Why You Shouldn’t Put a Soaked Phone In Rice (And What to Do Instead)

These phone-drying tricks could save you the cost of a replacement.

Your phone slips out of your hand and lands in a big rain puddle. You impulsively jump in the pool, forgetting your phone is in your pocket. A bathroom mishap ends with your phone in the toilet.

Feeling panicked yet? It’s no doubt that a phone dropped in water can ruin your day, or even your week. But, before you concede to spending a load of cash on a brand-new phone, try one of these solutions that can help dry out your phone, and save you from that all too familiar feeling of dropped-phone dread. (Here are 10 ways you’re shortening the life of your phone.)

Do Damage Control

Before attempting a dry-out method for your phone, there are a few things you should always do. After dropping your phone in water, immediately turn it off, remove the phone case, and take out the SIM card. Leave the SIM card tray open so you don’t trap water inside. Wipe down the exterior of your phone with an absorbent cloth to remove any visible water. Once you’ve done these initial steps, try one or more of the following dry-out solutions.

Instead of Putting Your Phone in Rice, Use Silica Gel Packets

Despite what you’ve heard, putting your phone in rice won’t dry out your phone, and might actually do even harm than good. Dust, starch and small grains of uncooked rice can get lodged in the mechanisms of your phone. Instead, use silica gel packets. They are used in packaged and boxed products (such as shoes) to absorb moisture, and can do the same for your phone. Place a few silica gel packets under your phone and on top. Let the phone sit for a few hours while the silica gel packets absorb the water. (These are the phone battery and charger myths you need to stop believing.)

Air Dry

It may seem like an over-simplified solution, but simply letting your phone air dry is more effective than you might think. Place your phone on a flat surface, on top of a paper towel, and in a dry, warm space (but not hot, because overheating the phone can cause further damage). You can position a fan to blow on the phone to speed up the drying process. Resist the urge to check if the phone works; let it air dry for at least 24 hours, preferably 48, before turning it on.

Next, learn to spot the signs it’s time for a new cell phone.

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Originally Published on The Family Handyman