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No More Rice Bowls! Four Ways to Slavage a Wet Phone

One of the most panic-infusing yet very common things that can happen to us is getting the smartphone wet. The first thought to pass through most people’s heads would be ‘quick! I need to submerge the phone in a bowl of rice’. Unfortunately, it seems we have been misled about the efficiency of this practice. In fact, experts claim it is a downright myth and might even do more harm than good. "The starch in rice can actually speed up the corrosion process inside your device that occurs when liquid seeps into the device and starts to rust," a phone expert and the chief operating officer for 'SellCell' Sarah McConomy told Best Life. "In addition to this, small particles of rice can actually get stuck in any of the charging apertures of your phone, which can break down the charging port." 

Many people resort to the rice method, however, as they believe it will provide the fastest result. But if not rice, then is there a way to save a wet phone? Yes, there are several tricks that are actually encouraged by experts. Read on to find out what they are.

1. AirflowFour Ways to Salvage a Wet Phone From Experts, fan

To keep your phone working when it gets wet, experts unanimously agree that keeping the air flowing around the device is the most efficient way to remove the moisture. The Apple website, too, touts airflow over any other method. If you had a spill on your phone, you should leave it in a dry area with some airflow, for example, in front of a fan blowing cool air, the company says. 

Bear in mind, evaporation through regular airflow can take a few days or even an entire week, depending on where you live. While it isn’t a ‘quick fix’ like the rice method, there are really no potential side effects to it or collateral damage risks. Besides a fan, you can speed up the process using a dehumidifier - just place your phone next to it. 

Related: How to Troubleshoot and Fix an Overheating Cell Phone

2. Desiccant packetsFour Ways to Salvage a Wet Phone From Experts, silica gel bags

Those little silica gel packets’ sole purpose is to keep things dry. This is the reason many manufacturers add them to packets - to keep the product fresh and moisture-free when it reaches the consumer. So naturally, they can be handy when you need to dry your phone. Check if you have a few leftover desiccant packets from packages, shoe boxes, or pill bottles. If not, they can be purchased on their own, too. All you have to do is lay a few packets on your wet cell phone and let them absorb the moisture. 


3. Lint-free microfiber clothFour Ways to Salvage a Wet Phone From Experts, wiping phone with micro fiber cloth

If you have no silica gel packets on hand, don’t worry. A lint-free microfiber cloth should do the trick just the same, according to technology expert Oliver Baker. It is the type of cloth you would use to clean your phone or a DSLR camera.

Use the cloth to wipe down your phone and "make sure to really get into the nooks and crannies of your phone and remove as much water as possible," says Baker.

Related: A Disinfectant Cleaning Guide to Phones and Other Devices

4. Vacuum bagsFour Ways to Salvage a Wet Phone From Experts, vacuum bags in freezer

Another item some are likely to have at home is a vacuum bag. Baker suggests that placing your wet phone in one of those bags can help vacuum the water out of your phone over time by causing the water to evaporate faster. 

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