If your phone has gotten wet, you may be wondering how to dry it out quickly without using rice. There are several effective methods you can try that don’t require rice.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Rice to Dry Your Phone
For years, the go-to solution for drying out a wet phone has been to bury it in a bowl of rice. The idea is that the rice will absorb the moisture. However, experts now advise against using rice to dry phones for a few reasons:
- Rice particles can get inside your phone and cause damage. They can get stuck in ports, headphone jacks, microphones, speakers, and other small spaces.
- Rice is not very effective at absorbing moisture. Silica gel packets absorb moisture better and faster.
- Rice can leave behind starch/residue once wet and dry out again.
Instead of rice, you’re better off using methods that don’t introduce foreign particles into your phone.
Use a Fan to Dry Your Phone
One of the simplest and most effective ways to dry out your phone is using airflow from a fan. Follow these steps:
- Make sure your phone is powered off and any cases or covers are removed.
- If possible, remove the battery from the phone.
- Use a fan, hair dryer on cool setting, or compressed air to blow air over the phone. This will help evaporate moisture.
- Angle the phone so any remaining moisture can drain out. Prop it up against something.
- Let the fan run over the phone for 24-48 hours. Keep the phone near the fan the whole time.
- Check that all moisture has evaporated before turning your phone on again.
Aim the fan over all crevices and openings of the phone to ensure all moisture is removed. Just be careful not to blow dirt or dust into the phone.
Use Silica Gel Packets
Silica gel packets work better than rice at absorbing moisture. Silica gel is made of tiny porous beads that have an extremely high capacity for soaking up water molecules.
To dry your phone with silica gel:
- Purchase silica gel packets at craft or electronics stores, or save ones from product packaging.
- Remove your phone’s case and battery, if possible.
- Bury the phone in a sealed container filled with silica gel packs. Plastic tubberware or a zipper storage bag work well.
- Let the phone sit for at least 24 hours to fully dry out.
- Check for moisture before turning your phone back on.
The more silica gel packs you use, the faster your phone will dry. Make sure packs are fresh and have not already absorbed a lot of moisture.
Use a Moisture-Absorbing Box
You can purchase special moisture-absorbing boxes designed to dry out wet phones and other electronics. These boxes contain extremely absorbent paper or clay that pulls in moisture.
To use a moisture-absorbing box:
- Place your wet phone inside the moisture box and close it.
- Let your phone sit undisturbed for at least 12-24 hours.
- Check your phone for remaining moisture before turning it on again.
- Once dry, your phone is ready to use.
These boxes can be reused over and over by drying out the absorbent material. They’re a handy emergency solution for quick phone drying.
Use a Water Displacing Spray
Water displacing sprays like WD-40 are designed to remove trapped moisture in electronics. They contain ingredients that displace water and lubricate parts.
To use a water displacing spray:
- Remove battery from phone if possible.
- Spray the water displacing solution liberally over ports, buttons, charging port, headphone jack, microphones, etc.
- Let solution sit for 15 minutes before wiping away excess.
- Let phone dry for at least 24 hours.
- Check for remaining moisture.
- Reassemble phone.
The spray will break down water on contact and push it away from the phone’s internal components. This accelerates drying time.
Dry with Desiccant Packets
Desiccant packets contain moisture-absorbing beads or crystals similar to silica gel. They rapidly pull in water molecules from the air and surroundings.
To use desiccant packets:
- Purchase desiccant packets online or save from packaged products.
- Place packets in an airtight container with your phone.
- Seal container and let sit at least 24 hours.
- Check phone for moisture before turning on.
The desiccants will become warm as they absorb water. Use enough packets to surround the phone on all sides for best results.
Dry Phone with Sunlight
Believe it or not, you can dry your wet phone simply by leaving it out in direct sunlight. The UV radiation and heat from the sun will help evaporate moisture.
To dry with sunlight:
- Remove any cases and batteries from the phone.
- Place the phone outside in direct midday sunlight for 6-8 hours.
- Angle the phone so moisture can drain out as it’s drying.
- Bring the phone indoors at night.
- Repeat for 1-3 sunny days until completely dry.
This method takes longer but costs nothing and is chemical free. Just make sure to bring the phone inside if it may rain.
Use a Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier draws moisture from the surrounding air. Placing your phone near a dehumidifier will shorten drying time.
To use a dehumidifier:
- Place phone and dehumidifier in a small enclosed room.
- Close all doors and windows.
- Run the dehumidifier until room humidity drops below 40%.
- Let phone sit for at least 12-24 hours.
- Check for dryness before turning on.
The lower humidity makes it easier for excess moisture to evaporate from your phone. Just keep the phone near the dehumidifier the entire time.
Dry with Kitty Litter
Like silica gel, kitty litter is super absorbent and can be used to dry out phones. The granules in clay-based kitty litter act like tiny sponges.
To use kitty litter:
- Fill an airtight container with fresh, unused kitty litter.
- Bury phone in the litter and seal the container.
- Let phone sit 12-24 hours until completely dry.
- Remove phone and wipe away any litter dust before turning on.
Make sure the litter is unscented. Also give your phone a good cleaning to remove any clinging dust from the litter.
Troubleshoot a Wet Phone
If your phone got wet and now won’t turn on, there are a few troubleshooting steps to try after drying:
- Remove SIM card tray and clean any moisture under it using compressed air.
- Use alcohol wipes to gently clean and dry the SIM card, ports, button, etc.
- Check for corrosion on electrical components and charging port.
- If phone was dropped in saltwater, clean components with distilled water to prevent corrosion.
- Let phone dry longer, moisture may still remain in hidden areas.
If these steps don’t work, you may need to replace parts on the phone or contact a repair specialist.
When to Replace Your Phone
If your phone suffered major water damage or you tried drying it too late, it may not be fixable. Here are signs it’s time to replace your phone:
- Phone won’t power on at all, even after thorough drying.
- You can hear water sloshing inside the phone.
- Important components like logic board appear corroded.
- Phone screen is unresponsive or glitchy after drying.
- Phone battery no longer holds charge.
- Haziness or moisture remains under phone screen.
Severe water damage can ruin electronic circuits and connections inside the phone. Purchase a new phone when it’s clear drying efforts aren’t working.
Prevent Water Damage to Phones
It’s much easier to prevent water damage than try to repair it. Here are some useful tips for keeping your phone dry:
- Keep food and drinks away from your phone.
- Avoid talking on phone in rain or snow.
- Don’t use phone near sinks or baths where it can be knocked into water.
- Buy a waterproof case if you’ll use phone near water.
- Turn phone off and remove battery when around water.
- Never charge phone near moisture or in the bathroom.
- Don’t operate phone with wet hands.
- Dry your phone completely if splashed before charging.
Be especially careful not to submerge your phone in water. If your phone does get wet, dry it out immediately using the methods in this guide.
Drying a Wet Phone Summary
Here are some key points on how to dry your phone without rice:
- Avoid using rice, as it can damage your phone further.
- Try airflow from a fan, moisture-absorbing packets, or sunlight instead.
- Disassemble phone as much as possible to allow moisture to escape.
- Give phone at least 24 hours to fully dry before turning back on.
- Check for hidden moisture or corrosion in ports, under screen, etc.
- If phone won’t turn on after thorough drying, it likely needs to be replaced.
- Prevent water damage to phones by keeping them away from moisture.
Drying a drenched phone can seem hopeless, but using the right methods makes all the difference. With some time and patience, you can often revive phones from even major spills and submersion. Just don’t attempt to power up your phone until all interior and exterior moisture has evaporated.
|Cheap, effective for quickly drying phone
|Requires monitoring phone to prevent dust buildup
|Very effective at absorbing moisture
|Packets may need occasional reactivation
|Moisture absorbing box
|Convenient for quick absorption, reusable
|Slow absorption compared to silica gel
|Free, eco-friendly way to dry phone
|Requires full sunny days, slower process