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LabRat1

Rice and the absorbing power it holds

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So my friend and I were walking in the rain yesterday. And obviously we had our phones drenched. Mine worked fine but hers didn't. After a while when we went back home and her phone started to work again, she told me that she had kept it in a rice container for a while and it started to work again.Now she may be lying and I'm aware of the water absorption capacity of rice, but does this even work like this? Is this some life hack we're all supposed to know?

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If it's covered in rice grains, they will absorb the moisture evaporating into  the air spaces between the grains from the phone interior. As the air dries out, from absorption into the grains, more moisture evaporates off the phone . Moisture moves from a high concentration to a low concentration; it's a continuous process until an equilibrium is reached. Gel crystals might be quicker as long as they are not too small to foul the phone with particles. Basically, A dry, absorbent material will accelerate the evaporative process.  It's probably better to do it enclosed.

Edited by StringJunky

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Yes, it does actually work. Two people I know have gotten their phones to work using this method. She is probably not lying.

As String says, silica gel packs will work even better. Anything that absorbs moisture, really, but you have to do it sooner rather than later. The sooner, the better.

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1 minute ago, Lord Antares said:

Yes, it does actually work. Two people I know have gotten their phones to work using this method. She is probably not lying.

As String says, silica gel packs will work even better. Anything that absorbs moisture, really, but you have to do it sooner rather than later. The sooner, the better.

Dropping the phone in a poly bag with gel packets,crystals or sacks would be the most efficient,

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I would assume that under most conditions rice is a fairly ineffective desiccant. Most likely just letting it sit somewhere for the same amount of time would have yielded similar results. But yes, silica bags or cat litter are likely to work better. 

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When I accidentally laundered my phone earlier this year, I looked into this. The conclusion of one study was that rice is the least effective way of drying out your phone.

https://www.gazelle.com/thehorn/2014/05/06/gazelles-guide-water-damage-truth-rice-galaxy-everything/

Googling indicates that there are a number of other articles that more or less agree

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4 minutes ago, swansont said:

When I accidentally laundered my phone earlier this year, I looked into this. The conclusion of one study was that rice is the least effective way of drying out your phone.

https://www.gazelle.com/thehorn/2014/05/06/gazelles-guide-water-damage-truth-rice-galaxy-everything/

Googling indicates that there are a number of other articles that more or less agree

I wondered that and thought it would have be a quite fine powder to work but i was more interested with getting across the mechanism of moisture transport.

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What about a hair drier....  or better still, 40C in a vacuum oven?

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19 hours ago, swansont said:

When I accidentally laundered my phone earlier this year

 

I did the same thing, I just put it near the aga (a heat source) with a fan pointed at it, 2 hours later it was dry as a bone.

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3 minutes ago, DrP said:

What about a hair drier....  or better still, 40C in a vacuum oven?

X posted but snap.

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Great minds and all that...  But yea - that's the same thing really.  :) 

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46 minutes ago, DrP said:

What about a hair drier....  or better still, 40C in a vacuum oven?

If you put the phone in  a container that can be vacuumed out with one of those pump attachments, will that accelerate drying, even at the same temperature as ambient?  Do things dry out faster in lower pressures. It seems like it would.

Edited by StringJunky

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I've heard that submerging in IPA works well. As it replaces the water and then evaporates quite quickly. 

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29 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

If you put the phone in  a container that can be vacuumed out with one of those pump attachments, will that accelerate drying, even at the same temperature as ambient?  Do things dry out faster in lower pressures. It seems like it would.

Removing water can be thought of as a two stage process - water leaving item to immediately surrounding air, water laden air being removed from immediate environment / water being removed from air and sequestered away from item.  To maximise water leaving item you need to raise both parts of process - yours would only change the first section.  Best bets are warm environment with steady air replacement or desiccant.  

 

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11 minutes ago, imatfaal said:

Removing water can be thought of as a two stage process - water leaving item to immediately surrounding air, water laden air being removed from immediate environment / water being removed from air and sequestered away from item.  To maximise water leaving item you need to raise both parts of process - yours would only change the first section.  Best bets are warm environment with steady air replacement or desiccant.  

 

Right. OK. Thanks. 

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Water boils quicker at lower pressures, so in a vacuum, any water droplets will boil away very quickly.

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1 minute ago, Bender said:

Water boils quicker at lower pressures, so in a vacuum, any water droplets will boil away very quickly.

Indeed, but it's much easier and cheaper to point a hairdryer at it...

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8 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Indeed, but it's much easier and cheaper to point a hairdryer at it...

Unless you are a physics teacher with a vacuum pump on your desk ;-).

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Just now, Bender said:

Unless you are a physics teacher with a vacuum pump on your desk ;-).

That reminds me of a physics joke, that relies on a spherical chicken in a vacuum...

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16 minutes ago, Bender said:

Water boils quicker at lower pressures, so in a vacuum, any water droplets will boil away very quickly.

Yes but how much water does it take to repressurize your evacuated chamber?  

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35 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Indeed, but it's much easier and cheaper to point a hairdryer at it...

I have a vacuumable container, that would easily take a phone, for soaking pellets with water faster or preserving foodstuffs. You can get vacuum-making stoppers for wine bottles. it's not necessarily  a specialist piece of equipment. They are cheaper than a hairdryer. 

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On 7/24/2017 at 1:23 PM, swansont said:

When I accidentally laundered my phone earlier this year, I looked into this. The conclusion of one study was that rice is the least effective way of drying out your phone.

https://www.gazelle.com/thehorn/2014/05/06/gazelles-guide-water-damage-truth-rice-galaxy-everything/

Googling indicates that there are a number of other articles that more or less agree

 

Yeah I looked at water absorption rates in rice and did not seem to be feasible. If people like to get fancy one could get a vacuum dessicator a vaccum pump, maybe some heating elements and go nuts.

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15 hours ago, imatfaal said:

Yes but how much water does it take to repressurize your evacuated chamber?  

It depends how good the vacuum is. Not much is the simple answer.

However if you use a vacuum desiccator, the desiccant picks up all the water and so the water continues to boil off until the temperature falls too far. Then the rate of evaporation is limited by heat transfer.

But it's still quicker than an ordinary desiccator (using the same drying agent).

One word of warning, if the phone is, or contains, sealed areas then putting it in a vacuum chamber might be a very bad idea.

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5 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

 One word of warning, if the phone is, or contains, sealed areas then putting it in a vacuum chamber might be a very bad idea.

If the phone itself is sealed, the dropping it in water is no big deal in the first place.

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