After dismantling my mobile and leaving it in a container of uncooked rice for 72 hours, it was almost back to normal, except that the 'vibrate' function was weaker than normal. Then a further two nights in the jar, and the phone seems as good as new... except that it rattles a little when I shake it because there are some rice grains stuck in it!
The only drawbacks were:
- Possibly contributing to the mistaken stereotypes of my race while in my friend's neighbourhood. After I returned home from a Halloween party (where the soaking took place) at 3 am, I walked to the 24 hour corner store while still in my costume to buy a container of rice. The storekeeper was probably thinking, "Those crazy Chinese. They eat rice all the time, any time!"
- Figuring out how to cart the container back to London. At first, reluctant to be parted from my mobile, even if it wasn't functioning, I thought about putting it in my hand luggage. Then realising it would be way too embarrassing to have to explain this
to a customs officer, I decided - wisely - to put it in my check-in luggage.
But it works, it works, it works! I hope I never ever have to make use of this random piece of information ever again...
And FYI, those little silica gel packets you get in handbags and when you're moving work a lot faster than rice. And the gel's reusable though, as you can just bake them dry using the microwave or conventional oven, I believe.