Apple says don't put your wet iPhone in rice: what should you do instead?

 (ES Composite)
(ES Composite)

One of the most common bits of advice for those who get their phone wet is to bury it in uncooked rice, but Apple now explicitly advises against this.

The Big Tech firm has updated its advice for iPhone owners who see the dreaded “liquid detected” warning on their phones.

For years, you may have heard the thing to do is to put it in a container of rice, because it will absorb moisture from its surroundings.

We don’t recommend such action these days. It’s not as if we use bags of rice as an at-home dehumidifier, after all. But Apple’s reasoning is different.

It says not to use rice because “doing so could allow small particles of rice to damage your iPhone.”

Apple also advises against using a “cotton bud or a paper towel” to dry out the connector, something very tempting to try. But, again, this could lead to fragments of tissue ending up in the charging port.

It even says you should not use “an external heat source or compressed air.” Light use of a hairdryer is unlikely to cause any issues, but this conservative approach avoids iPhone users heating up the battery unnecessarily.

What should you actually do if your iPhone gets wet?

Apple’s actual advice may frustrate those with little patience. It says to “leave your iPhone in a dry place with some airflow for up to a day,” if giving it a tap and leaving it for 30 minutes does not do the trick.

Today’s latest iPhones are now highly water resistant. Models since 2016’s iPhone 7 have had at least IP67 water resistance, which makes them able to survive a full dunk in fresh water.

The issue these days, assuming an iPhone isn’t damaged, is attempting to charge an iPhone while there is moisture in the charge port.

Charging is disabled when moisture is detected, and Apple says you should only override this in an emergency.

“If you charge your iPhone while the Lightning or USB-C connector is wet, the pins on the connector or cable can corrode and cause permanent damage or stop functioning, causing connectivity issues for your iPhone or accessory,” reads the Apple website.

One way around this is, if your phone gets wet for whatever reason, to use wireless charging if you have a pad for the job. iPhones since the iPhone 8 have this feature.