Just put memory card through the wash!

Chris Dodkin

West Coast Correspondent
My brand new 4gb cf card just took a trip through the wash cycle in my trouser pocket :(

It was in it's plastic case, but when I opened the case there was definitely water inside.

What do you think? Will it live?
Leave it in the airing cupboard for a couple of days and see.
Didn't the gadget show do an "Indestructability" test on digital film a couple of years back? As far as I remember the lifespan of the Card had reduced dramatically but it lived. Was there anything important on it?
If it was me I would use it, but only as a back-up in rare situations.
Well, from all your comments it sounds encouraging.

The card was brand new - never even been formatted!

I just tried it in the wife's camera, and it formatted fine and took images as well - so fingers crossed it'll be ok long term.
Possible it will be OK but the thing is you never know its dead till its dead and sods law means you usually have a selections of crackers on there when it goes.

If you have some disc checking software you could try using that to check the card while its in a card reader. Was it expensive? if not too much you could think about buying a new one to be safe.
Water and electronics are fine together as long as electricity is not present. An acquaintance who designs digital circuit boards, defluxes them in the kitchen dishwasher. However, they are rendered absolutely dry prior to flipping the switch.
I broke the main board of my turntable, I had a spare one but it was covered in beer (? I use a technics 1210, used by dj's mostly). I washed the beer off in a bowl of soapy water with a kitchen brush... Left it in the sun... Worked perfectly!
What does "defluxes" mean

Flux is used to prevent the surfaces that are being joined by solder oxidising during soldering. It also removes oxides to a certain extent although usually the surfaces are rendered free of oxide before you start. Sometimes it is part of the solder itself (as a core). Unfortunately the residue it leaves can cause corrosion and the flux is a poor conductor. So, after soldering you de-flux the board. (I think you a thinking of de-gausing aren't you Graeme?). Commercially this is often done in a large system using either an aqueous or non-aqueous recycled cleaner (we've done work on controlling the microbiology in these systems).
Possibly.. although deflux it can also be a jelly-type stuff that you inject into children who are suffering from acid reflux!
My washing machine advises it, certainly. In the instruction book, it says "Before closing the door, check for pets and small children." It doesn't say what to do if no pets or small children are in there.