How To Save A Wet USB/Thumb Drive

Saving your wet USB (thumb drive) stick

The other day I washed my jeans and completely forgot that I had a USB stick (thumb drive) in my right-hand side mini-pocket.


But having dealt with wet electronics before, I had a good idea what to do to help save or rescue my soaked USB stick, and the data on it.

The answer?  Do Nothing At All!


What I mean by do nothing is once you've rescued your electronic device from its potential watery grave, do nothing with it.

1- Be patient.

2- Don't plug it in to any device to see if it's OK.

3- Don't get tricky and dry to force dry it.

4- Just. Don't. Use. It. For a few days at least.


It's been my experience that if you get a piece of electronics wet, the only thing you can do is be very patient and let it dry out.  If no electrical current was coursing through its circuits when it got wet, then all you have to do is make sure it's 100% dry before attempting to use it again.

Think about it.  If it wasn't being used, nothing got wet while it was hot with current.  If you dry it out completely before using it, well, it won't even know it was wet!  Just don't hurry the process.

In my case, I put the drive on a high location in my living room.  (Heat rises.  So it got the benefit of a good drying session over a period of a few days while we were running our heater. {During winter months})

I let it sit for a few days so the heat could help dry out the innards and just letting plain old evaporation also help with the process and do its thing.

And patience is the key ingredient for sure.

And this isn't just good advice for wet USB drives.  Over the years I've inadvertently had various pieces of electronic equipment get soaked and in each case, if it wasn't on when it got wet, letting it dry out thoroughly usually negated any potential damage or loss that the water could do.

Now if it's salt water, that's another matter altogether, since salt water is conductive, corrosive and a little bit more tacky than clean city water.

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  1. What if you used it already in just 5 minutes of wiping?

  2. Is there a chance of corrupted files?

  3. FUK! I hope my USB makes it. I am leaving it under a pile of rice for a day and see if it dries up quicker.


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