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Phone and rice: the whole truth about whether to keep a “drowned” smartphone in the rump? Truth or fiction: can rice save a drowned phone?


Where people drop smartphones

Service centers love “drowned men” – this is what they call phones that have fallen into the water and started to junk. This is easy to explain: manufacturers do not consider a flooded phone to be a warranty case, despite the fact that many models have already acquired water protection.

Many phones really have good protection against moisture penetration inside, but it only saves when the device is completely new. Any accidental bumps, daily twisting in the back pocket of your trousers, and other everyday damage – all this can compromise the tightness of the case. Service centers do not have the ability to understand each specific case, so all manufacturers believe that the “drowned” cannot be restored under warranty.

Analysts of Mobile Research Group conducted a study and found that 14 out of 10 thousand phones fall into the water.

Phones are most often dropped in:

  • Toilet bowl – 62%.
  • Bath – 17%.
  • Sea or ocean —16%.
  • River or lake – 4%.
  • Other – 1%.

The mortality rate of “drowned” people reaches 50% if the gadget lacks protection from water.

Drying process

Once you’ve removed most of the water that has gotten into your phone, you can start drawing out the moisture.
In general, any material that absorbs and draws moisture well is suitable for this procedure. For example, rice can be replaced with silicone balls, a bag of which is placed in a shoe box in stores. However, rice will be more effective.

  1. Place the rice in a plastic container with a sealed lid or plastic bag.
  2. Place the phone in a bowl of rice and leave in a warm place overnight.
  3. The rice will draw the remaining moisture out of the phone, which greatly increases the chances that your phone will still work.
  4. It is very important that the rice is dry, otherwise it will not be able to absorb excess moisture.
  5. If after this procedure your phone does not work, try contacting the service center.

Remember that phones have indicators that change color when in contact with moisture. Therefore, do not try to lie about the cause of the breakdown of the device, as the service center employees will easily recognize your lie.

Do I need to keep the “drowned” iPhone in the rump?

IFixit is the recognized authority on electronics repair. Service specialists argue that rice not only will not save the smartphone after being flooded with liquid or drowning, but it can completely deprive it of its chances of recovery. Placing the phone in the croup is tantamount to giving up the fight to save it. A person creates a false illusion of active actions being taken. Corrosion starts immediately when the phone gets into water. Sometimes it hits important elements, and sometimes it doesn’t.

Phone and rice: the whole truth about whether to keep a "drowned" smartphone in the rump? Truth or fiction: can rice save a drowned phone?

A simple and obvious action in this situation is to turn off the phone and keep it in this state until it dries on the table or even in the same rice.

Even a phone that has worked dry after drying will have damaged components and oxidized fragile contacts on the motherboard. Corrosion will continue to spread inside the phone. Regular drying is a lottery in which the prize can be used only temporarily.

Is it effective to dry a drowned smartphone with rice.

Drying rice in a jar is one of the most popular ways to “save” not only smartphones, but in general any wet things, including photographic equipment and documents.

According to a small investigation by a journalist, the first mention of drying techniques using absorbents such as rice or silica gel (granule sachets often found inside shoe boxes) dates back to 1946.

Similar advice was found in Yankee’s Magazine’s 1996 book Make It Last, where the repairman listed about a thousand ways to extend the life of any item. For photographers whose technique has been in a humid environment, he advised putting some silica gel in a ventilated bag and putting their equipment there, and he recommended using raw rice as a substitute for silica gel.

Among smartphone owners, one of the first references to a similar advice was found by the editor of The Verge on the Chinese version of the Yahoo Q&A service. A local user asked how to save a Nokia 5130 phone that got wet in his pocket in the rain: according to him, he used a plastic bag to protect it from moisture, but it still got inside: the sound deteriorated and, in general, the device ceased to function normally.

All three tips to the owner of the Nokia 5130 were about using the “rice trick”. First of all, you had to get the battery out of the phone, and then dry it, but not using hot air (this could damage the microcircuits), but through the slow absorption of moisture by the absorbent. Since the summer of 2007, similar recommendations began to appear for the iPhone, with the only change that Apple smartphones had non-removable batteries.

Rice scored the worst result of any absorbent tested, including couscous, silica gel, oatmeal, and cat litter. Surprisingly, the researchers found that the most effective solution was to leave the wet sponge to dry in the open air.

How to dry your phone at home

An absorbent is a substance that draws out and absorbs moisture. Whichever method you choose, you need a container to hold both the product and your phone. Drying rules for each method are below:

  1. Put the phone in fig. It is the most famous absorbent. The fact that the phone can be dried in rice is not a myth, it is an effective tool. Put the gadget without a battery and a lid in a bag with cereals for 2-3 days. Flip the device every 12 hours.
  2. Use silicone gel cat litter. This product is considered to be even better absorbent than rice. To dry your gadget, place it in a container of filler for 48 hours. In this case, the product must completely cover the device. Turn your smartphone over from time to time.
  3. Dry the phone in silicone shoe balls. An alternative option, similar in effectiveness to the previous one. Draws out moisture in 2 days.

A tip that is relevant to all methods: check the smartphone every 6 hours and wipe the moisture from its surface with paper towels. In addition, in case of severe damage, you can change the absorbent to a new one.

Phone and rice: the whole truth about whether to keep a "drowned" smartphone in the rump? Truth or fiction: can rice save a drowned phone?

How to save a drowned phone

As a rule, the apparatus is taken out of the water as quickly as possible. Someone shakes the phone so that the water spills out as soon as possible, someone starts emergency drying with a hairdryer. Popular methods also include blotting with toilet paper, placing the unit on a dryer or battery.

But a hairdryer or a battery is a bad idea, since most modern smartphones are glued with hot glue: to open the case, it is heated. In the best case, you can break the tightness, in the worst case, the device will start to fall apart.

And here many people remember about rice. But before checking the consistency of this myth, you need to understand the physics of the process, find out what happens in a smartphone and why water “kills” electronics.

Can rice absorb moisture at all?

Inquisitive experts decided to test how well rice can absorb moisture in general. The following substances took part in the testing: cat litter, couscous (wheat grits), oatmeal, boiled and raw rice.

In attempts to absorb moisture from a damp sponge in a day, dry rice took the last place.

Moreover, the sponge left in the open air has lost more moisture than surrounded by any “desiccant”. So instead of rice, it would be wiser to just leave your wet phone on the shelf for a while.

Phone and rice: the whole truth about whether to keep a "drowned" smartphone in the rump? Truth or fiction: can rice save a drowned phone?

What happens to the phone when water gets in

First of all, the conductive paths in the telephone board suffer, which oxidize when water gets in. In non-distilled water there are various salts and impurities – they enter into a reaction of electrochemical corrosion and form the very rust that disables the apparatus.

The battery does not switch off from water ingress – it continues to work. The electrical current in the lanes triggers the corrosion process. Therefore, the first rule when removing the device from the water is to remove the battery, if possible. If not, then you need to turn off the device. It will be possible to turn it on after it has completely dried.

You cannot shake the device either. There is a risk that moisture will spread further. It’s a good idea to take out the SIM and memory card tray.

Some people recommend using a vacuum cleaner, but this is dangerous: you can create electrostatics and damage the board faster than corrosion can.

For models marked IP67 / 68 (especially reliable protection against dust and water) and without visible external damage, drying by any special methods is not needed: you need to let the device dry in a draft. Probably, the water did not get inside.

After salt water, the device must be carefully rinsed from salt – it can clog the connectors and membranes. Then such devices may wheeze, since the microphone will be covered with salt.

Rescue in service centers

You can hardly find an experienced technician who doesn’t roll his eyes over advice on using rice to dry your phone. Service centers constantly receive devices that have been in banks with cereals. Rice is not a panacea – professionals should be involved in salvaging wet phones. It is difficult at home to accurately carry out painstaking work – to disassemble the device, take out the motherboard, soak it in alcohol so that it penetrates into all the holes and dry. The specialist will have at least a set of required non-standard screwdrivers. But this is the only way to minimize the destructive effects of water and save electronics from corrosion.

Can I dry my phone with a hairdryer or vacuum cleaner

It is not recommended to use a hair dryer to dry the phone, even in cold mode. This device directs air currents towards the mobile phone, so the moisture is not drawn out, but settles deeper on the details, exacerbating the situation.

It is better to use a vacuum cleaner to dry the elements by removing the liquid from the insides of the apparatus. To do this, put on a narrow nozzle and consistently bring it to all openings of the gadget. Remember that after this procedure, you still need to place the device in an absorbent or leave it to air dry.

Do not rush to wash out the substances under the tap, but do all the points from the instructions or take the damaged device to a service center – they know how to dry it thoroughly.

Repair may be necessary even when the procedure was performed correctly: diagnostics will show whether the boards and radioelements have oxidized under the influence of the liquid. In addition, there are times when water stains remain under the display.

Phone and rice: the whole truth about whether to keep a "drowned" smartphone in the rump? Truth or fiction: can rice save a drowned phone?

Why can’t you hesitate

In fact, professional recipes for saving the phone do not involve drying it for a long time. The longer the water stays inside the case, the more likely it is to rust. This will only diminish the chances of a full recovery. Water may not evaporate completely, remaining in hard-to-reach places and causing gradual corrosion there. The smartphone can work, but it will freeze, overload and work unstable.

What else will help?

Placing the device in rice, it is not guaranteed to save the gadget from moisture, but it is possible to delay the death and reduce the corrosion of the conductive tracks. At home and without disassembling the case, it is almost impossible to achieve complete drying of the device – corrosion will begin in any case. The only question is how serious it will be and what will happen to the phone. The “drowned man” can start to junk and die in three months or six months.

In addition to rice, there is a more effective way – to put the apparatus in pure alcohol, it will take away moisture. Depending on the time spent in water, it is worth placing the device in alcohol for about the same time. This method is not suitable for everyone: sometimes the components are sensitive to alcohol (for example, film or screen), so this drying can be used only at your own peril and risk.

Actions to help save the gadget if moisture gets inside

Switch off your phone immediately! … This will reduce the likelihood of a short circuit, after which, you can already slowly wipe it dry. Remove the sim card and memory card.

If the device has a removable battery, remove it immediately without wasting time turning it off. No matter how strong the desire is to immediately check the performance of the device, do not do it until you completely dry it.

In general, quickly removing the battery greatly increases the chances of a successful outcome. So, if you have an iPhone, it is better to immediately contact a nearby service or get a pair of star screwdrivers and a small Phillips screwdriver to disconnect the battery connector.

Phone and rice: the whole truth about whether to keep a "drowned" smartphone in the rump? Truth or fiction: can rice save a drowned phone?

I am not afraid to give such advice. In order to unscrew two screws on your own and remove the cover from the iPhone, you do not need to finish academies, there is nothing complicated and, if desired, anyone who can hold a screwdriver can handle this. And do not be afraid, you will not be electrocuted, and you have already said goodbye to the guarantee, having bought your smartphone. The simplest set for emergency opening of the iPhone will cost only 100 rubles.

Phone and rice: the whole truth about whether to keep a "drowned" smartphone in the rump? Truth or fiction: can rice save a drowned phone?

The screens of all iPhones up to version 7 are not glued around the perimeter, since they do not have moisture protection, so it is not difficult to disassemble them. Only please, no fanaticism.

After disconnecting the battery and gaining access to the insides of the phone, we remove all visible moisture with paper napkins, a dry towel, everything that can quickly absorb moisture (you can walk with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol).

Phone and rice: the whole truth about whether to keep a "drowned" smartphone in the rump? Truth or fiction: can rice save a drowned phone?

You can try to blow out moisture from hard-to-reach places with compressed air or quickly dry it with a hair dryer at maximum speed and temperature.

If you get coffee, sweet juices or dirt, you need to disassemble the phone completely and thoroughly clean the board and all contacts that have come into contact with the liquid. A toothbrush soaked in alcohol does a good job with this task. You can turn on the device only after making sure that it is completely dry.

In conclusion, I want to remind once again what absolutely should not be done if water gets into the phone :

  1. Don’t try to turn on the phone
  2. Never connect a wet device to the mains

Sources used and useful links on the topic: -kak-vysushit-telefon-risom-instrukciya.html trick

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