September 30, 2023

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Does Rice Dry Your Phone

8 min read
If you've ever dropped your phone in water, you may have heard that putting it in a bowl of rice can help dry it out.
A phone submerged in a bowl of uncooked rice

A phone submerged in a bowl of uncooked rice

Many people believe that rice is the ultimate solution for drying a wet phone. But does it really work? In this article, we’ll explore the science behind phone water damage, the effectiveness of the rice method, how to use rice for drying your phone, and other alternatives and tips for preventing and dealing with water damage to your valuable device.

Why Do Phones Get Wet and How Water Affects Them

Phones can get wet in various ways – dropping them in water, spilling drinks, sweating on them during workouts, or even just exposing them to high humidity. Whatever the cause, water can seep into the internal components of your phone and cause damage that can affect its functionality and lifespan. Water can corrode metal parts, short-circuit electrical connections, and interfere with the signals that the phone sends and receives. In some cases, water damage can be irreversible and require expensive repairs or replacement.

What Happens When Water Gets Into Your Phone

When your phone gets wet, the first thing you should do is turn it off and remove any accessories, such as the case, SIM card, or memory card. Continuing to use the phone or charging it while it’s wet can cause further damage and increase the risk of electrical shock. If you’re lucky, the water hasn’t reached the critical areas of your phone and hasn’t caused any damage yet. However, if your phone was submerged in water or exposed to liquid for a long time, there’s a good chance that the water has penetrated the circuit board, the battery, or the screen, and caused some damage that needs to be repaired.

The Rice Method: Does It Really Work in Drying Your Phone?

The rice method involves putting your damp phone in a container or bag filled with dry rice and leaving it there for several hours or even days, hoping that the rice will absorb the moisture and dry out your phone. This method has become a popular household remedy for phone water damage, but its effectiveness is debatable. While rice can absorb some water vapor in the air, it doesn’t create a vacuum that sucks out all the water from your phone. Moreover, some rice grains can get trapped in your phone’s ports or crevices and cause more damage. In fact, in some cases, the rice method can do more harm than good by delaying the proper treatment of your phone or creating a false sense of security.

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How to Use Rice to Dry Your Phone Effectively

If you’re determined to try the rice method, there are some tips to follow to increase your chances of success. Firstly, use a container or bag that is airtight or at least sealed with a lid or tape, to prevent dust or moisture from entering. Secondly, choose a type of rice that is dry and uncooked, such as white rice or instant rice. Do not use cooked rice or flavored rice, as they can leave residues or attract insects. Thirdly, remove as much water from your phone as possible before putting it in the rice. You can use a soft cloth or paper towel to pat it dry or use a vacuum cleaner on a low setting to suck out the water.

Alternatives to Rice for Drying Your Wet Phone

If you’re not confident about using rice or want to try other methods, there are some alternatives that you can consider. One option is to use silica gel packets, which are often found in shoe boxes or electronic products’ packaging. Silica gel is a moisture-absorbing agent that can dry out your phone faster than rice, as it can absorb up to 40% of its weight in water. Just put your phone in a sealed bag or container with some silica gel packets and wait for a few hours. Another option is to use a dedicated phone drying kit, which includes a vacuum chamber or desiccant material that can remove the moisture from your phone without causing any damage.

Tips to Prevent Water Damage on Your Phone

Probably the best way to deal with phone water damage is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are some tips to protect your phone from water or moisture:

  • Avoid exposing your phone to water or liquids, or use a waterproof case or bag if you need to use it in wet environments.
  • Keep your phone away from humid places, such as bathrooms or saunas.
  • Don’t charge your phone near water sources or with wet hands.
  • Consider getting insurance or warranties that cover water damage in case of accidents.
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What Not to Do When Your Phone Gets Wet

When you’re dealing with a wet phone, there are some things that you should avoid doing, as they can worsen the damage:

  • Don’t turn on your phone or press any buttons, as this can send electricity through the wet components.
  • Don’t blow-dry your phone with hot air or use a microwave or oven to dry it, as this can melt or fry the plastic and circuitry.
  • Don’t shake or tap your phone to force out the water, as this can cause more damage or dislodge some components.
  • Don’t use alcohol or other chemicals to clean your phone, as this can dissolve or erode some parts or leave residues.

Common Myths About Drying Wet Phones

There are many myths and misconceptions about how to dry a wet phone, some of which can cause more harm than good. Here are some examples:

  • Placing your phone in a bag of uncooked rice can damage your phone by leaving residues or dust.
  • Putting your phone in a freezer or refrigerator can cause condensation and water damage to the battery and screen.
  • Using a hair dryer or compressed air can blow water droplets deeper into your phone or overheat the components.
  • Leaving your phone in sunlight or near a heat source can warp or melt the plastic, and damage the battery and screen.

How Long Should You Keep Your Phone in Rice?

If you’re still considering using rice for drying your phone, you might wonder how long you should keep it there. The answer depends on several factors, such as the severity of the water damage, the amount of water that has entered your phone, and the type of rice that you use. Generally, you should leave your phone in rice for at least 24 to 48 hours, and avoid using it during that time. However, keep in mind that this is not a guaranteed solution, and that rice can only absorb so much water from your phone. If after a few days your phone still doesn’t work, you might need to seek professional help or consider replacing it.

Other Methods for Drying a Wet Phone

If you’re not satisfied with the rice or silica gel methods, or if they don’t work for you, there are some other methods that you can try, although they might require more effort or cost:

  • Using a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment to suck out the water from your phone.
  • Submerging your phone in a tub of dry, uncooked rice, so that the grains can reach all the crevices and ports.
  • Disassembling your phone, drying each part separately, and reassembling it afterwards, if you feel confident enough and have the right tools.
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The Importance of Acting Quickly When Your Phone Gets Wet

One of the crucial factors in preventing water damage to your phone is acting quickly when it gets wet. The longer you wait, the more chance the water has to penetrate deeper into your phone and cause more damage. Don’t wait for the rice or other remedies to work, or for your phone to magically recover. Take immediate action by turning off your phone, removing the battery and accessories, drying it with a cloth or vacuum cleaner, and seeking professional help if necessary.

How to Tell If Your Phone is Completely Dry

Even if your phone looks and feels dry after leaving it in rice or using other methods, it might still have some residual moisture that can cause problems in the future. There are several ways to check if your phone is completely dry:

  • Check the ports and crevices of your phone for any signs of moisture, such as condensation or water droplets.
  • Use a moisture meter or an electronic tester to measure the level of humidity in your phone’s interior.
  • Test the functionality of your phone, by turning it on, pressing the buttons, checking the sounds and vibrations, and using the features that were affected by the water damage.

Steps to Take if Your Phone Doesn’t Turn On After Drying

If all your efforts to dry your phone have failed and your phone still doesn’t turn on, don’t panic. There are still some steps that you can take to recover your data and possibly revive your phone:

  • Take your phone to a professional repair shop or the manufacturer’s service center, and explain the situation to them.
  • Consider buying a new battery, as the water damage might have caused the old battery to malfunction or discharge rapidly.
  • Try to retrieve your data from your phone’s memory, by using a computer, a data recovery software, or a third-party service.

Professional Solutions for Water-Damaged Phones

If all else fails, or if your phone is too damaged to be repaired, there are some professional solutions that you can consider, depending on your budget and preferences:

  • Buying a new phone or upgrading to a more water-resistant model, if you can afford it.
  • Enrolling in a phone insurance or warranty plan, if you haven’t already, and claiming compensation for the water damage.
  • Using a third-party professional phone repair service, which can handle complex repairs and offer guarantees and warranties.
  • Sending your phone to the manufacturer for repair or replacement, if it’s still under warranty or you have a service contract.


So, does rice dry your phone? The answer is yes, but not always and not completely. Rice can help absorb some moisture from your phone, but it’s not a foolproof method and can cause more harm than good in some cases. Rather than relying on myths and guesswork, it’s better to be prepared for phone water damage by taking preventive measures, knowing how to respond when it happens, and seeking expert advice when needed. By following the tips and suggestions in this article, you can increase your chances of saving your phone or at least minimizing the damage, and prevent future incidents from occurring.

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