Stop me if you’ve heard this before: If you spilled water on your phone/drop your phone in water, put it in a bowl of rice and overnight, your phone will recover. But does it work? Will Rice really bring your phone back from the dead?
Now, there is nothing people like better than finding out whether a myth is true or false; just ask Mythbusters. And so, an experiment was carried out to determine whether rice truly is the savior of drowned phones.
One iPhone 3GS, five Samsung Galaxy SIIIs and three iPhone 4s were tested.
- All nine phones were horribly drowned in water and when they emerged, two of the Galaxies stopped breathing immediately and died, while the remaining ones gasped for breath for a few seconds, before succumbing as well. The iPhones proved that a little water was not going to stop them and initially showed no signs of damage. The phones were dried off, their parts removed and placed into bowls or rice or silica gel.
- The next day, results showed that the iPhones had been masking their injuries and were not in as good shape as they seemed to be the day before. One iPhone 4 stuttered to life but its output was bleak as it showed significant water damage. The rest of the iPhones sadly did not make it.
- The Samsung phones, which were thought to be in a better place, decided that they still wanted to stick around and came back to life without showing any signs of damage at all.
Other Findings & Implications
- The experiment also found out that apart from the 3GS, all the phones were completely flooded, yet the Samsung phones lived to tell the tale. However, one iPhone 4 also recovered after its battery was changed.
- The removability of Samsung’s batteries allowed it to survive the waterboarding while the iPhone’s battery could not be removed and was a major reason in its failure to recuperate.
- In the second experiment focusing on the best absorbing agent, uncooked rice actually fared the worst in a test also consisting of pearl, cat litter (who would want a phone back after that), instant rice, silica gel, classic oatmeal and instant oatmeal.
It seems that the best way to ensure your phone recovers is to remove its parts, shake it to let the water out and use either instant rice or silica gel in large quantities to absorb the remaining moisture. Or, count your losses and get a new phone.
What about you? Have you tried the rice trick? Did it work?