How to Dry a Cell Phone Out With Rice

by Shawn McClain

    When your phone comes into contact with water, the impurities in the water allow electricity to flow through the substance, completing circuits in your phone that aren't meant to be completed and potentially causing significant damage to your phone. This contact with water will usually void your device's warranty, so if you want to prevent any significant damage, you'll need to get the water out of the device as soon as possible. Dry rice is a desiccant, which means that it absorbs water from the air around it. When placed in a sealed container, the rice will absorb water from the air, creating a state where the water in the phone evaporates quickly.

    Step 1

    Remove the battery from the phone, if possible, or at least turn the phone off. Most of the damage you are trying to prevent occurs when the device is electrified, so removing the battery helps considerably.

    Step 2

    Disassemble the device, if possible. This should only be done if you have taken your phone apart before and feel comfortable doing it. This will speed up the drying process as you can easily remove water from around the circuit board. This will void your warranty, but if your phone is wet the warranty is no longer in effect anyway.

    Step 3

    Blow compressed air on the device to remove as much water as possible. If you didn't disassemble your device, blow the air into a port or earpiece opening to try and force water out of another hole. Continue until no more water comes out of the device.

    Step 4

    Fill a container three-quarters full with dry, uncooked rice. Submerge your phone, or all the pieces of it, into the rice. Seal the container.

    Step 5

    Wait 48 hours for the rice to do its job, then open the container, reassemble the device and turn it on.

    Tips

    • Dry rice is most often recommended because it is likely to already be in your possession and time is of the essence. Other desiccants, like silica gel packets or calcium chloride, will work faster and if they are on hand, would be preferable to rice.

    Warnings

    • Don't use heat to try to dry out your phone. The heat can build up inside the device and damage both the circuitry and the plastics.

    Required Items

    • Container with lid or seal
    • Dry rice
    • Compressed air

    About the Author

    Shawn McClain has spent over 15 years as a journalist covering technology, business, culture and the arts. He has published numerous articles in both national and local publications, and online at various websites. He is currently pursuing his master's degree in journalism at Clarion University.

    Photo Credits

    • Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images