How these grains of rice saved my Smartphone

Two days of restlessness and I felt like a bewicthed mad person on the streets, surely something was missing — a big hole — left bored in my heart. Reminds me of those Nigerian movies where juju was the norm of the day, that’s how I felt, jinxed. I was in that weird state of emptiness with neither a smartphone nor the internet. It was a long, painful two days in a total smartphone blackout, especially for an addict like me.

On Saturday last week to be exact, my phone decides to go for a swim at the deep end of the toilet bowl (long story), it must have sensed the heat wave that day. The struggle to dry it was useless as the screen had already blacked out, generally nothing worked. Pushing the power button endlessly as I called upon all the Gods and my ancestors to resurrect the phone was fruitless.

The Chemistry recollection

Okay, Roger, chill out, relax and think. Holy crap, the only thought that came to me was the extra One Million Shillings I will have to part with in order to replace my baby (yes, she is replaceable at a hefty cost). My heart is racing thinking about all the important unbacked up information stored on the phone, don’t even remind me about the funny WhatsApp messages I have lost (and we all know how crazy WhatsApp videos and pictures can get). Breath in, Breath out…..

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I pondered on what to do next. I start digging through my hippocampus trying to recall all the hygroscopic compounds (chemicals that absorb water) on earth that I last studied in my secondary school. Calcium chloride, calcium sulfate, activated carbon damn its been a decade since I was last in a chemistry class; it has come back to haunt me. Do I need to robe a chemistry lab for these chemicals?

phone in bowl


A good old memory comes back to me, my grandmother telling me not to forget putting some grains of rice into the salt tin. “It keeps the salt dry, ” she used to say. Jackpot!!!  I got it, and I had the answer all along (not that going to chemistry class was a waste of time). Am sure some of you knew, but for those who had no idea, Hygroscopic substances, like rice, will actively either absorb water from the air, or release water into the air, in order to create a moisture equilibrium between the substance and the surrounding environment. So all I needed was a bowl/dish, some dry rice and I was good to go. At that moment I swear I heard my phone ring — Mafikizolo’s Konna –or so I thought. May be it was just resounding in my head. The high hopes, excitement and anticipation of my phone “coming back to life” took over me.

Rice — check, Dish — check, Phone –Dead, but not for long. I immersed my phone in a dish full of dry rice and waited for the chemistry to do its thing. After about 48 hours, I pulled out the phone and pressed the power button and my Ooh my it was all systems go. It was like water had never touched its metallic body and glass screen, thanks to those magic grains of rice.

Have you dropped your phone in any liquid before? What other methods have you used to revive your phone from “death” ? Feel free to Share with us your experience.