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.