How To Dry Out (and Hopefully Save) Wet Electronics

Home Hacks

Cell phones, mp3 players, GPS units, gaming handhelds…we often travel with these invaluable digital companions wherever we go. The trade-off is you've always got something to worry about. How many of us have found ourselves losing our beloved cell phone? Or worse, dropped and broken a handheld device. Possibly the worst "Oh #$@&!" moment is dropping something into water, as this seems to practically guarantee you're buying a replacement. But if you're quick enough, you may be able to throw one last Hail Mary and revive your digital device from the brink of death.

What You Need

Equipment
1 small deep depth bowl
1-2 cups of rice
Rubbing alcohol
Anti-static cleaning cloth (1 of our 8 essentials)

Instructions

1. First thing you want to do is remove/disassemble any removable parts, most significantly the battery unit. Taking your device apart will allow you for easier and quicker drying, since the first thing you want to do is remove any surface moisture. Use an anti-static cleaning cloth like the ones used by photographers, which not only prevents any electrical damage, but won't leave any residue.

2. Fill a deep cereal or soup bowl with rice. Any rice will do, but white rice will probably work the best since the hull has been removed, which allows for better moisture sucking powers (we're a brown-rice household, so we had to make due). Place your device, off/disassembled inside the bowl, with all parts covered and leave overnight.

3. By morning, your device should be mostly dry inside and out. But to really make sure you've removed all moisture, you're going to do something seemingly crazy: you're going to soak your device in rubbing alcohol. This will help expedite the removal any lingering moisture within your device.

4. Leave device 1-3 days to completely dry in a moderate temperature, low humidity environment. If you're lucky, after this dry out time, you'll be able to power up your device and invest in a waterproof case and an extended warranty.


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(Images: Gregory Han)