Quick Tip: Save a drenched Palm with rice | webOS Nation

Quick Tip: Save a drenched Palm with rice

by Derek Kessler Wed, 06 Jan 2010 12:00 pm EST


If there are two things that really don’t mix, it’s electronics and moisture. The problem is that water is electrically conductive and getting gadgetry wet can lead to water creating circuits where there ought not be circuits, thus frying the phone. Saving a phone that’s fallen into a puddle, pool, aquarium, or other aquatic malady is a matter of fast action and a bit of luck.

First and foremost, get it out of the water and remove the battery. Do not even think about turning it on to see if its okay, just yank the battery and dry off what you can. After that, take your phone and battery and stick them in a sealed bag filled with rice or, if you can find some, silica gel. Leave the bag someplace warm (not hot), like a sunny windowsill, for several hours. As the bag is heated, any moisture on/in the phone will evaporate and be absorbed by the rice. Once dried, clean whatever contacts you can reach on the phone and battery with a q-tip and distilled water and put it back together. With any luck, your phone will be ready to go.

Pre owner and Lifehacker reader Dietrich (not our own Dieter Bohn) recently had to run through this exercise with his own Pre after dropping it in a puddle:

“For the last 2 days it has been a monsoon in my city. Today, during a rushed last minute shopping spree, I dropped my phone in a puddle. I didn't realize I had dropped it until I got back to my car 30 minutes later.

“I remembered articles on Lifehacker about what to do so I immediately popped the battery out and dried the phone. When I got home I put my Palm Pre in a bag of rice for 10 hours. Adding insult to injury, I forgot to take the phone battery out of my pocket and put it through the washing machine. 10 hours later I'm typing this on my Pre. Good job Palm on making an excellent phone.”

So there you have it: dry it out quickly and thoroughly, and hopefully all will be well. Of course, we offer no guarantees that this will work, but we’ve seen it happen enough (even to ourselves) to know that it’s worth a shot.