White Rice + Technology

This is a story of why rice is an important ingredient to have in your kitchen. Not just because its an inexpensive pantry staple, but because it can save your mobile device. Run to the grocery store and buy a big bag to keep on hand the next time your smartphone decides to take a swim. 

Three days ago I dropped my phone, an Android, in water. The exact specifics of the situation will remain vague in order to avoid further self imposed embarrassment. So mad at myself I stomped home from leisurely reading at a coffee shop.

Recalling the urban legend of rice absorbing any liquids and restoring a phone back to life, I put the entire device in a bowl of rice. All that talk about rice drying out a phone has to be true, right?

I wait a few hours and turn it on. Nothing happens.  I remove the SIM card and put into an "older" flip phone circa 2010. The SIM card works great, and I can make calls and send texts. No fancy picture taking, but it will do.  

The Android stays in its rice bowl over night, and Saturday I march to the nearest TMobile store to see if they can do anything. TMobile dude turns it on! But, moments later, the screen goes black, and he said it might not ever work.  He advises me to look for an unlocked GSM phone on Amazon.com as a replacement. I search the site and find the exact model, but decide to wait because "WHAT IF THE RICE REALLY SAVES MY PHONE?!

Sunday afternoon I pull the phone out of the rice and turn it on. Everything starts to work, battery is fine, signal connection. Except the screen won't respond. So close, and yet so far away. Power the phone off and wait. And wait. A few hours later, after performing a hard master reset (hold the power + volume down + home buttons together), the phone and the screen come back to life. The SD card contains pictures. Other than downloading a few apps, its as if nothing had happened to the phone.

This white rice technique (plus an entire weekend of leaving the phone alone) actually works. If this happens to you, try it and leave a comment or two. While you wait for your phone to come back to life and need a dinner idea, try baking rice in the oven.  There's a lot of rice leftover in that bag.