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Cure for Wet Electronics

>> Wednesday, January 25, 2012

In the past month, I have gotten a lot of experience trying to salvage electronics that have gotten wet.  Not just splashed, but submerged into water of some type.

On Christmas Day, the boys found my iPod in my bag and decided to carry it around my Grandmother's house.  We were expecting like 35 people there that day, so it took it away from them and put it in my back pocket.  I didn't want it to get lost or stepped on, and thought it would be safer with me than the boys.  Which is usually true, but as I pulled down my pants to go to the bathroom, I heard a plop and turned around to see my iPod at the bottom of the toilet.

*Not an actual image of my iPod in the bottom of my Grandmother's toilet :)
I quickly grabbed it out of there, used a tissue to try it off and went to the kitchen to find a zip-loc baggie and some rice.  I didn't attempt to turn it on at all, but waited a couple days and worked!

The next instance of drying out electronics was at night.  I was responding to a couple emails for cake requests (my home-business) and the boys decided to take a bath.  Steve was teaching that night, so it was just me at home.  I guess I was more focused on what I was doing than I thought and the next thing I realized, the bathtub was full of water (just under the overflow protection thing) and also full of toys.  Ryan had added some pillows, a towel, some toys from the toy box and these two electronic toys:

The first is a night light, music thing that Tyler uses in bed at night and the other is a NEW flashlight that Ryan had gotten for Christmas about 2 weeks earlier.  UGH.  I immediately switched both toys to the off position, removed the batteries and stuck them in zip-loc bags of rice.  Ok, I guess it wasn't immediately because I emptied the tub of water, made the boys get their jammies on and sent them to bed.  And then I took care of the stuff in the tub.

Guess what?!  Both toys still work.  Here's my tips for if you ever have an electronic submerged in water:

  1. Immediately turn it off.  Do not try to see if it still works.  You will fry it.
  2. Use a towel to dry it off as much as you can.
  3. Remove any batteries that it contains.  Keep the battery "door" off to help dry it out.
  4. Put about 1/2 cup of rice into a zip-loc bag that the toy will fit into.  You will want to use a bag that can close with the toy/electronic device in it.  
  5. Shake the rice so it get's as close to the water inside as you can get it.  i.e. make sure it gets into any holes that are in the toy so it can suck out as much water as possible.
  6. Leave it alone for a few days.  I would say try 2 days and then remove the item and see if it feels dry. You can also smell the rice, and it it's wet, you might want to get new rice and let it sit for a couple more days.
  7. After it's all dry, remove the item, add the batteries and turn it on.  
Hope this works for you!

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