Friday, October 12, 2012

Drying your phone in rice: Myth

The myth of drying your phone in rice.

Getting your phone wet is extremely common.  Perhaps it's happened to you.  C'mon, admit it...we use our phones everywhere.  At the beach, by the pool, in the bathroom...  It's bound to happen.  When it does we scramble to our old friend, the internet, to figure out what to do.  What does it tell us to do?  "To fix a wet phone, put it in a bowl or bag of rice."

We've seen this little bit of advice on the web. We've heard it from salespeople and customer service representatives. It's even been published in books...

Like many myths and urban legends there is a component of the tale that always sounds logical or reasonable. After all, rice absorbs many times its weight in water when we cook it, so it would seem reasonable that it would be able to absorb water from your phone, wouldn't it? However, once again myth lets us down. The technique of using rice is not only ineffective, but can actually cause additional damage to your phone or other electronic device.

How? Let us find out.

Rice has little effect as a desiccant (moisture absorber). It will absorb many times its weight in water, but only while in direct contact. It will not effectively "draw" moisture out of the air or out of your phone.

Additional causes of damage:
1. Rice often gets lodged into charge ports, headset plugs, keyboards, and data connectors, potentially breaking these vital components.
2. Liquid isn't the only thing that causes damage when your phone gets wet. It is also the minerals and trace element present in the liquid (such as salt, calcium, sugar, acids, soaps, etc...) that cause damage and corrosion. Corrosion will spread even without liquid present. Desiccants may absorb water but they will not remove any of these deposits that are left behind. Even if rice had desiccant properties it would only address a fraction of the problem.
3. Most rice is "enriched" with...wait for it...
Vitamins and minerals... which can leech into the liquid you're trying to absorb, only adding to the overall problem.
4. Creepy-crawlies. Grain mites and weevils are common pests that love rice, grain, and flower. Do you really want them infesting your phone too? 'Nuff said!

So, what can you do if your phone has gotten wet?

1. Remove the battery. Do not attempt to charge the device or plug it in. This may cause a short circuit and permanent damage.
2. Remove any face plates, cases, or covers to help the phone air dry. We do NOT recommend using a hair dryer or compressed air to speed drying. These will often push liquid deeper into the phone and spread the damage.
3. Contact us for repair as soon as possible. Rust and corrosion will continue to spread even when dry. The sooner a device is professionally treated, the better the chance of a successful repair.

As a wise man once said: "If rice actually worked, I'd be selling rice, not fixing phones."


  1. Rice worked for me a couple times

  2. Me too. Popular Mechanics recommends rice.

  3. Who the $#$*$* wrote this FUD? Weevils? OMG. Weevils.

    My first spill was tea (with honey) onto an Epson PX-8 (at Deep Springs College in '89-- that is, pretty darn in the middle of nowhere). After removing the desert ants who went for the honey ---

    Rice, I have to say, in general, works.

  4. Are you people retarded?! The rice didnt "work" just your phone dried out and started functioning again. Did you even read the article?

    1. Thank you!!!!!! Finally someone who got it right!