My iPhone Got Wet. What Do I Do? Don’t Use Rice!

Mistake #2: Rice. Whatever You Do, Don’t Use Rice To Dry Out Your iPhone.

It’s common knowledge that when your cell phone gets wet, you stick it in a bag of rice. Somehow, this rice is supposed to magically absorb water on the inside of your iPhone and bring it back to life. I cannot stress enough how absolutely wrong this is.

Time and again, customers would come to me at Apple with their iPhone in a bag of rice and ask me why it wasn’t working. I’d take it in back, open it up, and the inside of the phone would still be wet. Rice has no magical powers to remove water from far-away places.

I don’t know where the rice myth came from, but it’s been around for as long as I can remember. Back in the day of flip phones, we could take off the back, take out the battery, and get rice really close to the liquid inside our phone. Personally, I don’t believe this ever had much of an effect. iPhones are much more advanced and tightly enclosed than the “dumb phones” we used to carry around.

“But Rice Can’t Hurt My iPhone, Right? Why Don’t I Just Give It A Try…”

Again, this is absolutely wrong. Sticking your iPhone in a bag of rice can cause all sorts of problems, and in some cases, rice can ruin an iPhone that might have been saved. Here’s why:

At Apple, a customer would come in with one of two problems totally unrelated to water-damage: Their headphone jack wasn’t working anymore or their iPhone wouldn’t charge. I’d shine my little flashlight inside the headphone jack or charging port, and sure enough, a piece of rice would be stuck inside.

Simple to get out, right? Wrong. Often times, it wasn’t a full piece that would become lodged inside the iPhone, but a small fragment that worked its way into the headphone jack or charging port.

Let’s Do An Experiment

Take a look at the charging port on your iPhone. How big is it? That’s right: It’s about the size of a small grain of rice. Now, take a look at the headphone jack on your iPhone. How big is it? That’s right: Just big enough for a small piece of rice to get stuck inside.

Can’t I Just Remove The Piece Of Rice?

In many cases, it’s impossible to remove rice from an iPhone without damaging other components. Rice can become really, really stuck inside an iPhone. By the time I saw a customer’s phone, in many cases the damage had already been done. And Apple doesn’t cover those types of repairs: Your iPhone’s warranty does not cover external objects that get stuck inside your iPhone.

As a former Apple tech, I plead with you: Don’t stick your iPhone in a bag of rice.

On the next page, we’ll talk about what can actually work to dry out the inside of your iPhone and how to begin your very own iPhone emergency kit, just in case the unthinkable happens.

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About Author

I'm a former Apple employee and the founder of Payette Forward, and I'm here to help you with your iPhone.

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Anonymous

Ok so can you please help me i have an iphone 6s and i had my noodles spilled all over the floor and my iphone was there and i cleaned the wet stuff in it and blew threw my phone charger place it doesnt want to charge tho anf its been in the charger all night its still on 1%

Anonymous
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Anonymous

hi can you help me
my phone got moisture from the noodle agt the same time the top cover is wet aslong as the front camera thingy and beside the camera is wet too and i think it gets water inside
my phone starts to lag and having straight lines what should i do pls help its been 13 hrs since my phone got wet helpp me pls

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Would gauze work too?

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Step 3 is not clear to me, do I leave the cell phone on the counter with the dessicant on top of it or do I put the cell phone in the bag with the dessicant.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Alex Seto, Courtney Seto, Max Seto, Katie Seto

Anonymous
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Anonymous

if I have to click forward again and again to read a story , I stop on the first page

Anonymous
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Anonymous

There’s a little bit of water on the inside top corner of my screen. I don’t have a ziplock and stuff what do I do?

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Where are parts 2 and 3 of this article?

Jackie79
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Jackie79

I just dropped my I phone 5s in water yesterday. I actually put in in minute rice overnight and now I completely regret doing that. Everything works fine except I’m not able to use Touch ID anymore because it apparently has water damage. I regret not reading this first. Sadly the warranty just expired about five months ago so I don’t have the money to replace the phone. Probably just going to wait another few years and get another iPhone. I can’t pay around $250 for them just to replace my phone.

Lily S
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Lily S

Hi! I dropped my iPhone in water yesterday evening, did the rice thing, and now, I’m regrettably reading your site. The phone is turning on just fine, I am able to get messages, and it makes sounds. Does this mean that ive nothing to worry about in terms of getting it fixed and paying money for that or a new phone?? It is an iPhone 6

Lakhi Kipa Bhutia
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Lakhi Kipa Bhutia

I recently got an iPhone 6 and it was working fine but yesterday i couldn’t abort a call so I turned my phone off . After that I couldn’t turn it on. And also the phone showed no signs when I charged it. On holding the home button and wake button my phone finally turned on. But the phone couldn’t connect to any network and only if I connected it manually, the phone showed network for a few minutes and then no service again. And also my wifi was greyed out. I followed the steps you mentioned and it did… Read more »

Sue Rose
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Where is part 2 and 3 of the My Phone Got Wet article?