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Accidently washed a memory card - is it ruined?

Patrick F , Mar 03, 2007; 04:42 p.m.

Well today I accidently ran a 2g. Sandisk memory card through a complete cycle of laundry (cold water), including the dryer. I am kind of nervous about putting the card in my camera for fear that somehow the card is ruined and this could cause problems with the camera as well. Any advice on this? Should I toss the card? Thanks in advance.


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Wojtek Kalinowski , Mar 03, 2007; 04:47 p.m.

I once washed my 512Sandisk CF card,but it was in it's little container.It was OK.Don't put it in a camera,try it in a card reader first.W

Matt Laur , Mar 03, 2007; 04:48 p.m.

You can replace that card for less than $30... which is a lot cheaper than dealing with damage to your camera's memory interface or internal power bus. I'd use it for target practice, and sleep better at night using cards that haven't been through the drink. Also, you can buy small, water-proof card wallets precisely to avoid this problem - not a bad idea at all, for just a few bucks.

Bruce C , Mar 03, 2007; 04:54 p.m.

You haven't finished -- got to run that sucker thru the dryer! Actually I'd put it someplace warm and dry, like the top/back of a TV/monitor, for a few days, and then try it in the card reader. Chances are it'll work fine.

Matt McCarthy , Mar 03, 2007; 05:22 p.m.

I remember an article some time back ( but I can't remember which magazine published it ) about how much torture these cards could take - it was CF and SmartMedia. They dunked them in water, stepped on them, and baked them ( in both conventional and microwave oven, as I recall ). Both of them came out fine - I think the SmartMedia got dinged up from the stepping test, though. It may very well be OK. But I agree that running it through the card reader first is a good idea. And of course, if you're really concerned,a replacement is pretty cheap nowadays.

Michael Ging , Mar 03, 2007; 05:46 p.m.

I have washed mine without having any problems. A canon Rep once told me that the killer of these things is lint from your pocket that gets in one of the little holes that the interface plugs into and that will ruin a card faster than anything.

Doug Axford , Mar 03, 2007; 06:09 p.m.

I had the one that came with a camera years ago go through both washer & dryer and was fine. Trying it in your card reader & an older camera first is good advice. Maybe you should take it into a camera store and demo a camera with it. That should get the camera store guys hating me!

F. Fanta , Mar 03, 2007; 07:11 p.m.

I washed a Sundisk with the laundry at 60 C and was fine. If concerned, why don't you try it with a card reader before using it in a camera?

Jeff Owen , Mar 03, 2007; 07:20 p.m.

I have had a number of electrical items (a VCR for one) that suffered water damage. One trick that does work is to flush the area affected in pure methalated spirits! This alcohol mixture will soak up any remaining water and dry quickly. In most cases this is a LAST resort and I would NOT recommend doing it on a digital camera for instance.

Steven Clark , Mar 03, 2007; 10:38 p.m.

If it's CF I might try soaking it in water for a bit to try to get any lingering detergent out of the holes. Anything else I'm guessing it'd be just fine even without the rinse. It's not like there are batteries to short, or mechanical parts to break.

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