BY Fast Company 2 MINUTE READ

For over a decade, the home remedy for people who drop their iPhone in the sink, a puddle, or, ahem, the toilet has been the same: Dry it off and stick it in dry rice as quickly as you can. Now, Apple is finally weighing in on that fix—and warning people it could do more harm than good.

“Don’t put your iPhone in a bag of rice,” the company said in a recent support post. “Doing so could allow small particles of rice to damage your iPhone.”

While you’re at it, don’t dry your phone with a hair dryer or external heat source and don’t stick a Q-tip or paper towel into your phone’s connector, Apple added. And definitely don’t try to charge the phone while it’s wet.

Here’s the good news. Many iPhone models are much more water resistant than previous ones. And the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, and later models will warn you if they detect liquid in the connector port, so you can disconnect your charging cable (preventing damage to the phone) and take action.

But . . . if you’re not supposed to use rice to get liquids out of a phone’s connector, what should you do?

First, give the phone a tap. With the charging port facing downward, hold your phone against your palm and tap it gently to remove excess liquid. Then leave it in a place that has good airflow.

After about a half hour or so, try plugging in the charger once again. If the alert comes up again, you likely either have liquid still in your phone or on the charging cable. Put both in an area with good airflow and leave them there—perhaps as long as 24 hours, though you can try charging it after it has dried some more.

If your phone has dried out but still isn’t charging, Apple suggests unplugging the cable from the adapter and unplugging the adapter from the wall. Reconnect them and try again. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to contact Apple Support.

Despite the widespread popularity of the so-called rice trick, experts have been warning against it for some time now, saying that despite its reputation, the uncooked rice only introduced dust and starch and other debris.

Rice can prevent humidity from damaging some products, but it doesn’t have the magical ability to suck moisture out of electronics. (For that matter, neither do cat litter or oatmeal, which also can introduce dust to the sensitive electronics.)

While most modern phones are better able to handle splashes and accidental spills, no smartphone, Apple or otherwise, is entirely waterproof. If you’re planning to take one into the pool or on a scuba-diving trip, you’ll want to invest in a waterproof case or, even better, a waterproof phone bag.

Those might not be as visually appealing as many other cases or a caseless phone, but they’re a lot less expensive than the cost of a replacement device.