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First, get an air-tight container, such as a plastic bag or Tupperware container. Next, wrap your iPhone in a cotton cloth or handkerchief. This will protect the device from the rice as well as help to wick out moisture. Put the wrapped iPhone in the container and fill it with rice, then seal the container. Wait at least 48 hours before taking the device out of the container. Remove the handkerchief and power it on. If all goes well, you will have a working iPhone.
There are other desiccants you can use, which are more effective than rice. The problem with rice is that it has absorbed moisture while sitting on your shelf, even if it is in a bag or container. Cooking rice with water forces moisture into the rice, which may be why some think it is a great desiccant. Rice will work, but not as well as other desiccants. Rice is great because it is readily available and time is of the essence. You can start with rice and use a better desiccant later.
If you live in a humid environment, you can remove moisture from rice by putting it in a 125° (Fahrenheit) oven for about an hour. Next, take the rice out of the oven, wait for it to cool, and immediately use it as a desiccant.
Silica gel is extremely effective. It can be purchased as individual packets, loose beads, and is also found in certain types of kitty litter. There are also “all in one” solutions for salvaging wet electronics, such as Thirsty Bag. This product is a desiccant and container, all in one. You will get better results using more effective drying agents. Since time is of the essence, I would suggest using silica packets or a product such as Thirsty Bag, if it is readily available. If you have to order it online and wait, it’s best to use rice, at least until you can get a better desiccant. Accident-prone people may want to have a Thirsty Bag or silica products on hand, just in case.
Keep in mind, some drying agents are inappropriate for salvaging electronics. Products that use calcium chloride, such as Damp Rid, are not appropriate for drying out electronics. Calcium chloride is corrosive and will damage metal. Damp Rid is a great product for keeping a bathroom or basement dry, but it’s not intended to be used with electronics.
Never use heat to dry out your device. Heat will damage the device, especially the battery. Lithium ion batteries are very sensitive to heat.
Leave it to the Professionals
If your brand new iPhone just got soaked, it’s best to get this dealt with professionally. Apple’s warranty does not cover accidents. It will only cover manufacturing defects. As mentioned, iPhones feature a component that detects moisture damage.
One of the best services I know of is iCracked. Since time is of the essence, they will come to you and pick up your device. Their skilled team of technicians will perform a methodical restoration process on your iPhone.
Technicians first extract the logic board and use an ultrasonic cleaning device to restore it. They then put this component in a desiccant to dry it out. Next, they test the different components to make sure they work. Finally, they replace the battery and dock connector, as they are most affected by moisture. (continue…)