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How to clean up water-damaged electronics

Evan Blass
January 19, 2006
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Those of you who read our CES coverage as obsessively as we covered the show may remember a brief mention of an unfortunate incident involving a laptop and some spilled coffee (it was actually hot cocoa). Even though we got the lappy pretty clean with just a few paper towels, a more severe spill might have really blown up our spot, which is why we wish we'd seen this "how-to" a little earlier. Chris J. over at Grynx helpfully recounts the tale of his friend's water-damaged router and the steps he took to get it working again, if not perfectly. We'll leave the deets to Grynx, but basically this rescue mission involves complete disassembly of the affected device, rather counterintuitively running the circuit boards under more water, and using an alcohol-based cleaning agent (not gasoline, warn several commenters) to brush the remaining rust/calcium residue from the guts. Money quote from the article: "If the substance is already dry, as it was for me, then use your wife’s toothbrush (you don’t want to use your own, right?) to brush off as much as possible."

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