How a bowl of rice saved my dripping-wet mobile phone

Rice can do magic with a wet phone. FILE PHOTO
Rice can do magic with a wet phone. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Last week, my phone ‘decided’ to take a swim in a sink full of water.

As it plopped into the sink, I have to admit, my heart stopped; the gadget is a swanky new smartphone with all the specs of a high-end Android device, but none of the water-proof stuff.

What did I do? On instinct I grabbed it out of water, switched it off, patted it dry and dumped it in a bowl of rice. I then crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. I had read in some article on the Internet that rice can do magic with a wet phone. The rice, the article said, acts as an absorbing agent, drawing out all the liquid in the device. As all the do-it-yourself posts on the internet state, DO NOT SWITCH ON THE PHONE. Apparently if put on, the water, which conducts electricity, may short-circuit the device causing permanent damage.

Time is of the essence in this circumstance. Everything must be done quickly and carefully to minimise damage. The device needs to be buried in an absorbent medium within minutes of getting wet, and if possible, the battery taken out. My device sat in the rice for two nights and a full day before I had the courage to switch it on. And when I did viola! It worked like a charm.

Although it helps a lot, rice is not the most ideal option as it has dust specs that could get into the device. Silica gels — tiny sachets that come with new electronics and shoes to keep them dry — are the best suited for the task.