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View Full Version : Help! Drowned iPod mini!


eRondeau
Mar 8, 2005, 02:48 PM
So a friend of mine just ran her new pink iPod mini through the washing machine. Needless to say it doesn't work so well anymore. I haven't seen it myself, but she says it was completely full of soapy water and the LCD is all foggy. Water is still dripping out of it hours later.

So whaddya think, can it be saved??? Any suggestions???

Chaszmyr
Mar 8, 2005, 02:51 PM
To put it simply: She's screwed.

I mean I guess there's always a chance that she could wait for it to dry out (I would wait a couple of days) before turning it on and then it could work... But I'd just as soon be buying a lotto ticket to afford the new one.

Laslo Panaflex
Mar 8, 2005, 02:51 PM
Put it in the dryer . . . just kidding :)

Just let it sit for a while, it will eventually dry out. I wouldn't try to use it, since there is water in there it might damage the iPod.

ChrisBrightwell
Mar 8, 2005, 03:00 PM
Honestly, she's already killed her warranty. I'd take it apart and let it dry for a few days.

Lacero
Mar 8, 2005, 03:01 PM
At least its clean.

Blackheart
Mar 8, 2005, 03:05 PM
That's lame... I guess it's an excuse to get a new iPod Mini though!

puckhead193
Mar 8, 2005, 03:07 PM
you've got your self/friend a paper weight!
Let it dry out, their might be chance for it to work

Chaszmyr
Mar 8, 2005, 03:11 PM
Us humans like to think we're the dominant entities on the planet, but our laundry machines manage to go completely unchecked ruining our electronics and making our socks vanish into thin air!

</corniness>

johnnyjibbs
Mar 8, 2005, 03:14 PM
Sorry to hear that. I've known someone's mobile (cell phone) to work after completely being submerged in the bath. Another friend dropped his mobile in the river and it was fine afterwards. Better chance after it has it has dried out.

kanpachi
Mar 8, 2005, 03:46 PM
Try selling it on eBay? Pierre Omidyar (CEO of eBay) was able to sell his broken laser pen for about 50% of the price -- maybe you'll have the same luck? :rolleyes: I don't think there's a very high probability of salvaging the iPod mini, unfortunately. :( The only thing you can really try to do is let it dry out and wish for the best. I spilled beer into a friend's laptop once and after a couple of days, it actually booted up and worked so I hope the same luck goes to you. Good luck!

Moof1904
Mar 8, 2005, 04:41 PM
I would immerse it and rinse it thoroughly in something that has a much higher vapor pressure than water. Say, pure methanol. Then I would put it in a warm place, like a window sill. The methanol will rinse away all soap and water and should evaporate cleanly. I believe the methanol will be harmless to the electronics.

This, of course, may not work. It's just what I would tryl...

cr2sh
Mar 8, 2005, 04:43 PM
I ran a usb thumbdrive through the washer and dryer a couple of weeks ago.. it was still toasty warm when I plugged it into the desktop.

No corrupt data. Works like a charm.

-

I agree with the other folks, if you can open it up and let it dry out, do so. It most likely won't work... but I wouldn't be shocked if it did (at least for a little while). :)

andypress
Mar 8, 2005, 04:46 PM
The only problem that I can see is that running more liquid through could possibly screw up the hard drive (more).

gco212
Mar 8, 2005, 04:51 PM
Unless I'm mistaken, the iPod is very different from other electonics in that it never actually shuts down. It merely goes to standby, so it still has power running through it. While a phone or USB flash drive might work after a spin, the mini would have less of a chance because of the fact that it was on when it went through. Though I might be wrong on this.

jtgotsjets
Mar 8, 2005, 05:46 PM
well, you can sell it on ebay, where people actually buy broken iPods.

or you can let it dry out (perhaps open it carefully), and try your luck with sending it back to apple under warranty (yes, I know you voided the warranty, and YOU know you voided the warranty, but does apple? maybe not, unless you send them a soggy ipod)

Norouzi
Mar 8, 2005, 05:57 PM
Unless I'm mistaken, the iPod is very different from other electonics in that it never actually shuts down. It merely goes to standby, so it still has power running through it. While a phone or USB flash drive might work after a spin, the mini would have less of a chance because of the fact that it was on when it went through. Though I might be wrong on this.

It depends on how long it has been idle. If you leave it without using it for about a day it will shut down and then have to boot back up, otherwise it is in standby. Now it does keep the date and time, so there is power running through it and it has a LiOn battery in it at all times. Unlike the USB flash drives which have no battery therefore no power unless pluged in to a computer.

Dagless
Mar 8, 2005, 06:05 PM
on a similar note i reckon the iPod could have been made waterproof if they tried. its pretty much airtight barring the metal (audio/dock) connectors.

ive read about a technique that some underwater gadgets use; where ports dont have electricity passing through them until the cables going into them activate the port by some kind of magnetic thing. like what electric toothbrushes use.

tis all possible. at least they could have made it splash proof.

MacAztec
Mar 8, 2005, 06:20 PM
Don't try to turn it on. Take the ipod, clean it with distilled water. I mean, totally soak it, get all the soap out of it. Let it dry out for a few days. See if it works after that.

The distilled water should rinse all teh soap out, and it might work.

Timelessblur
Mar 8, 2005, 06:48 PM
First open it up and give it an rub acholal bath. it needs to be 90% pure (pick it up at a local drug store). You use the acholhal to remove the soap and water to prevent it from leaving residue that will do damage. Then let it dry out for a few days and pray for the best.

iGary
Mar 8, 2005, 07:03 PM
Put it in front of a space heater. I used to live on a boat, and leaks would spring up now and then, and of course, right over electronics.

I had a leak on my laptop once, put it in front of a ceramic heater for three days (immediately) and never had another problem...

andrewfee
Mar 9, 2005, 01:42 AM
I'm sorry to hear that this happened, but I wouldn't give up hope just yet. Electronics are a lot more durable (in some ways) than people expect.

Unfortunately with the iPod rarely ever going "off" its chances of surviving are significantly reduced.

Generally, no matter what the electronic device is, as long as it's not actually powered, if you give it a chance to dry out completely there's a good chance that it will work again as long as contacts etc haven't been corroded. However, if the device is powered when wet, it can short-circuit which will kill it completely.

9 times out of 10, even if the device is off, the battery will be dead though.

If you can open up the iPod without damaging it, I would recommend doing that, and either letting it dry off completely, or washing it in de-ionized water and then letting it dry off. If it doesn't look like you can open it, I'd keep it near to a source of heat (not too hot though; you don't want to damage it more) until it looks like it's completely dry. I would usually give most "sealed" devices a week or two, even if they look dry, there could still be moisture inside them.

As the battery will probably be dead, you'll have to see if it works by plugging it into the mains to see if it'll actually work off that. If it does, then at least the iPod is working. You can then try leaving it to see if it can charge the battery, and more importantly, if the battery can still hold a charge. (it might be able to, but will definitely have a reduced life)

cr2sh
Mar 9, 2005, 07:36 AM
Unlike the USB flash drives which have no battery therefore no power unless pluged in to a computer.

I'm sorry, my story was not intended to confuse the issue, I was merely stating a similar experience. Indeed, whether or not an electric current was running through the ipod at the time of its submersion is a very important factor. Either way its guess work, there's some excellent recommendations here...

If you don't want the headache I'll give you $5 for the unit.

eRondeau
Mar 9, 2005, 01:41 PM
Thanks for all the excellent suggestions. Once again the Mac Rumors gang pulls together to help the "less fortunate". I think my friend with the washed iPod will add this to her growing "life experience" file and buy a new 6GB mini to replace it. But I think we might take it apart and try the alcohol bath... I'll let you know how it works out.

PS to cr2sh -- I've already offered her $10 for it! :D

cr2sh
Mar 9, 2005, 01:54 PM
PS to cr2sh -- I've already offered her $10 for it! :D
Errr... uhh... $15!