potential damage or even demise, you remember your friend’s suggestion to throw it in a bag of rice overnight. Supposedly, the grain draws out any remaining water droplets from the smartphone’s tiny crevices, saving its precious circuitry in the process. They swore by it, after all. What is there to lose?

[Related: Apple’s newest gadgets include titanium iPhones with USB-C ports.]

Well, whatever the supposed results (and despite a fair amount of longstanding contradictory evidence) the DIY repair is officially obtaining “urban myth” status. As MacWorld spotted earlier today, a recently updated Apple support document states in no uncertain terms that the ol’ bag of rice trick is bogus. What’s more, it could actually cause further issues in your iPhone.

“Don’t put your iPhone in a bag of rice,” Apple warns in the revised article on its dreaded Liquid Detection Alert. “Doing so could allow small particles of rice to damage your iPhone,” while the rice starch can gunk up the innards after making its way through the device’s small crevices. Besides all that, rice simply isn’t as effective a desiccant as other materials, such as those silica packets you already should be recycling, anyway.

Among the other rumored solutions to avoid, the company advises iPhone owners not to use an “external heat source” such as a blow dryer, as well as leave the compressed air can in the utility closet. Similarly, trying to stuff cotton swabs, napkins, paper towels, or any other “foreign object” into charging ports could make things worse.

So, what should you do if your iPhone takes a plunge? Apple advises a gentle approach in such situations, such as simply tapping the device against your hand “with the connector facing down” to dislodge liquid, then leaving it in an open, dry space with decent airflow for at least 30 minutes. From there, try connecting it to a cable charger.

If the Liquid Detection Alert proves persistent, Apple suggests allowing up to 24 hours to fully dry. And if even that doesn’t work? Well…

“If your phone has dried out but still isn’t charging, unplug the cable from the adapter and unplug the adapter from the wall (if possible) and then connect them again,” says Apple.

Yes. They really did pull out the trusty “Have you tried turning it on and off again?” line for this one.