We’ve all been there. You’re out and about, enjoying a nice day, when suddenly your phone takes a spill into a muddy puddle. Or maybe it decides to take a swan dive from your top pocket into a nasty public toilet …yuk!
Whatever the case may be, if your phone gets wet, the first thing that comes to mind is probably to put it in rice. But does this actually work?
This blog post will debunk the false myth that putting your phone in rice will help it dry out faster. We’ll also provide some tips on properly drying out your phone if it does get wet.
The old theory is that rice will absorb the moisture from your phone. However, this is not true. Yes, if you put rice in a bowl of water, it will absorb water. But, it can only absorb a minimal amount.
And… The rice will NOT be able to magically suck out the moisture that is now trapped INSIDE your phone.
In fact, putting your phone in rice could actually do more harm than good. Tiny rice dust particles can get trapped inside your phone, making a starchy mess. So, the rice could cause long-term damage.
Plus, the rice will keep the air from flowing around the phone to air dry it.
The mythical water-wicking rice trick dates back to the days of early cell phones. These phones were not water-resistant or even close to being as advanced as today. So, if your phone got wet, there was a good chance it would be ruined.
But today, most phones come with some water resistance. So, they can withstand small amounts of water for a short period.
So, what should you do if your phone gets wet?
First, turn off the phone immediately! No, you didn’t get lucky if the screen is still on. Your phone is still at risk of shorting out if water seeps over the circuits.
If your screen is black after your phone took its little swim, DO NOT try to turn it back on to see if it still works!
Do not plug in the phone, and if it is plugged in… unplug it.
If you have a phone case, take it off.
Next, use a soft cloth or microfiber towel to gently wipe down the phone, careful not to press any buttons.
Then gently tap your phone against your hand, with any open ports facing down, to force out any water.
At this point, you may want to try calling in a professional. Google “Phone drying service near me” to see if a service is available near you. If you dropped your phone in salt water, it’s even more critical since the salt is corrosive.
Or prop up the phone so that air can circulate around it. You may want to aim the fan at any open ports. The moving air will help to evaporate the water.
But, don’t use a blow dryer or other heat source. Also, don’t insert a cotton swab or paper towel into any ports.
BE PATIENT… It will take some time for the phone to dry. I know you’re anxious to see if your little friend survived, but it will take several hours. I’d even wait a day to be safe.
Once you’re sure the phone is dry, give it a try. If it turns on, congrats! You’ve successfully saved your phone. If not, you may need to take it to a professional to have it repaired or replaced.
Whatever you do, DO NOT put your phone in rice! This myth has been debunked time and time again. Putting your phone in rice will not help it dry out any faster. Instead, it could do more harm than good.
Roger Maxson says
Thank you for this reminder
Corrine Fandrei says
Thank you I was not aware this had been debunked. Good to know.
Oh, thank you so very much. I would have used a hair dryer and hoped for the best. Your tips are very much appreciated. Phyllis
I accidentally dropped my iPhone 7+ in our lake years ago. I did have an Otter Box case. But absolutely no problems!
iPad Pete says
Otters are known to be excellent swimmers 🙂
Betty Gardner says
Thank you for all the tips!
I’ve learned so much from you
I especially love that I can follow your points
Sharon Levy says
Thanks for the “do not use rice” tip! I did not know it was a myth.
Joyce Smith says
I learn something new every day! Thanks for your very informative tips for us oldsters!
Thanks I knew that