Phone in Rice Myth – How to Save Wet Electronics

Posted on February 4th, 2015 by

You may have heard the rumor. The myth. The best chance of saving a phone that has been dropped in water is to quickly throw it into a bag of uncooked rice, kitty litter, or couscous and let it sit overnight. But the truth is that by the time morning rolls around you probably have neither a rescued phone or ready to serve sticky rice. So what’s the story behind some of these home remedies if you don’t have a waterproof phone but accidentally submerge it in water?

water damaged phone drying in rice

Does Rice Actually Dry Out Water in Electronics?

The website Gazelle did a little research on the rice myth topic and ran comparisons between various homemade methods of rescuing drowned phones. Among other things, Gazelle wanted to find out what household products best absorb water, what happened to water once it got inside the phone, and the best way to extract it.

Using a wet sponge they tested seven different household products as drying agents; cat litter, couscous, classic oatmeal, instant oatmeal, instant rice, silica gel, and uncooked rice. We don’t know why they didn’t test any of these methods on actual water damaged phones… But either way, they found out that none of them were really effective, and that leaving the sponge in the open air was the most efficient way for water to dissipate. So what do we learn? Not even the all-powerful rice is that good at absorbing water.

Now to the more important part of the experiment. After fully submerging nine phones into water (iPhones and Samsung Galaxy’s), they opened them up, shook them out and left them to dry overnight. Some survived but showed serious cosmetic issues, and as expected, some died. But to the surprise of the testers, they found many of the phones had water trapped underneath the battery and other electronic components of the devices. In just one night, this hidden water started the irreversible and deadly cycle of corrosion.

How to Dry out a Phone Without Rice

Gazelle concludes by posing a question, “So, what can increase the chances that my phone will survive water?” The response? “We recommend focusing on shaking, blowing, or vacuuming as much water out of the phone as you can before trying to dry out your device. You should only rely on drying agents such as silica gel or rice to absorb the last few drops of residual moisture.”

In other words, to save your phone if it gets in water, frantically shake it, anxiously blow in it, and pray that the electronic gods spare your baby’s life. We’d also recommend removing the battery of a water-damaged phone while saving your phone.

So back to the question at hand, what CAN increase the chances that a phone will survive a water-related event? We know the correct answer. HZO.

No rice, couscous, kitty litter or shaking until your arm is numb can realistically be relied on to save a phone once water has gotten to it. That’s why HZO technology is so important. By protecting electronic devices from the inside out, it doesn’t matter if water gets in, in fact, it’s welcomed. Our patented technology creates a thin film, ultra-strong barrier that allows for the full ingress of water – or any liquid, dust or debris for that matter – into the device.

Learn More About Our Waterproofing Technology

The future of water protection isn’t a more absorbent grain of rice, or better silica gels, its HZO. We believe in a world where frenzied moments of phone resurrections, and fruitless attempts to revive a fried wearable simply don’t exist because every phone and every device is protected by HZO. We believe in an HZO Protected World. Contact us today to learn more!

Mallory McGuinness

As a veteran writer with over a decade of writing experience, Mallory McGuinness has spent the last two years at HZO learning about coating technology from the best minds in the industry. Professionally, Mallory is especially interested in the process of problem-solving and watching how the engineering team develops solutions that ensure business requirements are met. In her free time, you can find Mallory walking her dog Ebbie, fueling up on coffee, watching the Simpsons, and referencing the Simpsons.

All of Mallory’s blogs are reviewed for accuracy before publication.

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