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Little Trick To Drying a Wet Electronic Device

Updated on December 28, 2010

It Happens To All Of Us

No matter how hard we try to protect our beloved, and expensive, electronic devices from water, it does happen to all of us at some point in time. A cell phone can fall out of your pocket into the toilet. A digital camera can fall into a pan of soapy dishwater. If you have a rambunctious pet like I do, your animal will surely knock the device into any standing water in your home such as the bathtub or a kitchen sink.  Even the weather is not your device's friend.  No one intentionally leaves a device in the rain.  I have seen people leave a device on a patio table, go inside for just a minute, come back to a sudden and severe rainstorm.

 

Your Device is Soaked

It happened to me a few days ago. I was trying to multitask by doing the dishes, doing the laundry and take a couple of photographs for my husband. I had the kitchen sink full of hot, soapy water waiting for me when I returned from our community laundry room when it happened. I picked up my coin purse which contains my quarters for laundry when I knocked my digital camera into the sink full of water. I immediately pulled the camera out of the water and laid it on a dry towel. I removed the memory card. Fortunately, I had removed the batteries a few minutes before; and the camera was not turned on at the time.

What Next?

I went online to see what others said about drying out a camera. Several websites used the same advice: Use a hair dryer on low setting or allow the device to dry in a warm, dry place for several days. One person even suggested physically taking the device apart and drying the components inside.

I opted for the "leave it alone" approach since I did not want to damage my camera further by attempting to take it apart. If I tried that, I could see myself losing one or more of the small screws that holds the camera together.

What I Did

The next day, I had told my landlord's girlfriend about my mishap.  She told me about a trick that she uses to dry her cell phones when one of her dogs knocks her phone into the toilet or some other source of water.  She puts her cell phone in a zippered plastic bag such as a sandwich bag and covers the device with ordinary white rice that you find in any grocery store.  Any brand will do.  She then leaves the baggie in a warm, dry place for a couple of days.  Her phone will work as it did before the water "accident".  The rice will soak all, or nearly all, the water out of the device without taking the device apart.

I tried her suggestion and IT WORKED.  The only type of white rice I had on hand was the boil-in-bag type which is what I used for my baggie.  My camera's LCD screen has a few water-marks but other than that, it works just as it did before I dropped it into the water.

Will This Work For All Devices?

This trick will probably work for all devices. I don't know for sure. I would definitely try it before discarding the device and purchasing a new one. The time to leave your device in the rice baggie will depend upon the size of your device and how much water it has in it at the time you put it in the baggie.

© 2010 Tammy L

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    • Tammy L profile image
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      Tammy L 5 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      I can't say definitely if this works for laptops. If you have enough rice and a bag large enough to hold the laptop, you might want to try it. I do know this trick doesn't work for all electronic devices. I tried it for a Playstation 3 controller with no success.

      Good luck with your laptop.

    • profile image

      B. Soriano 5 years ago

      Does this work on laptops?

      I spilled water on it about 24 hrs. ago and have not tried to turn it on since.

      The water landed around the mouse area.

    • Tammy L profile image
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      Tammy L 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      Hello charles, glad your cell phone was working after your mishap. Let's hope you don't face the same problem again but if you do, the rice trick is another option for you. :)

    • charlesroring profile image

      charlesroring 6 years ago

      I used to experience the same problem. I soaked my trousers with my cell phone in the pocket into a bucket of detergent water. Before drying it, I had to remove the battery and the memory card. I disassembled the phone and put it on top of my satellite tv receiver. Because of the heat from the receiver, the cell phone could be dried in three or four days. Then I could use it again as usual. If I face the same problem again, I might try your trick of using rice. Thanks

    • Tammy L profile image
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      Tammy L 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      Linda and Expertisement: You are very welcome. Let's hope you never have to use it but if you do, you'll know what to do.

    • Expertisement profile image

      Expertisement 6 years ago

      great idea. I'll definitely try it if I need to dry up any of my electronic devices...

    • LindaJM profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 6 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Thanks for the advice. I've never had any of my electronic gadgets get wet but in case it ever happens to me, now I'll know what to do. I very much appreciate that!

    • Tammy L profile image
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      Tammy L 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      Thank you, Purple Perl.

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Purple Perl 6 years ago from Bangalore,India

      Congrats Tammy! Excellent tips! You might find my hub on the topic of wet cell phone interesting.

      https://hubpages.com/education/Get-Your-Wet-Cell-P...

    • Tammy L profile image
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      Tammy L 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      earnestshub: Ouch. If you or one of your employees ever need to try it, you know what to do. :)

      JamaGenee: I'm not a great rice cook either. That's why I buy the boil in bag kind. LOL

      Thanks to both of you for your comments.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Now I know what to do with that bag of plain white rice we were about to give away because no one in the house can cook rice without it turning into library paste! (Please, no rice-cooking tips.) ;D

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I wish I had known this when one of my employees dropped a company mobile that cost $1,200 in a bucket of water!

      It died and I had to purchase another one. Great tip, I will remember to pass on.

    • Tammy L profile image
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      Tammy L 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      Thank you jill. It saved my camera before it was too late. :)

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines

      Nice and very useful trick!

      Thanks for sharing!

      Congratulations on your hubnugget award! Well deserved!

    • Tammy L profile image
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      Tammy L 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      Johnny, I ruined a pair of shoes doing that when I was five years old. LOL

    • Johnny Parker profile image

      Johnny Parker 6 years ago from Birkenhead, Wirral, North West England

      I'll pass this on to a mate who believed he could dry his Blackberry in the oven on it's lowest setting. Now he can't get it in his pocket because of the metal grill welded to the back and the buttons have melted into one!!

    • Tammy L profile image
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      Tammy L 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      Thanks, seanorjohn. I don't know who initially came up with the idea. My friend who suggested it to me must have read about it somewhere.

    • seanorjohn profile image

      seanorjohn 6 years ago

      great advice. I wonder how someone came up with the idea of rice. Must have been some Chinese genius.

    • Tammy L profile image
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      Tammy L 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      Thank you Pamela. The friend that told me about it is named Pamela. :)

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      Those are some great tips when the worse happens. Congratulations on your nomination.

    • Tammy L profile image
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      Tammy L 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      Thank you, elayne, for the congrats and the follow. I hope you never have to use this trick either but if you do, you know what to do. :)

    • elayne001 profile image

      Elayne 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Very useful info for our electronic accidents. Thanks for sharing. I hope I don't have to use it, but if I do, I will remember what you suggested. Congrats on the nomination.

    • Tammy L profile image
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      Tammy L 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      Thank you very much, travel_man1971, for both the congrats and the follow. I'm glad your phone is working after your mishap. :)

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Well, that will do! My cellular phone was soaked into the toilet bowl, too! With some 'quick' air drying method for three days, it stil working like the original. Congratulations on your HubNugget nomination! :)

    • Tammy L profile image
      Author

      Tammy L 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      Thank you, wordscribe43. I used the camera today and it seems that all the watermarks in the LCD screen are gone. And I hope I never have to do it again. :)

    • wordscribe43 profile image

      Elsie Nelson 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

      Oh, so helpful. I am soooo embarrassed to admit I actually dropped my brand new Blackberry into my pedicure water a while back, I'd only had the phone a few days. It was never the same again, no warranty anymore either since it had water damage. Anyway, useful information. Congrats on the nomination.

    • Tammy L profile image
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      Tammy L 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      Thank you, fetty. Let's hope you never have to try it out. :)

    • fetty profile image

      fetty 6 years ago from South Jersey

      Sounds like a great solution to a serious problem. I hope I never need to test this one but I'm sure glad to know about it. Congratulations on your nomination, too!

    • Tammy L profile image
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      Tammy L 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      Thank you Jason for the comments and the congrats. This should work for your iPhone 4 too. The LCD screen on my camera is no longer waterlogged. :)

    • profile image

      JASON NICHOLS 6 years ago

      Lovely idea Tammy L. I was drinking water and my water bottle slipped from my hand and the water fell on my I phone 4! I didn't know what to do but now with you beautiful idea, I know how to deal with this problem.

      Beautiful hub and Congrats for being nominated.

    • Tammy L profile image
      Author

      Tammy L 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      Yes, ripplemaker, nearly everyone makes the mistake of turning on the device while it's still wet. I know I have a couple of times in the past. Not this time though. Thank you for another Hubnuggets nomination.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      GOsh it happened to me too when my water bottle drenched the camera that I borrowed GULP. What I did wrong was I attempted to turn it on. Bad bad idea. Thank you for this helpful tip!

      Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination! Do participate in the Hubnuggets forum and express yourself..as to what you feel about being a nominee! Then vote okay? Best of luck to you!

    • Tammy L profile image
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      Tammy L 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      Thank you, Spider Girl, for your comment and your encouragement.

    • Spider Girl profile image

      Spider Girl 6 years ago from the Web

      Great tip Tammy! Keep writing and sharing more!

    • Tammy L profile image
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      Tammy L 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      Thank you, Deborah. Writing the hub helps me to remember this idea which I hope I get little chance to use.

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 6 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Congratulations on your hubnugget nomination. Great idea. I will try to keep it stored in my memory banks. But I may be getting too old to remember all the good ideas I read.

      Namaste.

    • Tammy L profile image
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      Tammy L 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      Thank you, KoffeeKlatch Gals. When it worked for my camera, I decided to write about it for those people who hadn't heard about using rice.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Great idea for drying out your dlectronic device. I would never have thought about using rice. How clever.

    • Tammy L profile image
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      Tammy L 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      Griselle, thanks for your kind words. I hope I never have to use the rice trick again but it's there if I ever need to. HaHa.

    • profile image

      Giselle Maine 6 years ago

      Hi Tammy - awesome idea! This method sounds like it would be really good (& easy to do too!). Yes rice works really well at soaking up water (I actually keep a few grains in my salt shaker to prevent the salt from clumping in humid weather). I will try your rice method if I ever need to dry out an electronic device - thanks for the great hub!

    • Tammy L profile image
      Author

      Tammy L 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      Thank you, prasetio30. It worked for me and I wanted to share it with people who may not have ever heard of doing it before.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I really love your tricks. This is useful for us. Thanks for share with us. ~prasetio