Saving a Wet Cell Phone with Rice: Does it Work?
Published: Sep. 30, 2009 at 9:55 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 30, 2009 at 8:57 PM CDT
If you search online for ways to save a wet cell phone, you'll find several sites each pointing to uncooked rice. The techies say uncooked rice has the power to pull out all the moisture your towel can't.
"Hopefully, it's a cheaper alternative if you do damage your phone," says my tester, Zakk Gammon.
Heartland News Producer Zakk Gammon volunteered his phone for our test. It's working now, but barely hanging on after we drop it in water and let it soak for a bit. "Yeah, it turned off," notes Zakk.
We wipe it down with paper towels, as instructed. Then open it up--- there is a lot of water inside that towel can't get to. Don't think you can pull a fast one on your phone's manufacturer either. Once we pull apart the phone, a red dot inside signals some water damage to the phone. Most phones have indicators like this.
The solution--- submerge your phone in a bowl of uncooked rice for 24 hours. "I'm not entirely convinced this is going to work!" predicts Zakk.
All the techies say rice is a powerful absorbent and it works quickly. We cover the phone and battery with the dry rice and leave it for 24 hours. The next day we found there's no water running out like it was so he inserts his SIM card, or the brain of the phone. "Oh wait! It turned on!" he says.
But the true test - can he actually make any phone calls? I dial him up, and we have a phone conversation with no problems except the water still affected the volume of the ringer. It's a bit lower, but this method saved Zakk from buying a new phone. "Yeah, I gotta admit I was doubtful at first, but it worked," he says.
It only costs two bucks for the box of rice.
"I'd give it a grade "B". The phone works, it just doesn't ring like it should," he says.
So, the next time you get that cell wet, pull out the box of uncooked rice and give it a try yourself. This do-it-yourself method dials up a good grade 'B' on this Does it Work test.
Also, silica packets should work like the rice. You'll find them in boxes of new shoes or in the pockets of clothing. Never use heat or a hair dryer to dry your phone. That can really damage electronics.