Wet memory cards are NOT the end of the road…
It’s summer (at least it is here in the Northern Hemisphere) and that means many people are out taking lots of photos and carrying memory cards around with them on a regular basis. It also means that many people will be taking part in various water-related activities, and I probably don’t need to tell you that memory cards and water don’t mix very well. Recently I left a compact flash card in my pants pocket when those pants went through the laundry. I found that card in the bottom of the washer as I was taking those clothes over to the dryer. Rather than panic about the images that might be lost on that card, I simply got a small plastic bag from the kitchen and added a couple of tablespoons of rice to that bag. I then sealed the compact flash card into the bag of rice and left it sitting on a table for the next 4 or 5 days. The rice will draw the moisture out of the electronic device and in many cases restore it to normal operating condition. In my case I simply plugged that compact flash into my card reader and all my images were still there.
This little trick works well with cell phones and cameras too. In fact; it’s a great idea if you carry your camera in and out of air-conditioned places (like hotel rooms) to keep your camera in a bag of rice or shredded newspaper while it goes through that temperature change. When you head back out of the air-conditioning into the hot and humid weather keep the camera bagged until it warms up to the outdoor temperature. If you don’t do that the humidity outside will condense on the components inside your camera and could cause damage. If your camera or phone gets wet from falling in the water or by getting stuck in a storm; take the battery/batteries out immediately then bag the device up and give it plenty of time to dry before you try to power it back up. It’s also a good idea to remove the memory card and allow it to dry outside of the camera or phone. This is really helpful for taking motorcycle trips where your camera is going to be exposed to the elements all day long with you and then chilled overnight in an air-conditioned hotel room. Besides that; it’s not uncommon to get caught in a little rain here and there while you’re on a motorcycle trip.
©2011 Jeff Cowell, jrcowell.com