How Long Should You Leave Your Wet Phone in Rice? A Comprehensive Guide

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on September 20th, 2023

Your phone just had an unfortunate run-in with water, and you’re feeling anxious about its survival. If you’ve heard of the rice method for drying a wet phone but aren’t sure how effective it is, you’re in the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through why you might want to consider using uncooked rice and how to go about it. Whether you dropped your phone in the pool or spilled a drink over it, this article is packed with tips and techniques to boost your phone’s chances of a successful recovery.

Why Should You Leave Your Wet Phone in Rice for 24 to 36 Hours?

Submerging your damp phone in uncooked rice for 24 to 36 hours offers the rice sufficient time to absorb the lingering moisture. The reason is, rice acts as a desiccant—a substance specifically designed to dry things out. Please note, though, that while this method may help some phones, it isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.

white rice grains on brown wooden table

How Effective is Rice in Drying a Wet Phone?

The rice method is a well-known home remedy passed down from generation to generation. Despite conflicting opinions on its effectiveness, rice does indeed absorb water. It’s a widespread technique with numerous success stories, but remember, it’s not guaranteed to work every time.

Is There a Time Limit for Using Rice?

It’s crucial to let your phone sit in rice for a minimum of 24 to 48 hours. Checking on it too early might compromise the drying process. If you’re patient, the moisture should adequately evaporate, and your phone might turn back on.

Best Practices for Using the Rice Method

1. Retrieve the Phone Quickly from Water

Act fast and get your phone out of the water as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence—the longer the phone stays submerged, the lower its chances of recovery. Whether it’s a toilet or a lake, just grab it!

2. Remove the Battery

If your phone has a removable battery, take it out immediately. This minimizes the risk of a short circuit, potentially saving your phone from further damage.

3. Remove SIM and Memory Cards

Eject any SIM and memory cards from the phone. By doing so, you reduce the risk of these components sustaining water damage.

4. Towel Dry the Phone

Before the rice bath, blot your phone with a cloth or towel. This helps in removing the surface moisture and making the rice method more effective.

5. Shake Off Excess Water

A good shake can help remove trapped water. Just make sure you have a good grip on the phone to avoid a second tragedy!

6. Place the Phone in the Rice

Put your damp phone, along with any wet accessories like the battery or SIM card, in a container filled with dry, uncooked rice.

7. Use Isopropyl Alcohol for Cleaning

If your phone fell into a substance other than water, clean it using isopropyl alcohol, which evaporates quickly and minimizes damage.

Alternatives to Rice for Drying Your Phone

  • Silica Gel: Often found in shoeboxes and dry goods, silica gel can be a more effective desiccant than rice.
  • Cat Litter: Contains silica gel or crystal, making it a suitable alternative.
  • Dry Tea Bags: In a pinch, these can absorb moisture as well.

What Not to Do When Your Phone Gets Wet

  • Don’t Charge the Phone: This could lead to short circuits.
  • Avoid Heat Sources: Using a hairdryer or oven can do more harm than good.

Drying Your Phone Without Rice

If rice is not an option, air drying can work but takes much longer—around 2–3 days. Look for a spot with good airflow, and let nature take its course.

Final Thoughts

The rice method is a popular, albeit not foolproof, method for reviving a wet phone. It’s essential to be patient and give your device the time it needs to dry thoroughly. Be mindful of the tips and warnings in this guide, and you’ll maximize your phone’s chances for a full recovery.


Editorial Staff

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