Forget the Rice when Drying A Wet Phone/Kindle/Tablet, use desiccant

My Kindle Paperwhite got wet when my water bottle leaked on my travel pack.  Luckily nothing else got web except the Kindle Paperwhite.  The Kindle was locking up and the backlighting wasn’t working.  There is a common advice to put the wet device in rice.  Being Japanese-American I have plenty of rice to put the device in, but also being an engineer it didn’t make sense that putting a wet electronic in rice which has been exposed to air is an effective desiccant and the smart particles in rice could cause more damage.  Popular Mechanics has a post on this topic. 

Finally, use a desiccant to wick away any leftover moisture. The most convenient choice is uncooked rice. Just leave the phone (and its disconnected battery) submerged in a bowl of grains overnight. If you're worried about rice dust getting inside your phone, you can instead use the packets of silica gel that often come stuffed in the pockets of new clothes. But acting fast is far more important than avoiding a little dust, so don't waste time shopping if you don't already have a drawer full of silica gel. 

The most important thing to remember is to avoid heat. That means no hair dryers, ovens, microwaves or extended periods in direct sunlight. While heat will certainly evaporate the moisture, it could also warp components and melt adhesives. Those fragile glues are also why you'll want to avoid dunking the phone in rubbing alcohol (an oft­prescribed tip on the Web). Alcohol is a solvent and can dissolve the internal adhesives. (If you drop your phone in the toilet, it's okay to wipe the outside with alcohol to disinfect it.)

Fortunately, I have bags of desiccant to put in bags when I think my camera gear is going to be exposed to moisture.  Cameras (Lens, little motors, and electronics) tend to have much more problems with moisture than phones/tablets.


24 hours later the Kindle Paperwhite works fine.