I’ve always wondered about that fix for a wet cell phone — you know, the one where you bury it in dry rice for 24 hours? Turns out that yours truly got a chance to try out that very procedure when he somehow managed to drop his beloved Motorola Spice straight into a cup of hot coffee.
I immediately powered down, cracked open the back cover and popped out the battery, then tightly wrapped napkins around each the separate parts. Fortunately my local Chinatown was on the way home, so securing some dry rice wasn’t a problem.
The next morning I had visual proof that the rice was doing what it was supposed to…
The good news is that rice had expanded to soak up coffee from deep within my headphone jack; the bad news is that getting it out required breaking up the grains into smaller pieces with a paper clip.
And more bad news: upon opening the slider mechanism a few drips of coffee appeared — my bad for not burying it in the open position, so back in the rice it went.
The morning after that, with no remnants of moisture to be found, I replaced the battery and powered up — only to find that my Moto was stuck in a cycle of reboots, as you can see above. Not good.
I figured there was something fatally wrong with the wireless radio. End of story. But the weird thing is, after sitting on the counter for one more day…
… Everything suddenly works again, even the headphone jack!
I’ve no idea what transpired between days two and three, but I’m glad to have my cheap and cheerful Android handset back in service.
Through my harrowing experience I learned some important things about this procedure. Though everything went better than expected I screwed up twice along the way — thrice if you count dousing my Moto in coffee in the first place:
- Pull that battery ASAP — don’t even bother with the power button like I did; sever the flow of power quick as you can.
- Expose as much surface area as possible to the rice — had I opened up the slider before dumping it in rice it might have been back in service a day sooner.
But even with two big rookie mistakes my phone was still saved from an early grave. If I only had a rice cooker this would be a double win!