all that and a bag of rice: how to fix your phone if it gets wet

In BLOG HOUSEKEEPING by Stephanie Klein37 Comments

Photo 103 It was hot as balls last night. I ripped all the covers off, and slept on my stomach, my thong-clad ass mooning the moon. It worries me, this idea of sleeping nakedish. Our care-provider Norma arrives each weekday morning at 7am. She opens my bedroom door and adds a gate to keep the sprouts out, so I can sleep in. And my fear is that one day she’ll crack open my door and get a flash of crack– no way to start her day. I mean, really.

And this morning, my day didn’t start out very well. I have some interesting items on my bedside table. It does, after all, define who you are. Among the telling details of my life were my iPhone and a tall glass of sugar-free iced tea (okay, really, it was wine). It was hot enough last night that my vino was "perspiring." Condensation on the glass formed a puddle, which made its way into my iPhone. Well, that gigabites.

So today, I’m off to purchase a new G3 iPhone, despite the fact that I was told today that I should first try to open the sucker up and shove it in a bag of rice. "The rice will dry it up, and then your phone will work again." This reminds me of the advice my mother once gave me for stopping charlie horse cramps in my feet. "Put a bar of soap under the sheets." Oh how I love the lure of homeopathic remedies. My question is this: how the hell do people discover such remedies? Who wakes up one day and decides a bar of soap belongs in the bed? That mayonaise should be applied to their hair, honey to their dry acne face? I get that a plucked chicken accidentaly fell into a pot of boiling water, and chicken soup was discovered. But how they discovered that boiling a few cumin seeds and giving it to an infant stops gas… well, it’s beyond me.


  1. Sara

    A friend's husband WASHED her iPhone. The entire cycle of wash including a presoak. She opened it up, let it dry for a few days and it was as good as new. No quirks due to the super cleaning it received.

  2. Tricia L

    I washed and dried (yeah, in the dryer) an ipod and it still works. Strange but true.

  3. julia

    Well, rice dries things out, so it makes more sense than the soap. That's why people put a few grains of rice in their salt shakers, to keep moisture out and keep the salt from clumping.

  4. Cori

    My son dunked my husband's iPod Touch in a glass of water. It probably would have dried out fine, but my husband was impatient and stuck it in the toaster oven at the lowest setting. I do not recommend this technique.

  5. SP

    I think the rice is unneccesary. If you get your phone wet, standard practice is to remove the battery (even this probably isn't necessary, but at least shut off power) and just let it dry for a few days. Almost always works. Water isn't as destructive as one might think.

    But iphones don't have removeable batteries, do they?

  6. Amy H

    I disassembled my Treo and let it dry for several days (with no rice) and it was fine. Tho it sounds like you'd really like to get the new phone.

  7. Crystal

    Stephanie, this is a very interesting post. I'm a gamer, so when my Xbox 360 conked out on me and gave me the THREE RINGS OF DEATH, I did some Googling and found that by placing the console in several towels and allowing it to overheat, it would bring it magically back to life temporarily. It worked! Who thinks of this stuff? Desperation is the impetus of creativity.

    Oh, and tell me I'm not the only one who wonders every time she sprinkles Parmesan cheese on her pasta or pizza: who the hell first smelled this and thought, hmm…let me eat this. I do thank him or her, though.

  8. 3 teens' mom

    I remember in Jr. High when one of the mean girls had heard that if she soaked her hair in baby oil, it would be beautiful. Needless to say – it looked GROSS – stringy and oily for WEEKS – no matter what she washed it with. Hmmmm…I wonder who told her *that* would work.

    By the way – love the new icons on the comments section – purty!

  9. e.b.

    putting the phone over a scarf on top of a lamp for a few hours has always worked for me. I guess if you have insurance to totally replace the phone, then it doesn't matter so much!

  10. Stephanie Klein

    Thanks. I'm experimenting. Everyone should be able to add their own photo. Also, there might be some crazy advertising placements in the coming days. Just sorting things out. Please pardon the virtual mess.

  11. beth

    I'm loving the "DISCUSS" link instead of "Comments". It's very Coffee Talk from SNL.

  12. BethM

    The photo made the post especially after reading your bedside tea was actually a glass of wine. And, mooning the moon, knowing you don't spray tan, what a visual!

    Smart idea with Discuss vs Comment. It's all about engagement baby.

  13. sunday

    Rice works. I drowned my iphone and put it whole into a bag of basmati rice for 3 days. It came out fine. Do not take it apart before putting it in the rice.

  14. Angela

    I would be very careful about putting a scarf over the lamp. In middle school I was playing "spin the bottle", and to set the mood we put a silky scarf over the lamp to dim the light…all of a sudden we smelled something terrible, the scarf was singed and smoking. We could of set the house on fire! My parents would have killed me!

  15. BethM

    Its the weirdest thing – just making dinner I thought what if people could Digg or I Like this on your postings and boom – now you have Digg! doo do doo do…

  16. jane

    Weirdly enough, my friend just doused her phone in tea and fixed it by putting it in rice and vacuuming. Who knew?

  17. Inial

    hey, if you don't want to try it, send it to me and I will stick it in a bag of rice! I can't afford to get an IPhone… lol.

  18. Lisa

    You can sleep in a thong? That's pretty incredible. I would be so uncomfortable I wouldn't sleep a wink.
    I actually have sleeping undies and day undies – I could NEVER sleep in my day undies (too tight!). Unfortunately you can't buy a sleeping undie, it can only be made – the rare day undie that over time has lost all semblance of elasticity and barely manages to stay up…perfect!

  19. Stephanie Klein

    My thongs are really stretchy and thin. You don't know they're there. I could never wear some whale tale thong. We're talking T-back thong (stretchy strings).

  20. marlee

    You get to sleep in? I am very jealous. We have an au pair, and even if she is "in charge" in the morning, the kids still find me and wake me… Every few months we check into a hotel for decent night's sleep. Last time my 10 year old called us at 7am to say "It's snowing!" So much for sleeping in.

  21. stone

    The soap in the bed absolutely works. My mom was plagued by sciatica that would keep her awake in the middle of the night. I read about the soap on the net, and it's been like a miracle cure.

  22. laure

    shouldn't you at least TRY to fix the phone before running off and spending a lot of money on a new one? just a thought…

  23. Stephanie Klein

    No. I took it to the Apple Store, where they tested it for water damage and said there was no water damage. The thing simply died on me. It cost the same amount to buy a new G3 phone as it did to have the broken one fixed. HOWEVER, we're still going to try the rice, and if it works, sending it to my sister.

  24. Stephanie Klein

    I read that you just boil the cumin seeds in water, strain them out, let the water cool, then give it to the baby in his/her bottle to drink, like water. Something about it stops gas. Try looking it up, or ask your doctor. Don't go simply by me, as I'm not a medical professional… I just get bored with the actors who play them on TV. Gray's Anatomy is so not doing it for me anymore. At all.

  25. Rachel

    It really does work! I dropped my phone in the bathtub and I did the rice trick…and one year later I'm still using it!

  26. Jessica


    I used to work at the Apple Store….back in Austin. The Barton Creek Store actually. While working there I had many customers suggest the rice idea – and many claim it worked. I have no idea if it does, but before buying a new one, it never hurts to try. It's already ruined. Well, it's already ruined in the sense that if you put a flashlight up to the earplug hole and can see pink, then the Geni will tell you it has water damage. I'd suggest looking inside the earphone hole of yours and seeings if it's pink. If it is, then you can't claim that there isn't water damage. If it's not pink, deny, deny, deny water damage. (The geni will give you another one if they can't prove there is water damage.)

    I'm guessing from the date you probably didn't get this message in time. Needless to say, for next time, look inside the earphone hole — if it's pink, then try the rice. If it's not…then deny, deny, deny. :)

  27. anon

    why do you make that awful face in every picture? I guess that you think it is sexy…but it is not. It is gross, like you.

  28. tierra

    ok so i dropped my iphone it the toylet not caring i reached in and grabbed it(i kno its kinda gross but oh well lol) anyway i panicked and didnt kno wat to do so i sticked it in a bag of rice without opening it and left it there the whole night then in the morning i made the mistake of opening it up so i think i messed it up even more cause now the home button wont work and i cant hear anything unless i have the earpluggs connected …so the sound is not bugging me much…its jst the home button…ANY SUGGESTIONS OF HOW I CAN MAKE IT WORK???…please someone help me! lol :) thanks

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