I once saw a movie in which a teenager reported to his mom that his phone had fallen into water, and she replied, “Quick, put it inside a bag of rice, that will get the moisture out”. Really, rice? It sounded bizarre to everyone else in the room watching the movie. I had already learned early in my life, that not everything in the movies can be replicated in real life. Well, I recently had a chance to try out this phone-in-a-bag-of-rice trick to work, when my Samsung got damaged by the rain.
While packing all my stuff out of my car one morning, I placed the phone on top of the car and forgot it there. It wasn’t raining at the time. Before you get on my case for being careless, just think, maybe it was fated to happen – so I would carry out this experiment and share the results with you.
It had rained rather lightly for about two hours before I realized I had left the phone on top of the car. The screen was blank, but lit up. I rushed to a friend’s house which was nearby, in the hope that he would have some rice. Now here’s how the rice trick works:
It’s said that the longer the water sits inside, the greater the likelihood it will destroy the phone for good. So you’re advised to act fast.
Step 1: Remove the battery. Resist the urge to power up your phone to see if it works – just turning it on can short out the circuits. You’ll want to remove the SIM card as well. Even if your phone turns out to be beyondrepair, the SIM should retain a lot of information, such as the contacts in your phone book.
Step 2: With the battery safely set aside, you now have one goal–dry yourphone, and dry it fast. If you let the moisture evaporate naturally, the chance of corrosion damaging the phone’s innards increases. Instead, blow or suck the water out. But don’t use a hair dryer – its heat can fry your phone’s insides.
Step 3: Finally, use a desiccant to wick away any leftover moisture. The most convenient choice is uncooked rice. Just leave the phone (and its disconnected battery) submerged in a bowl of grains overnight. If you’re worried about rice dust getting inside your phone, you can instead use the packets of silica gel that often come stuffed in the pockets of new clothes. But acting fast is far more important than avoiding a little dust, so don’t waste time shopping if you don’t already have a drawer full of silica gel.
Remember: Avoid heat. That means no hair dryers, ovens, microwaves or extended periods in direct sunlight. While heat will certainly evaporate the moisture, it could also warp components and melt adhesives.
Conclusion: I left my Samsung inside my friend’s bag of rice for over 24 hours, and yes the trick worked. My phone works, although the battery doesn’t seem to last as long as before. If I want to continue to use this phone, perhaps I should consider changing the battery, but I might just move on to another handset. The most important thing is that I still have all the contacts, memos, text messages, etc saved on the phone.