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An iPod Survives The Washing Machine

Posted By Tipnut On April 14, 2008 @ 6:43 am In DIY Projects,Fixes & How-To | 12 Comments

Major catastrophe in our home a few months ago: my son’s iPod nano was left in his pants pockets–which were washed & dried with the rest of the laundry. Here’s what we did to bring it back to life, you can try this for all devices such as cell phones and digital cameras that were in water by mistake, no guarantees that this will work–but it did for us!

What We Did


  • We turned it on as soon as we realized it had been in water, just to see if it would work. It wouldn’t power on at all–completely dead.
  • We set it aside in a corner on the shelf to leave it safely out of the way and undisturbed. Checked for any visible signs of moisture to wipe away–there were none on the outside since it had been roasted dry in the clothes dryer. There was no way of telling how wet things were inside.
  • After two weeks, we held our breath, plugged it in and powered it on. It powered up with all the songs still stored safely inside.
  • Then we did a happy dance.

This happened in January of this year and it’s still going strong (it’s now April). My son’s a heavy gadget user and uses it daily, there have been no detectable issues or problems since the incident.

I had heard of gadgets surviving a trip through the washing machine or getting wet in weird ways (like falling in a toilet) if you give them a chance to fully dry before trying to use them (cell phones, pagers, mp3 players, digital cameras, etc.), but this is one tip I’d rather not have tried first hand ;).

I did some checking around and found these tips posted on the Apple forum:

  • Don’t Turn It On [1]: Strong suggestion to never power up the device when you first discover it’s been in water. The electricity flowing through the wet circuits is really damaging. When we first realized what happened, we tried turning it on–but only once–then we left it alone for two weeks.
  • Water Damage Possibly Resolved Possibly Not [2]: The owner has sealed the gadget in a bag of rice (suggested a few times throughout the forum), the idea is that the rice will absorb the moisture trapped inside. The next tip he’s given is to charge the gadget for 30 minutes, reset it, connect it to the computer, restore it then resync and fully charge. We didn’t know about the rice so we didn’t do that, but leaving it alone for two weeks to dry seemed to be enough. If I had to go through this again, I’d seal it in a container or bag of rice first (to draw out the moisture sooner).

Biggest tip out of this experience: Make darn sure to check pockets thoroughly before doing a load of laundry!

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URL to article: http://tipnut.com/an-ipod-survives-the-laundry-cycle/

URLs in this post:

[1] Don’t Turn It On: https://discussions.apple.com/message/6591474?messageID=6591474#6591474?messageID=6591474

[2] Water Damage Possibly Resolved Possibly Not: https://discussions.apple.com/message/7026716?messageID=7026716#7026716?messageID=7026716

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