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The Myth of Rice and Waterlogged Phones: A Closer Look

Wet Phone

In the digital age, smartphones have become an extension of our selves, housing memories, connections, and vital information. But what happens when this indispensable tool meets its arch-nemesis: water? A common piece of advice has circulated on social media and through word of mouth – if your phone gets soaked, bury it in a bag of rice for a day to revive it. This method, touted for its simplicity and accessibility, has been a go-to solution for many. However, experts have long questioned its effectiveness, and recently, Apple has officially debunked this myth, offering a stark warning against using rice as a drying agent for your waterlogged device.

The Rice Myth Debunked

The logic behind the rice method is straightforward: rice is known to absorb moisture, so it should, in theory, suck the water out of a soaked phone. Yet, the reality is far from this simplistic view. Experts argue, and Apple concurs, that not only is this method ineffective, but it could also introduce new problems. The small particles of rice can find their way into the phone’s crevices and ports, potentially causing more harm than good. Apple’s official stance is clear: uncooked rice is not an effective tool for drying out a device. This revelation busts a long-standing myth and redirects focus toward safer, more effective solutions.

What to Do If Your iPhone Takes a Dip

In light of Apple’s guidance, what should you do if your iPhone encounters a watery mishap? Here’s a step-by-step guide based on the company’s recommendations:

  1. Unplug the Device: If your phone was charging or connected to any cables, disconnect them carefully at both ends.
  2. Remove Excess Liquid: Gently tap the phone against your hand with the charging port facing down to shake out any trapped water.
  3. Dry It Out: Allow the device to air dry for at least half an hour. Ensure both the phone and the charging cable are completely dry before attempting to charge it again. If the initial charging attempt post-incident fails, wait another day before trying again.

Additional Warnings from Apple

Apple’s support documentation also includes crucial advice to prevent further damage while drying out your iPhone:

  • Avoid External Heat Sources: Do not attempt to expedite the drying process with external heat sources or compressed air. This can cause additional damage to your device.
  • Don’t Insert Objects into Ports: Resist the urge to use cotton swabs, paper towels, or any foreign objects to clean out the connector. This could push the liquid deeper into the device or damage the port.

Proactive Steps for a Waterlogged iPhone

If your phone becomes unresponsive after getting wet, take immediate action:

  • Turn Off the Device: Power off your iPhone right away to prevent short circuits.
  • Avoid Button Presses: Do not press any buttons, which could drive moisture further inside.
  • Hold Off on Charging: Wait until you are certain the device is thoroughly dry before attempting to charge it again.

Apple’s advice is a timely reminder that even water-resistant iPhones can fall victim to liquid damage. Being prepared and knowing the correct steps to take can make a significant difference in the outcome of such incidents.


While the rice method has been a popular folk remedy for waterlogged phones, it’s time to retire this myth for good. Following the manufacturer’s guidance is crucial in mitigating damage and ensuring the longevity of your device. Apple’s recommendations offer a safer alternative to the rice myth, emphasizing the importance of gentle handling and patience. In an era where smartphones are virtually indispensable, knowing how to properly care for them in the face of accidents is more important than ever. Remember, when it comes to dealing with water damage, it’s not just about bringing your phone back to life; it’s about doing so in a way that ensures its continued health and functionality.

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