I put my camera in the washing machine

Yup, you read that right. No, not on purpose.

My in-laws bought us a very nice (expensive) digital camera for our first wedding anniversary. We love it. Take pictures all the time. We went away for the weekend a couple of weeks ago. The next day I did the laundry that we brought home. When I got all of the wet clothes out and was putting them into the dryer, I looked in the bottom of the washing machine and imagine my sick-feeling of panic when I saw…our camera, still in its case. It must have been tangled up in our suitcase with some clothes and somehow did not fall out before they made it to the washer.:(:frowning:

I have let it sit there trying to decide what to do about it. I know the warranty will likely not cover it since the water damage will probably be apparent. But, the only other choices being to buy a new camera or ship this one to Olympus to get a repair estimate, I wanted to ask around to see if anyone had any suggestions. I am always somewhat suspicious of “repair” businesses who say they can fix “anything.”

Did you test it to see if it worked?

Is it just wet or does it make a sound like a baby rattle when you shake it?
If it is under warranty, you may just say it fell into a river or pool.

I friend of mine washed her Blackberry. She let it dry out thoroughly, then turned it on. Works just fine. I’d give letting it dry out for a while a try.

Open everything up (e.g., battery compartment and the place where a memory card goes in), to help the insides dry faster. (And take any batteries or memory card out too). Then let it sit for a week or too, to let it dry thoroughly. Perhaps it will still work.

Take the battery and card out, then dunk the thing in distilled water (available at drug stores) to wash out impurities like soap. Let it dry thoroughly. You might have a chance of it still working.

Alternatively, you could just put it in the dryer. :stuck_out_tongue:

I feel your pain; hot tubs and cameras don’t mix, either. I still don’t understand, though, because the camera was in my pocket and I was naked in the hot tub.

Under no circumstances should you turn this on without being absolutely sure that it’s completely dry. Getting a camera wet won’t kill the electronics, turning it on when wet is what kills them.

All the suggestions up above are good. You can also put it in a ziplock bag with desiccant packages that are shipped with all electronics to help absorb more moisture.

All this may not help. The agitation, soap, and heat may have done damage, and water may have been forced inside the lens and may be extremely difficult to remove. No matter how expensive it was, it’s probably not economically realistic to try and fix it. If it doesn’t work, it’s a paperweight.

Yikes. Should have thought of that sooner.
I actually did it about two weeks ago and was looking up yesterday how to ship it to Olympus, when I got the idea to post about it. I dried it out really well when it happened, but the first thing I did was try to turn it on… :smack:

As **Telemark **said, it’s a paperweight.

Back in the day of really expensive film cameras, the general practice for treating a wet camera was to submerge it in distilled water and take it to the repair shop. Keeping it wet would help to stall any rusting or corrosion, and using distilled water would help to reduce the concentration of anything especially unfreindly to camera innards like salt water.

However - back then, the plan was to disassemble the camera, dry everything out, clean and lube whatever needs to be cleaned and lubed and put it back together. Lenses are tougher, as they’d need substantial disassembly to get at all of the internal glass surfaces to clean and dry them.

Now, it’s not cost-effective to disassemble tiny robotically-assembled mass-produced things and clean them. Give up hope of a warranty claim - I’ll bet you anything that there’s at least one of those little moisture detector spots that turns red when it gets wet inside the camera, and it’s bright red right now.

Yeah, definitely don’t turn it on. Next time.

Distilled water is ok I guess, but I prefer rubbing alcohol, as it evaporates way way faster. I fixed my own camera this way when the shutter button shorted after I used it in a heavy rain (a week by the heat register didn’t help). If you’ve got soap (or even just water) in the lens assembly though, then it’s going to have to come apart.

I’ll bet someone on eBay would buy it anyway.

If you saved everything on a removable memory card (SD), that might still work. If you have another device that can support the SD card, you might give it a try. If you don’t, you can take it to Kinko’s or even some digital photo-processing stations inside Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, etc.

Worth a try.