Why rice is not used to recover a wet iPhone or iPad

Kevin Purdy, the member of the team of the popular repair site iFixit, published a detailed article in which he tries to demystify the belief that rice can save a wet iPhone or iPad.

According to the specialist, submerging a freshly wet terminal on rice and other elements, such as cat litter or silica gel desiccant packs, not only will not solve the problem but may worsen it.

wet iPhone

Rice is not used to recover a wet iPhone or iPad

Each one of us has had, at some point, the need to place your mobile device on rice when it has gotten wet. Even many have done it. But, now, the guys from iFixit have proposed to demystify this practice that, they say, is false.

Purdy argues that rice cannot do anything for a wet iPhone or iPad. Ideally, take it to a specialist to open or disassemble the terminal and soak it in 90% isopropyl alcohol, so that as much water as possible can be expelled. And all this after having turned off the device.

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Apparently, the myth – which has been around for many years – resurfaced after an article in the Washington Post in June 2007 spurred the idea, when the article’s editor said that rice saved his wet BlackBerry. Anyway, iFixit is not the only medium that carries out this crusade: The Verge has published several articles about it.

According to the specialist, based on the experience of Jessa Jones (owner of the repair service of iPad Rehab), when a mobile phone makes contact with water, corrosion is instantaneous. However, sometimes, you can touch important internal components and sometimes not.

So if we put the wet device under rice or another component and it continues to work, it is likely that we have experienced a temporary fate, because the corrosion will continue to spread inside the mobile until it is out of service.

A small guide to repair water damage on an iPhone

As an alternative to rice, Kevin Purdy proposes a small guide with the minimum procedures that a user or technician can follow to try to recover a wet iPhone.

In addition to isopropyl alcohol, we will need a container large enough to submerge the logic board of our iPhone and perform the repair in a well-ventilated environment for the “highly flammable” quality of the alcohol to be used.

The first thing we should try is to minimize the exposure of the terminal to the contact with the water, so that – immediately afterward – we turn it off and try to drain as much water as possible. Next step, you have to remove the battery and replace it, remove the logic board and other parts that appear corroded (except the camera and the screen) and immerse them in 90% isopropyl alcohol.

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Before reassembling the parts of our iPhone, it is advisable to use a soft toothbrush to gently remove corrosion and liquid residues on the logic board and other components. And, in addition, use a cloth with isopropyl alcohol to finish drying the external parts, such as the screen or the lid.

It is important to note that this is not a short or easy procedure, but -according to the specialist- much more effective than dipping in rice, instant oatmeal or cat litter to our iPhone.

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Hassan Abbas

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