Does this picture give you an overwhelming amount of anxiety? Do you need to find a consoling shoulder to cry on? Chances are, you know someone — or are someone — that this terrible tragedy has happened to.
Or perhaps this is the unfortunate situation that has struck you. For every phone user out there, there's usually a story of a tragically destroyed phone. But we usually have our one go-to miracle fix.
The often sworn by cure for a soggy phone: Put it in rice. It's cheap, it's effective, and it can be a life-saver for a water-logged phone. The concept is simple: The rice draws out the water and absorbs it, giving new life to your phone.
The Gazelle performed a test where they deliberately drowned phones, and tested which materials resurrected them the most effectively. They tested with cat litter, couscous, rolled oatmeal, instant oatmeal, instant rice, silica gel, and uncooked rice. There was a clear standout, and it wasn't rice.
In fact, of all the materials tested, rice was the least absorbent. It absorbed the least amount of water of all the others. So if you don't have rice around in the case of a phone emergency, don't fear. Oatmeal, cat litter — those will save you too. But silica gel is still best.
You may have seen on packets of silica gel that is says it's a desiccant. It absorbs water vapor and holds it, which is why it's often packaged with leather products or electronics in order to keep them safe. And that's great news for your phone.
Next time you find yourself stuck with those pesky little silica gel packets, don't throw them away. The package itself will often tell you to throw it away, but that's because they're warning people against eating the gel.
Before you dry out your phone with the gel, try to blow out as much water as possible. The Gazelle recommends shaking or vacuuming the water out of the phone before placing it in the gel. They also say that if you're absolutely out of options and have no rice, silica gel, oatmeal or other drying agent, leaving the phone in front of a fan in the next best option.
"Less is more" is not the optimal catchphrase when it comes to surrounding your phone in the gel. "More is more" in this case. Try to use at least four cups. You can buy the gel online or at common retailers like Walmart.
When it comes to drying out your phone, it's important to be patient. It's easy to want to try to see if the phone will power back on after a few hours in the drying agent. Waiting up to 72 hours, however, is optimal to ensure that the most water possible has absorbed.
In case you're still a believer in rice, here's how the competition stacked up. So thank your mom who always told you to eat your oatmeal and then give your cat a thank-you scratch on the head. They're helping you prevent a phone catastrophe. (See what we did there?)
You can also open your phone and let it dry from the inside out, but for iPhones you'll need a special tool. A pentalobe screwdriver opens the device, and can open the phone to allow it to dry in open air. It's about five dollars online.