Denver – For anyone who’s ever accidentally dropped a cell phone in the toilet or kicked a nice point-and-shoot camera into the pool, a new service called TekDry is offering a rescue service that it says is far better than putting the item in a sealed container of rice.
In fact, TekDry went so far as to commission “a new scientific study” to prove that the rice method is tantamount to an old wives’ tale.
The study, “Evaluation of Rice as a Method of Drying Out Waterlogged Cell Phones,” was conducted by DTJ Consulting for TekDry to explore whether placing a wet smartphone in a sealed container of rice for 48 hours effectively removes water from the phone. Guess what they found?
“The optimal window of opportunity to restore a wet electronic device is less than 48 hours, and it’s always best to act as soon as possible,” said Adam Cookson, TekDry’s co-founder. “The study clearly demonstrates that consumers should think twice before wasting crucial time with rice.”
The study found that the rice method is less effective than simply leaving the device out in the open to dry naturally on its own – but neither method is particularly effective at saving the dampened product.
“More than 22 million Americans lose their mobile devices to toilets, swimming pools, washing machines, drink spills, and other aquatic accidents each year, and many believe the commonly held misconception – perpetuated on the Internet and in the media – that using rice to absorb water from a wet mobile device will dry and restore your mobile device to working order,” said Eric Jones, co-founder of TekDry. “This study lays the rice myth to rest.”
A detailed description of the rice experiment design, methodology, and results, a video demonstration of TekDry’s technology, and an infographic illustrating the study and including device rescue tips and statistics regarding wet mobile devices, are available on TekDry’s website.
TekDry said its patented device-rescue service “completely restores within 30 minutes wet mobile devices including smartphones, laptops, tablets, and cameras, saving consumers time, money and the hassle of dealing with high insurance deductibles and costly device replacement fees.”
The standard smartphone mail-in service fee is $99, but TekDry is currently running a discount for $69.99, which includes the cost of shipping in both directions.
If the process is not successful, the service refunds all but $20 of the cost.
“For other devices we request customers to contact us first in order to evaluate whether their situation with laptops or other devices warrant shipping to attempt a rescue,” the company told TWICE.
Jones said TekDry is currently looking to establish strategic partnerships with retail locations to place its technology in their stores.
“This would allow more local options for the consumer, better convenience, and likely the best chance of success,” Jones told TWICE.
Regarding warranty and replacement plans, TekDry said the service does not alter any of the consumers' options, even if the device is under a protection plan.
“Often a warranty is already voided when water-damaged. However, by only charging for successful rescues, we allow the customer to retain whatever other solutions they may have utilized,” Jones said. “For example, we have many customers who have insurance on their device and still use our service. We are cheaper than the deductible and able to restore the data to the device. If our service happens to be unsuccessful, we refund all but a small portion of the shipping leaving the consumer with the ability to still file a claim.”
Instead of using rice, TekDry recommends the following list of tips to save a wet phone:
1. Don’t plug in the phone.
2. Turn the phone off. This will help prevent a short circuit.
3. Remove the battery if possible. Separating the battery from the phone helps to keep electricity away from the waterlogged components
4. If dropped in salt water, rinse it in fresh water. TekDry said salt water will almost certainly corrode and short the phone and will do more damage than fresh water.
5. Dry the device as much as possible with a paper towel or washcloth.
7. Do not use a blow dryer or oven to speed up drying. The generated heat often warps and damages sensitive components in the phone.
8. Do not use a microwave. Most smart devices have some metal parts.
9. Call TekDry. The service said its technology is most effective when implemented as soon as possible within the first 48 hours. If the phone can’t be restored, the device owner is only charged “a small portion of the shipping cost,” TekDry said.