Myth Debunked: Uncooked Rice Isn’t the Best Way to Save Your Water-Damaged Phone
The Sponge Test
Pre-weighed sponges soaked with water (and then weighed again) were used in this experiment. Gazelle placed them into sealed plastic containers with 100 grams each of six different drying agents. There was also a wet sponge left out in open air, and one sealed in a container by itself.
Uncooked White Rice Ain’t Cutting It
After 24 hours, the sponges were weighed again to see how much weight had been lost. And would you believe it—according to the results, uncooked white rice placed dead last in effectiveness as a drying agent. Here’s the list, from best to worst.
- Open-air sponge – 7.6 mL lost
- Silica gel – 6.1 mL lost
- Cat litter – 5.5 mL lost
- Instant couscous – 5.0 mL lost
- Instant rice – 5.0 mL lost
- Instant oatmeal – 5.0 mL lost
- Uncooked white rice – 4.0 mL lost
- Sealed-container sponge – 0.7 mL lost
Cat litter, instant couscous, instant rice, and instant oatmeal all performed better than uncooked white rice—everyone’s favorite damn drying agent.
The Cell Phone Test
The second experiment they performed was similar, using a few iPhones and Samsung Galaxy S3 devices. Using the same drying agents as above, it was also shown that uncooked white rice was the biggest loser.
Instant Couscous/Rice Is More Pourous
So why did drying agents such as instant couscous and instant rice perform better than uncooked white rice?
On Twitter, Gazelle explained that both of these instant products are steamed, which cracked starch. Starch, already known for its absorbent nature, becomes more porous thus taking in more water than usual.
Silica Gel vs. Open Air
While instant couscous and instant rice work better than uncooked white rice, silica gel works the best out of all drying agents that Gazelle tested.
But while silica gel performed well, the sponge left out in the open (71°F; relative humidity of 40%) lost the most amount of water in the tests. With this information, should you leave your phone out in the open or place it in silica gel?
Since there is a wide range in performance for each drying agent, choosing one or the other could have a direct impact on the recovery of your smartphone, whether it be
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