How to use rice to dry out your waterlogged phone.
Even if your waterlogged smartphone seems like it’s kicked the bucket, there’s a good chance you can still resuscitate it. But you’ll need to act fast: The longer the water sits inside, the greater the likelihood it will corrode the metal components inside for good.
While most people are conditioned to send back broken merchandise, your phone’s warranty probably doesn’t cover water damage. And you may not have much luck pulling a fast one on your phone company—most modern phones come with a “water sticker” that permanently changes colour if it gets wet.
Get out that box of rice.
Step #1: Remove the Battery
Immediately cut the power by removing the battery. We know it’s tempting, but resist the urge to power up your phone to see if it works—just turning it on can short out the circuits. Use a pin or a special SIM card removal tool to pop open the SIM tray and remove the small card. Water could have gotten into this tiny opening, and you don’t want to risk having to replace your SIM, too. Even if your phone turns out to be beyond repair, the SIM should retain a lot of its onboard data, like the contacts in your phone book.
Step #2: Dry Your Phone
Next, dry your phone off. This sounds like the simplest step, but it’s actually where things get tricky. Don’t even think about taking a hairdryer to your handset. Added heat could cause corrosion if there’s any water on your phone’s hardware. That means no microwave, either. You’re only going to catch your phone on fire, which certainly will make it dry, but not very operational.
While heat will certainly evaporate the moisture, it could also warp components and melt adhesives. Those fragile glues are also why you’ll want to avoid dunking the phone in rubbing alcohol (an oft-prescribed tip on the web). Alcohol is a solvent and can dissolve the internal adhesives.
So what can you do?
Instead, start with a soft, microfiber cloth, the kind you use to wipe smudges off of your glasses. If you can remove the back panel of your phone, use a cloth to wipe down the components inside. And if you want some warmth to help coax out whatever water has not yet dissipated, let your phone rest on a windowsill in some sunlight.
You could also opt for a can of compressed air, an air compressor set to a low psi, or a vacuum cleaner (a wet/dry Shop-Vac would be perfect). The idea is to use air to push or pull moisture out through the same channels it entered.
Step #3: Use a Desiccant
Now, here’s the most important part: submerge your phone in a desiccant, or a substance that will induce dryness by absorbing water. That’s just a fancy way of saying grab the rice. Leave the phone and its disconnected battery submerged in a bowl of rice overnight.
Another random thing you can use:
Silica gel, as the review notes, is the best option if you have some lying around. You’re probably used to seeing silica gel in the form of those little packets stuffed into the pockets of new clothes or shoes.