ps: drying out water-damaged books n’ things with rice

Abelardo Morell

Shortly after we reported on Manny Howard’s experience drying out his water-logged cellphone out by burying it in rice, Valerie Sims emailed us this report:

Several weeks ago a minor water leak reached an old dictionary that has sentimental value for me. Within a few hours, a small amount of water had wicked up through all the pages of the dictionary from the bottom and half-way up. When I searched for suggestions, the techniques for drying books were more extreme than I was able to try at the time, so I put the dictionary in the freezer, a method said to buy time before the actual drying. Freezing does begin the drying-out process. Soon after, I read your story about Manny Howard drying out his iPhone with rice, and I tried it on the dictionary. Several pounds of cheap rice and the frozen dictionary in an air-tight container for two days resulted in a dictionary with no moisture, not any pages sticking together. And I live in a very humid climate. Thanks for the tip!

It looks like this rice antidote might be a nearly universal approach to drying out water-damaged goods; a cell-phone (fine electronics) and a dictionary (paper) HAVE to be pretty good tests…

(The photo by Cuban photographer Abelardo Morell is a water-damaged book that did not get rice therapy. Click here to see more of Morell’s compelling photographs.)

Thanks Valerie!

Related post: Impromtu Drowned Cell Phone Rescue (+ Life Lesson)

The Unexpected Delights of a Real Dictionary

3 Responses to ps: drying out water-damaged books n’ things with rice

  1. Toussaintname 09.02.2010 at 1:55pm #

    A little bit of rice works wonders in salt shakers….

  2. Sally 09.02.2010 at 2:32pm #

    oh, yeahhhhhh!!!! forgot about that…..thanks!

  3. Nope. 01.06.2013 at 10:03pm #

    Did not work. A novel I got for Christmas was slowly leaked onto from a window and became completely saturated. The rice thing just helped by getting rice to stick to the wet pages.

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