Dropping your phone someplace wet, like a puddle or a toilet, is a heart-stopping experience. But the DryBox, the latest mobile phone recovery tool being used by repair shops, may very well be able to help.
"Twenty-five minutes in the DryBox machine and we've got about an 80 percent success rate of saving the phone," said Dean Chouinard of dryboxrescue.com. "It uses three technologies inside the box. It's currently patent pending, so I can't go into exact details of what it does, but suffice to say all water is removed at the molecular level from the device."
For the repair shop, it's a way to deal with a common problem that typically requires loads of man hours.
"The manual way of going about it involves us taking the phone apart first, letting it dry out naturally, basically, in the air, and then going through with each connection and swabbing it with alcohol and attempting to remove any corrosion," said Thom Abbey of The Device Shop. "It's about 50/50, and so with this DryBox, it makes our success rate a lot higher."
You may be wondering, "Why should I pay for this when I can just do one of those home remedies like sticking my phone in a bag with rice or kitty litter?" Well, developers of the DryBox insist that if you do try those home remedies, you're really rolling the dice.
"Starch actually gets sucked into the phone if you use rice, and the starch coats the inside of the phone and actually damages the inside of the phone," Chouinard says. "Both of those products, in our opinion, is kind of like playing Russian Roulette. How long do you leave it in? Twelve hours? Twenty-four? Forty-eight? You don't know when the water is gone."
Right now there are just 15 DryBoxes in use, but developers are building more. You can go to dryboxrescue.com to see if one is near you.
The cost for DryBox serivce depends on the store, but it's usually around $40 to $50. Typically, though, you will get most or all of that money back if the process does not fix your phone.