Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Drying Out

Son Donald was at the house doing laundry today. He was pulling the last load out of the washer when I heard a mournful cry from the laundry room. Turns out he forgot to remove his MP3 player from the pocket before his work pants went into the washer. The player went through the complete cycle-wash, rinse, and spin. Although the exterior was now clean and shiny, the screen was completely fogged up; a sure sign of interior water.

Before Donald went out to buy a new player, he thought he'd try to let this one dry and see if it still worked. Between our brainstorming and a Google search, we came up with these ideas for drying out the unit:
  • Using a blow drier
  • Using a can of compressed air
  • Setting it under a low-watt light bulb
  • Putting it on top of the heater vent overnight
  • Putting it in a bag along with rice or silica gel packs

The last idea made a light bulb go on in my head! I had a jar of silica gel left over from a project last year, so we decided to see if that would work. Because I didn't think it would be a good idea if the desiccant touched the player, we used a small deli container placed upside down inside a bowl (like a shelf) and added a layer of silica beads. The player went on the shelf, then the lid was put on the bowl.

All the Websites said it's going to take at least 24 hours (maybe 48) to see if the experiment works. Donald promised to report back when he knew if his player would make it or not, but at a minimum he'll have to go through several agonizing days at work without his tunes!


  1. My husband swears that many electronics will work if you just dry them out properly. Keep us posted!

  2. I have had cell phones get wet and it we just waited several days to turn them back on they worked! Good luck with the beads.

  3. I lost my MP3 player on an airplane in December. It was awful - I was in such a panic! Eventually a fellow passenger noticed my panic and said - hey, I think a flight attendant found something. She had and I was so delighted. Apparently they didn't make an announcement because no one knew what it was...[I don't have an iPod].

  4. I'd love to know how it turns out. I once lost my old Razr phone. By frantically contacting any place I had been that day, I eventually located it at my local Starbucks. Someone had found it in a puddle outside and had taken it into the store in case a customer had lost it. It didn't work when I got it back, but I bought a new battery for it, waited 24 hours, and viola! All was well. I hope I don't ever drop my iPhone in a puddle. Can't afford to replace it!

  5. DO NOT use a hair drier or other heat source. It can warp things, make there be humidity inside which makes it worse, etc etc. Let it sit out for a couple of days in the rice and dry out naturally.