Effectiveness of putting wet cell phones in rice?

a soft open grain, like oatmeal, in a cloth bag put inside a plastic bag with the device would likely work better.

This is true. I worked for cell phone companies for 15 years, and never once dealt with a phone that didn’t have a handful of water indicators.

We routinely destroyed many, many dozens of each phone as part of our testing. The lack of interest is the issue. I’ve personally dropped phones 20 times on hard surfaces to see how they break. I’ve hooked up 12V battery chargers to a 5V charging interface, backwards, to see what the failure mode would be. If it were important to the market, we’d be doing this on a regular basis.

But there’s a very, very significant problem with this: you don’t know if it wouldn’t have worked if you’d just set the phone out and let it sit there.

I think the “magic” of the rice is just that it actually keeps people from trying to turn the phone on again. It’s a misdirect.

Whenever I have somebody tell me their iPhone won’t turn on and they already tried holding the home and power buttons, I tell them to flip the mute switch on and try one more time. It works 75% of the time. I don’t think the mute switch makes a lick of difference – they just didn’t hold it long enough the first time but they’ll refuse to try it again if I say that. The mute switch is just a misdirect, but it “works.”

I suppose that might depend on whether you’re in Mississippi or Arizona.

Good point. My guess is that the oatmeal and rice I keep bottled up is not at ambient humidity, though. Well, not at first. By the time it’s nearly empty I bet it is.

Silica gel would be the best bet; just remember you have to bake it first to dry it out. Otherwise, if you have packs of gel just lying around, it’s very likely to be at ambient humidity.

I wonder if the tests cited above controlled for that. Their results could be more a function of how new the package was than how effective its contents were. But, I bet they used fresh, previously unopened ingredients, which would be best case results.

I’ve had excellent results from baking a laundered cellphone at 140 degrees F for 12 hours. Complete functionality was restored.

Did it come out gamy?

Never used that phone for games.