The short answer?
Yes, it helps to COMPLETELY DESTROY YOUR iPHONE!
The even shorter answer?
The urban legend that rice absorbs moisture from your liquid damaged iPhone and saves it is perhaps the most popular myth about iPhones or any smartphone in general. There are many reasons why keeping your water-damaged iPhone in rice doesn’t help at all. In fact, not taking the right measures to save your beloved iPhone in the immediate aftermath of liquid damage can drastically reduce its chances of revival.
The folks at Gazelle ran an experiment where they dropped a bunch of phones, including iPhones, in water to determine their susceptibility to water damage. What they discovered was surprising. iPhones were particularly prone to liquid damage. Their compact and unibody construction leaves little room for water to move out of the iPhones once it seeps in. So, iPhones do not dry out fast, unlike other smartphones. Therefore, the trapped water inside has a much longer time to damage the device’s internal components. The iPhones that were part of the experiment were dead by the time they were opened.
Does that mean that you should get your water-damaged iPhone in rice as soon as possible? Not really. Rice does even more damage to your iPhone, but we’ll come to that later.
What Should You Do When You Drop Your iPhone in Water?
“iPhone in water” is an emergency. You must act like it too. Follow these steps to increase the chances of your iPhone’s survival after you dropped your iPhone in water.
Step 1: Power off your iPhone immediately. Keeping it switched on can do irreparable damage to your device.
Step 2: Dry the exterior of your wet iPhone with a paper towel or a dry cloth towel. DON’T try to open your iPhone. Also, DON’T place it in an oven or dry it with a hairdryer. The heat will most definitely cause more harm than good. And above all DON’T PUT YOUR IPHONE IN RICE!
Step 3: Send it to The Core in Auckland at once. Every minute is crucial. A technician will open it safely and remove every bit of moisture from it to prevent further corrosion of the parts inside. Once it is completely dried, we’ll diagnose the damage suffered by your phone and determine if it’s repairable.
If your iPhone cannot be repaired, we’ll try and save your iPhone data. We do however have a very high success rate for repairing liquid damaged iPhones.
Why Doesn’t Rice Help?
The myth about rice absorbing the moisture from your liquid-damaged iPhone dates to the pre-iPhone era. In fact, an investigation by the inquisitive people at The Verge revealed that the practice was borrowed from the analog camera industry.
For decades, camera equipment and film were kept in uncooked rice to keep them dry in tropical conditions. The reason? Get this – because of rice’s low moisture capacity. This property of rice was considered to make it a suitable choice for protecting camera equipment from dust and fungus. However, even at that time, silica gel desiccant, tea, and even brown paper were known to be better alternatives to rice for keeping equipment dry. What’s ironic is that there is no definitive evidence to suggest that rice does efficiently absorb moisture.
People had been questioning its ability to protect camera equipment for decades. Yet, this did not stop the myth from making the jump from film cameras to liquid damaged iPhones in the modern world.
Time being of the essence, every minute you waste diminishes your iPhone’s chances of survival. Bring it to The Core as soon as it suffers water damage. If there’s any hope of survival for your liquid-damaged iPhone, then we’re it.