Don’t dry your iPhone in a bag of rice, says Apple

A phone in a bowl of dry rice - stock image
Image caption,Don’t try this at home, Apple says

If your iPhone gets wet don’t dry it in a bag of rice, Apple has advised.

Despite the technique’s popularity, experts have long warned against it, with tests suggesting it doesn’t work.

And now the tech giant itself has published guidance telling users it could result in small particles of the grain damaging their devices.

The firm said people should instead gently tap out any liquid, with the phone connector facing down, then leave it to dry out.

Despite the increasing sophistication of smartphones, popular approaches for fixing them if they have been dropped in water remain rather unsophisticated.

Apple has taken the opportunity to steer users away from several of them.

As well as avoiding bags of rice, it also advises against drying a wet phone using an “external heat source or compressed air”, meaning radiators and hairdryers should be avoided.

Nor, it suggests, should users try inserting “a foreign object, such as a cotton swab or a paper towel” into their phone.

Instead, it guides people to leave their phone in a “dry area with some airflow” before reconnecting it to a charger.

As the website MacWorld – which first spotted the new support document – notes, the changing design of smartphones may mean all such advice will be unnecessary in the future.

That is because devices are increasingly able to withstand getting wet.

All Apple devices from the iPhone 12 onwards are able to withstand immersion up to a depth of six metres, for up to half an hour.

But with cost-of-living pressures driving growth in the global second-hand mobile market, it is likely that many people will need advice on what to do Рand what not to Рwith a soggy smartphone for some time yet.

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