iPhones have only had decent water resistance in the past few years, and before then the recommended practice for trying to save phones that had taken a plunge was to use rice… Yes, putting the iPhone into a baggie full of rice was supposed to help soak up the water and dry out the phone, and it worked…sometimes. A better idea is to use silica gel, the stuff that usually comes in small packets put in boxes and pill bottles to keep water from damaging sensitive materials. Absorbits ($9.99, Amazon Associates link) is a pouch/carrying case for the iPhone and any other small personal electronics that has “padding” that’s actually silica gel made to soak up water in emergencies.
While I wasn’t willing to sacrifice any of my new personal electronics gear to science, I did take an old Nokia phone and let it take a swim in the sink. Once it was retrieved, I followed the instructions on the inside of the Absorbits pouch:
- Turn off cell phone immediately
- Remove phone case (it didn’t have one)
- Take battery out of phone, if you are able. If not, that’s okay.
- Wipe down all components with a soft cloth or paper towel.
- Place phone and battery inside the Absorbits pouch.
- Check phone in 6 hours. If it is still not turning on, repeat until it has been in the rescue pouch for a total of 24 hours.
Now, I don’t have a charger for this old phone; I just wanted to see how good a job it did at drying things out. I’m happy to say that after a day in the pouch, the old Nokia was dry as a bone. About six hours or so into the process I checked the phone and noticed a little bit of fogginess in the camera lens. That was totally gone after a full day. There didn’t appear to be any water anywhere in the ports, battery space, behind the display, anywhere!
Now you could use the Absorbits case as a day to day carrying case, but the company really recommends just using it as a rescue pouch. As such, it’s a good idea to leave it airtight in the original plastic bag until you have an emergency arise. For those of you who live in humid climates, that will keep the Absorbits from soaking up water from the air.
Absorbits come in black, blue, purple and silver, and if you have a tendency to drop personal electronics into swimming pools, toilets, creeks, lakes or oceans, this is $9.99 worth of insurance you should look into. As Absorbits likes to say, “rice should be only for eating.”