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Subject: "Washing Memory Cards" Previous topic | Next topic
RLDubbya Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Dec 2011Sun 24-Jun-12 04:50 PM
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"Washing Memory Cards"


US
          

So, if some idiot (me) managed to put 2 16Gb cards through the Permanent Press Wash Cycle, what would be expected fate of the cards? Amazingly, they're still readable, writeable, formattabled, etc.

I'm assuming that they will fail sooner than normal. I guess the question is how soon?

Anybody else ever try this?

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Washing Memory Cards
billD80 Silver Member
24th Jun 2012
1
Reply message RE: Washing Memory Cards
J_Harris Silver Member
24th Jun 2012
2
Reply message RE: Washing Memory Cards
RLDubbya Silver Member
24th Jun 2012
4
     Reply message RE: Washing Memory Cards
J_Harris Silver Member
25th Jun 2012
13
          Reply message RE: Washing Memory Cards
RLDubbya Silver Member
25th Jun 2012
14
               Reply message RE: Washing Memory Cards
Howker Silver Member
25th Jun 2012
15
Reply message RE: Washing Memory Cards
gpoole Platinum Member
24th Jun 2012
3
Reply message RE: Washing Memory Cards
RLDubbya Silver Member
24th Jun 2012
5
     Reply message RE: Washing Memory Cards
km6xz Moderator
24th Jun 2012
6
          Reply message RE: Washing Memory Cards
billD80 Silver Member
24th Jun 2012
7
Reply message RE: Washing Memory Cards
mbecke2266 Silver Member
25th Jun 2012
8
Reply message RE: Washing Memory Cards
JosephK Silver Member
25th Jun 2012
9
Reply message RE: Washing Memory Cards
azhandler
25th Jun 2012
10
Reply message RE: Washing Memory Cards
RLDubbya Silver Member
25th Jun 2012
11
Reply message RE: Washing Memory Cards
texspeel Silver Member
25th Jun 2012
12
Reply message RE: Washing Memory Cards
luckyphoto Silver Member
26th Jun 2012
16
Reply message RE: Washing Memory Cards
Lissajous Silver Member
29th Jun 2012
17

billD80 Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2007Sun 24-Jun-12 05:04 PM
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#1. "RE: Washing Memory Cards"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

I know a pro who did this, and retrieved all the images that were on-board. Then never used the card again for pictures.

Me? I'd either find a different use for the cards in a less crucial application, or I'd smash the cards and toss 'em. I wouldn't risk using them for images I might really care about, and I wouldn't fob them off on someone else.

www.billkeane.zenfolio.com

  

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J_Harris Silver Member Nikonian since 29th Mar 2011Sun 24-Jun-12 06:29 PM
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#2. "RE: Washing Memory Cards"
In response to Reply # 1


US
          

>I'd smash the cards and toss 'em. I
>wouldn't risk using them for images I might really care about,
>and I wouldn't fob them off on someone else.


Well stated, my advice too!

Jerry

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RLDubbya Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Dec 2011Sun 24-Jun-12 06:54 PM
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#4. "RE: Washing Memory Cards"
In response to Reply # 1
Sun 24-Jun-12 06:58 PM by RLDubbya

US
          

Already ordered replacements - that was my excuse to see if Lexar will outperform Transcend in any way.

But I do wonder how long they will function.

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J_Harris Silver Member Nikonian since 29th Mar 2011Mon 25-Jun-12 07:09 PM
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#13. "RE: Washing Memory Cards"
In response to Reply # 4
Mon 25-Jun-12 07:47 PM by J_Harris

US
          

>Already ordered replacements...

Good choice. Unless you must account for every penny you spend the chance of failure is not worth the money spent for new ones! How would you feel if the best picture you ever shot was lost due to a card failure you knew about before it happened to you.

At this point nobody has given any evidence through actual testing that your card will not fail - just conjecture. Neither will a manufacture of the cards tell you it is safe to use after a cleaning in a washing machine.

Jerry

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RLDubbya Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Dec 2011Mon 25-Jun-12 10:30 PM
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#14. "RE: Washing Memory Cards"
In response to Reply # 13


US
          

>>Already ordered replacements...
>
>Good choice. Unless you must account for every penny you spend
>the chance of failure is not worth the money spent for new
>ones! How would you feel if the best picture you ever shot was
>lost due to a card failure you knew about before it happened
>to you.
>
>At this point nobody has given any evidence through actual
>testing that your card will not fail - just conjecture.
>Neither will a manufacture of the cards tell you it is safe to
>use after a cleaning in a washing machine.
>
>Jerry
>

Absolutely. I'd much rather just layout the cash than save a few bucks and have a card fail on me during an important shoot. I'm funny about my work product that way.

I do have a couple non-critical uses, and I'll use these cards for those purposes, and if they work forver, great. If not, no big deal.

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Howker Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Jul 2010Mon 25-Jun-12 11:11 PM
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#15. "RE: Washing Memory Cards"
In response to Reply # 14


Redmond, US
          

I can only agree with all thats been said. But don't throw it away use it for music files or whatever non critical use you can think of. Its a flash drive after all with no moving parts.
If water did get in (doubtful) then dries only a detergent deposit would be left on the circuit board. Pretty harmless.
I would say however having tried to open one of the SD size the only place water can enter is the Lock switch. The rest is a welded seal. The air inside keeps water rom entering such a tiny aperture and they float, albeit difficult in a washing machine!
Tom

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gpoole Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 14th Feb 2004Sun 24-Jun-12 06:33 PM
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#3. "RE: Washing Memory Cards"
In response to Reply # 0


Farmington Hills, US
          

I've done this a couple of times with USB memory drives. Once it went through the dryer to. They continued to function properly. A year later I still haven't had a failure.

If the didn't fail immediately, I would guess their live expectancy has not changed.

Gary in SE Michigan, USA. Co-organizer of the Southern Michigan Chapter
Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the camera.
D4, D810, D300, D90, F6, FM3a (black), FM2n (chrome)
YashicaMat 124, Graflex Speed Graphic 4x5
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RLDubbya Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Dec 2011Sun 24-Jun-12 06:55 PM
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#5. "RE: Washing Memory Cards"
In response to Reply # 3


US
          

>I've done this a couple of times with USB memory drives.
>Once it went through the dryer to. They continued to function
>properly. A year later I still haven't had a failure.
>
>If the didn't fail immediately, I would guess their live
>expectancy has not changed.
>

Interesting. Thanks for chiming in! Makes me all the more curious about their expected lifespan.

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Sun 24-Jun-12 07:31 PM
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#6. "RE: Washing Memory Cards"
In response to Reply # 5


St Petersburg, RU
          

I had one washed but it was not permanent press cycle. It is still in use 3 years later. The contacts are gold plated so would not expect them to corrode and the chip itself is sealed so the risk of sudden failure is not as high as one would guess.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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billD80 Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2007Sun 24-Jun-12 08:19 PM
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#7. "RE: Washing Memory Cards"
In response to Reply # 6


US
          

>I had one washed but it was not permanent press cycle.

This has got to be one of the all-time great quotes on this board! i love it!

www.billkeane.zenfolio.com

  

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mbecke2266 Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Jun 2011Mon 25-Jun-12 01:06 AM
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#8. "RE: Washing Memory Cards"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Dry them out thoroughly. If they work, they will continue to work. No worries.

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JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Mon 25-Jun-12 02:11 AM
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#9. "RE: Washing Memory Cards"
In response to Reply # 0


Seattle, WA, US
          

I the SanDisk world, this is where the "extreme" and other name tags come in.

I would expect the cards to either fail immediately or work for a long time.

---------+---------+---------+---------+
Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II, 50mm f/1.4 D,
17-55mm f/2.8 DX, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

  

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azhandler Registered since 07th Mar 2010Mon 25-Jun-12 03:55 AM
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#10. "RE: Washing Memory Cards"
In response to Reply # 9


Oro Valley, US
          

Fear not. Back in the day I dropped my pager in the toilet (before the toilet was put to use) when it slipped off my belt. I took it apart and rinsed it off in water and dried it in my oven for a couple of hours at about 100 degrees. It worked fine. I suspect your memory card will be just fine. The only issue with the memory card would be a short between electrical circuit paths like water, or mineral deposits. Since the card was not powered at the time and if you gave it enough time to dry, it should work.

Gerry

  

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RLDubbya Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Dec 2011Mon 25-Jun-12 10:35 AM
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#11. "RE: Washing Memory Cards"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Interesting replies; I figured the answer was "chalk those up to the learning curve" and I ordered SansDisk cards in their place (the washer victims being Transcends).

The cards do seem to be fine - I made sure they were dry - as I was able to read them in both the Nikon and the PC, the Nikon writes to them just fine, so, it sounds like they're going to be ok.

Thanks for all the replies!

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texspeel Silver Member Nikonian since 09th Nov 2011Mon 25-Jun-12 04:55 PM
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#12. "RE: Washing Memory Cards"
In response to Reply # 11


Fairfax Station, US
          

One option you have since you're shooting the D7000 would be that if you want to continue to use the washed cards is to use one that is new in Slot 2 and select the backup option. That way if the washed card fails, you'll still have the images recorded on a second card. The down side is that the camera then has to transfer the image to 2 cards so the buffer will clear more slowly. Probably not an issue unless you're shooting action photos in continuous high.

"Nothing can be recognized without light and shade. It is only through the eye, the window of the soul, that we can truly understand the complex workings of nature." - Leonardo da Vinci

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luckyphoto Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Dec 2010Tue 26-Jun-12 01:00 PM
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#16. "RE: Washing Memory Cards"
In response to Reply # 0


Port Charlotte, US
          

Don't use the cards for photography. If the images come out blurry or out of focus would that be a camera issue, lens issue or just the fabric softener in the rinse cycle? (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)

If you do intend to use them for another purpose, first put them in a sealed jar with un-cooked rice for a week or so to dry out the internal circuits. That should help eliminate any potential short-circuits due to moisture.

Larry

"Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right
....and which is an illusion"

Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin

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Lissajous Silver Member Nikonian since 01st May 2011Fri 29-Jun-12 10:31 AM
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#17. "RE: Washing Memory Cards"
In response to Reply # 16


Gosford, AU
          

Agree with the cautious approach.

That said, I've had a few decades as an electronics engineer designing experimental electronics to go in hostile environments (under the sea). I've seen my share of disasterous leaks of fresh, brackish and salt water and figure I'm qualified to offer some pointers here.

If soggy disaster strikes:

1) Remove all electrical power ASAP or sooner. That's both external and any batteries. Use destructive force if necessary. Speed is the key here. Otherwise you will have active electrolysis with all positive conductors severely corroded (if any remain!).

2) Next, get the item into fresh water ASAP and flush copiously. Very few electronic components will suffer from water in the short term if unpowered. Dismantle as much as possibly to ensure you flush contaminants thoroughly. At this point you can store the problem (under fresh water) if you have other issues to deal with.

3) A flush or three with distilled water will further remove potential contaminants. A final flush with an alcohol like methylated spirits (rubbing alcohol?) will aid speedy drying although it may remove colour code bands from some components.

4) Shake and dry thoroughly. Leave in a warm, dry place for a day or two. Using oven heat is likely to distort plastics and should not be necessary. If you do, most electronic components can tolerate 60 to 80C.

5) Double check things are completely dry before reassembly.

6) Test cautiously, especially if mains powered.

If you have fully managed to flush all salt or caustic contaminants then your device may well have a long and happy life. That said, some electronic components are nearly impossible to flush thoroughly. Items like miniature variable resistors, enclosed signal transformers and so on will likely still fail prematurely. I'd routinely replace such components if feasible. But memory cards don't have these and indeed often have the main chips potted. In that case they should fare very well if flushed as above.

Of course, optics are another matter. I suspect the they will not be adversely affected by the above process but I'd certainly take optical items in for service afterwards. Maybe after step 2) if your nerves aren't up to it!

Hope that helps.

John

  

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