Putting A Wet Smartphone Inside Rice Is A Common Advice That Has Big Consequences, Experts Said

Rice, the cereal grain, is the staple food for over half of the world's human population, particularly in Asia and Africa.

Containing no gluten, rice provides both protein and carbohydrate, and that its varieties can be used for different delicacies, ranging from fried rice to sushi, to risotto, biryani, paella, and more, spanning from sweet dishes to the more glutinous ones.

Among other reasons, this is possible due to its property, which attracts water.

And because of this, people have been using rice to dry items, including their phones.

For more than often, some people may have dropped their gadgets inside a swimming pool, at the sink or toilet, or had them soaked because of rain, and many other reasons.

And for more than many years, people have thought of putting their wet device in a bag or bowl, with rice, in an attempt to suck the moisture out.

iPhone water
Submerging a wet phone in rice does work, but only to some degree, and not without consequences.

The idea of putting a wet smartphone in rice is a common one, and the method does work.

It involves putting a wet smartphone inside a bowl or a bag of uncooked rice, preferably white rice, as it tends to absorb moisture more effectively. Place the phone submerged in the grains, and let the its natural desiccant property draw out the moisture from the device over time.

People can leave the smartphone nestled inside the rice for 24 hours or 48 hours, while keeping the bowl or the bag at a warn, dry place, away from potential sources of moisture.

This gives the rice an ample opportunity to work its magic and absorb as much moisture as possible.

After the waiting period, gently remove the smartphone from its ricey cocoon, give it a thorough inspection to ensure it's completely dry.

Check the ports and crevices for any lingering moisture.

The most susceptible components that corrode fast when in contact with water, are the terminals, the circuit boards, and connectors.

Once it's confirmed that its dry, people can try turning the power back on.

When the phone turns back on, users must ensure that the phone is working fine, like it should, and just like how it would.

A smartphone that has been submerged in water, and have water entering it, can have lingering issues, such as strange behavior or decreased performance.

Water damage can be sneaky, so it's better to be safe than sorry.

iPhone water
Modern phones are water resistant, but not necessarily water proof.

While using this uncooked rice method does work, it’s not necessarily the most effective method, because:

  1. Rice attract moistures, but it isn't a strong desiccant:. In fact, uncooked rice is inferior to other common desiccants such as silica gel or cat litter. What this means, while rice does absorb water, it's weak. So, submerging devices into rice may not be more effective than leaving them to dry in open air. In most cases, the most damaging of liquid is where it's inside the phone, and in this case, no amount of rice and reach it.
  2. Rice does not displace water: Rice absorbs moisture, but not the water itself. While it draws in humidity from the air and its surroundings, it cannot draw away liquid, especially if it's present in large amounts. In other words, rice traps water, not removes it.
  3. Rice has dust: The particles can be so fine that they can slip through the tiniest of cracks and crevices that water cannot. When this rice enters a smartphone, which internals are wet, the dust can form a paste-like substance, which becomes residue that is difficult to remove.

In other words, there are consequences, and this is why experts have dispelled the method as an urban myth.

When a smartphone fell into water, the device must be retrieved immediately.

While most modern phones are water resistant, there is no saying how water can get inside them, especially on aging phones that have seen their fair share of the elements, blows, or being dropped.

Rice has the unique property of absorbing moisture, but the rice dust that mixes with water can pose more risk, and can be more damaging that just water damage.

iPhone water
Once water gets inside a phone, there is no guarantee that the phone will work like it once was.

Liquid damage in electronics is a pain, and is something everyone wants to avoid.

This is because many of a phone's internals can corrode when in contact with water. Sometimes the corrosion hits a phone's important components, and sometimes, it doesn't.

But regardless of which component gets in contact with water, getting water inside s phone means that corrosion is almost inevitable.

And adding something else that can mix with water isn't the best of all solutions.

When a phone gets submerged in water, the first thing to do is to turn off the phone, and tap the phone gently with the port facing down.

iPhone water
Apple iPhones have a liquid-detection alert when they sense liquid inside them. Apple is also against using rice as a remedy..

If it's certain that water gets inside a phone, the first thing to do is to take out the battery if possible, and disassemble it to expose its internal components.

And instead of introducing a wet smartphone to rice, it's wiser to displace the water, like using compressed air with the lowest setting. Using 90%+ isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and a toothbrush can also help.

The idea is to displace the liquid before it can dry naturally. This is the best strategy for preventing liquid damage.

Other things users shouldn't do, include exposing a wet phone on an external heat source, and inserting foreign objects, such as a cotton swab or a paper towel, into the connector.