“Don't put your iPhone in a bag of rice”: the official warning from Apple. What should you do if your phone gets wet, actually?

Placing the device in a bag of rice “could allow small particles of rice to damage the iPhone,” the company warned.

iPhone PHOTO: Shutterstock

Regardless of how you get your phone wet, when you're caught in a downpour, dropped in the bathroom, or dropped in a pool, perhaps the most well-known folk remedy is to put the device in a bag of rice, writes the.guardian.com.

The dry, absorbent rice should help absorb the moisture, thus saving the device.

Experts have been pointing out for years that this is a bad idea, and now Apple is officially warning users against it.

“Don't put your iPhone in a bag of rice. If you do, tiny particles of rice could damage your iPhone,” the company says in a recent support note discovered by Macworld. Besides the risk of damage, tests have suggested that uncooked rice isn't particularly effective to dry the device.

The solution may have its origins in the history of photography: The Verge has been following this method since 1946 as a way of maintaining the camera. Meanwhile, panicked phone users have suggested risky methods, from drying the phone with a hair dryer to immersing it in alcohol.

What should you actually do?

Apple provides guidance for users who receive an alert of “liquid detected” when they try to charge their phones. First, disconnect the charging cable from both ends. Then, tap the phone “gently on the hand, with the connector facing down, to remove excess liquid”. Let it dry for at least half an hour, and then – if the phone and cable are “completely dry” – try charging the device again. If this attempt fails, try again a day later.

Apple's new support documentation includes two more warnings in case the phone is splashed:

“Do not dry your iPhone using an external heat source or compressed air.”

“Do not insert a foreign object such as a cotton swab or paper towel into the connector.”

If the phone does not work at all, turn it off immediately and do not press any buttons. The next steps depend on your specific circumstances, but in general: towel dry and place in an airtight container packed with silicon packets, if you have them. Do not load it until you are sure it is dry.