Camp Hacks: Silica Gel for Phones

Rice is the go to for water logged phones. I’m here to tell you there’s a better way.

Remember those strange little white packets that show up in everything like your shoes? That’s silica gel and it does an amazing job sucking up moisture. So well, in fact, they may save your phone.

An Ounce of Prevention

If you haven’t dropped your phone in water yet, take some preventative steps instead. Popular phones have waterproof cases available. If there’s not one made specifically for your phone, try a waterproof pouch. They fit a variety of phones and start at only $7.

Many smartphones also include an IP68 rating. What does that mean? IP68 means that the phone can be submerged up to 1.5 meters deep for 30 minutes. If you’re due to upgrade your phone and know that waterproofing is important, look for the IP68 rating.

A Pound of Cure

Silca gel packet

The rice treatment is pretty familiar at this point: turn off the phone and submerge it in a bowl of dry, uncooked rice. Rice works well because it is so dry. There’s countless anecdotal tales of rescued electronics using this method. If rice is all you have, go for it. I would rather waste a few dollars worth of rice to save a phone worth hundreds.

Silica gel is ideally suited for this because it absorbs moisture so well. Before you actually need them, stock up on silica gel packets (like those ones that come with shoes). Then when the need arises, toss the electronic device in with several packets. I suggest using an airtight container so the silica gel is only absorbing moisture from the phone. Wait a minimum of 72 hours before trying the phone. If moisture is still present when the phone is turned on, the moisture can short circuit the phone killing it.

Have you ever salvaged a water logged device? What worked for you?

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