Apple Says the Most Common Method to Dry a Wet iPhone Can Damage It

In Short
  • Apple warns users not to put their iPhones in a rice bag when the phone gets wet or a liquid-detection alert appears.
  • The best way to dry a wet iPhone is to leave it in a cool area with some airflow.
  • Apple also urges against using external heat sources or compressed air to dry iPhones.

Most users take their iPhones wherever they go. Be it to a pool-side party, beach vacations, or even bathrooms. In such situations, it’s pretty common to accidentally drop your iPhone into water. Today, most iPhones are water-resistant, meaning they can withstand splashes, dips, and submersion in water up to a certain depth and duration. Since water resistance does not mean waterproof, your iPhone may show a liquid-detection alert on the screen when it’s too wet.

If you ever tell your friends or family that you’ve dropped your iPhone in water, most of them will advise you to keep your phone in a rice bag. I mean, I’ve heard it so many times. The trick says- just place your iPhone in a rice bag/container, seal it up, and wait for at least 24 hours to save your iPhone from liquid death. The basic idea is rice will draw water from your iPhone before it can short out internet components. Many people swear by this hack and might actually work in some cases.

Close Up of Water pouring on the back side of a Black iPhone
Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Over the years, experts and researchers have been urging users to stay away from this low-tech method. It’s a myth that rice can dry your iPhone faster. In fact, it can slow down the process, leaving the internal components for further damage. Apple also backs up this logic. In a new 2024 support document, Apple warns users not to put their iPhones in a rice bag when the phone gets wet or a liquid-detection alert appears. The small particles of rice might damage your phone, and this could worsen the matter.

How Apple Recommends Drying a Wet iPhone

  • With the charging port facing downwards, gently tap the top of your iPhone against your hand to remove excess water from the connector. 
  • Then, leave your iPhone in a clean area with some airflow and let it air dry.
  • After at least 30 minutes, try charging your iPhone with a compatible Lightning or USB-C cable.
  • If you see that liquid alert again, it’s evident that there’s water in the connector or under the pins.
  • In such a case, leave your phone again in a clean and dry area. Keep in mind that this might take up to 24 hours to completely dry your phone. You can try to connect a charger in between intervals.
  • Once your phone has fully dried, it should begin charging. If your iPhone won’t charge, you can unplug the cable from the phone and adapter, and unplug the adapter from the power source. Then, firmly connect them again. Make sure there are no loose connections.

Among the dont’s to dry a wet iPhone, Apple urges users not to use an external heat source or compressed air, or insert a foreign object like a cotton swab or paper towel into the charging port.

Since iPhones are water-resistant, you don’t have to worry about liquid damage for a while. Interestingly, Apple is developing waterproof iPhones with a special underwater UI. This will prevent water damage and enhance user experience while the iPhone is submerged under water bodies like oceans, pools, etc. However, this will take time.

Until Apple actually comes up with a waterproof iPhone, you can use the above method to dry your iPhone. Besides, you can eject water from your iPhone using the Siri shortcut.

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