How To: Salvage your rain-soaked stuff

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Rain how to tips rainy

Summer seems not too long ago. Now, rainy days and Mondays have invaded the whole week. Going out leads to inevitable disasters: ruined shoes, soaked socks, a broken umbrella, and a soggy bag. You get the picture.

The ultimate hack to avoid the deluge? Stay at home and call in sick. But alas, most of us are still slaves of work and school. So when the worst rain shower unexpectedly strikes, just face it and try these tips to save your wet stuff from further damage:

TAKE YOUR PANTS OFF…

And twerk it? Nah. But you need to take your clothes off after getting soaked in the rain or you’ll catch cold. Make sure to hang your clothes dry. You shouldn’t leave them wet—unless you want to grow mushrooms on them.

You can also hang them behind the fridge, if you own an old model with coiled metals at the back.

Mind the suits and wool or cashmere sweaters, though. They’re more delicate, so just press out the excess water (do not wring them) and lay them on a clean, flat surface and reshape them as they dry.

SAVE YOUR SHOES

Shoes are the first ones to get wet when the rain decides to suddenly pour.

Take those kicks off and remove the water logged inside. Use the newspaper you were reading earlier to dry your pair. Stuff some crumpled newspaper inside and wrap the rest of your shoe with a few sheets to absorb the remaining water as well as the funny smell.

If you’re unfortunately wearing a suede or leather pair, stuff your shoes with paper to keep them in shape while drying. Clean mud spots on your suede with a pencil eraser or apply polish to your leather to restore color and add protection.

SOUSED SACK

Remove all items inside your bag. Make sure to keep all compartments open and if possible, turn the bag inside out. Much like shoes, drying your bag depends on the material it is made of.

Bags made of cotton and canvas can be dried by wringing or using a dryer. You can hang them to air-dry or warm them at the back of your old school refrigerator. Nylon bags are low-maintenance, requiring you to just dab off the moisture with towel.

Leather bags should be treated carefully. After you dry the wet stains, place the bag in an area with open ventilation. This will prevent unwanted odor from developing. Apply polish or conditioner to shine and protect the leather material.

GADGETS GET WET

If any of your gadgets has been doused, immediately cut off power—unplug, remove the battery, or turn off the device. It would be better for your peace of mind if you accept early on the fact that you’d be without your device for a couple of hours, or even days.

Strip your gadget down to open up as many airways as possible. For phones, tablets, and digital compact cameras, remove the back cover, port covers, as well as memory or SIM cards.

We don’t recommend stripping down your laptops, DSLRs, and unibody devices, though. This step is best left to experts.

Use a vacuum cleaner with a narrow nozzle to suck any moisture left. And please, don’t attempt to use a blow dryer. It can melt the internal components of your gadget or push tiny particles inside the device, so using a blow dryer on cool shot mode won’t fly, too.

An alternative for drying your phones and tablets is to bury them in a bowl of uncooked rice or put them in an airtight container with packets of silica gel.

MONEY ON MY MIND

Drying coins is a no brainer; wipe them with a dry cloth and you’re good to go.

Bills, on the other hand, are trickier because you don’t want to damage them or else businesses will no longer accept them.

The easier way to dry your soaked bills is to lay them out on top of an absorbent paper or cloth and let them air-dry.

Need your cash immediately? Ironing your wet bills is quicker. Set the iron to the lowest heat and keep moving it over the bill. Never press the iron on the bill and wait. You’d be burning money—literally.

Credit, debit, and ATM cards are laminated and can withstand getting wet without any issues. Just wipe off the water with a cloth.

However, using a blow dryer may warp the plastic on the card and affect the function of the magnetic strip because of the heat, so that’s a no go.

ACCE-SOAKED-RIES

Jewelry items made of silver, gold, and other metals need no elaborate drying. Simply wipe the water with a cloth and voila! They’re as good as new. Do it immediately, though, as some pieces may be prone to rusting.

While most watches nowadays are water-resistant, their straps are still prone to damage. Leather and textile straps are to be dried differently than metal ones.

IF ALL ELSE FAILS…

Enjoy the cuddle weather in the warmth of your bed and be prepared the next time you decide to brave the heavy rains.

Words Pat Calica
First published in Speed September 2015