Apple finally confirms that no, putting your iPhone in rice isn't a good idea

Improve your iPhone photography instantly
(Image credit: Future / Apple)

After years of users doing it anyway, Apple has finally published guidance confirming that putting your iPhone in a bag of rice isn't a great way to deal with liquid getting inside your phone.

In an update to the "liquid-detection alert" support page (thanks, Macworld), Apple now states, under the section about what not to do, "Don't put your iPhone in a bag of rice. Doing so could allow small particles of rice to damage your iPhone."

It's less of an issue with more recent iPhones, which have been waterproofed for up to thirty minutes in up to 6 meters of water for a few years, but Apple now recommends just tapping your phone against your hand to shake water loose, then waiting 30 minutes before attempting to charge.

If that doesn't work, leave it to dry and try again after 24 hours, Apple says. Aside from rice, the company also recommends avoiding cotton swabs or paper towels.

The back of an iPhone 15 Pro, showing its camera system.

(Image credit: Future)

Why use a bag of rice when repairing an iPhone?

A sort of "tech hack urban legend", many users (myself included) have felt the pang of dread when realizing there's water inside your device, and placed it in a bowl of rice to dry out.

The reason is that rice grains absorb liquids quickly, and on some occasions can help dry the internals to the point where a phone is usable again.

The new guidance from Apple, however, suggests that this could cause more harm than good - although some users feel this could be a more cynical move.

Over on r/gadgets, one user joked “Stop putting your iPhones in rice, just buy a new one" while another mockingly said "It's official. The decade-long technique we all used at some point, somehow, magically stopped working for iPhones."

Another asked, "Will the rice do more or less damage than the toilet water my phone sat in for 8 seconds while I panicked trying to figure out what to do?"

That's something only you can answer, friend.

Lloyd Coombes
Contributor

Lloyd Coombes is a freelance writer with a specialism in Apple tech. From his first, hand-me-down iMac, he’s been working with Apple products for over a decade, and while he loves his iPhone and Mac, the iPad will always have his heart for reasons he still can’t quite fathom.

Since moving from blogging to writing professionally, Lloyd’s work can be found at TechRadar, Macworld, TechAdvisor and plenty more.

He’s also the Editor in Chief at GGRecon.com, and on the rare occasion he’s not writing you’ll find him spending time with his son, or working hard at the gym (while wearing an Apple Watch, naturally). You can find him on Twitter @lloydcoombes.

  • Ledsteplin
    We've known that for years. And Apple reps have said so. I guess Lloyd Coombes wasn't aware of that. Nothing new.
    Reply