Here’s a funny story for the weekend. Six or so weeks ago one of my librarians called me in a panic “I’ve spilled juice on my netbook and now it doesn’t work! What will I do?!” You and I know that juice is possibly one of the worst things you can spill in an electronic gadget: all of that sticky sugar really gums up the works and shorts things out. I didn’t give her much hope.
She decided to go ahead and replace the netbook, but asked me if there was anything I could think of that would bring the sticky netbook back to life. Since at that point we didn’t have much to lose, I told her to take the battery out and stick it, open, face down, in the dishwasher (no soap, please) and run it through a normal cycle (no heated dry, please). Once it’s done, take it out and put it in a ziploc filled with rice for at least 2 weeks, and see if it will boot. It can’t hurt it any more, and who knows, it might help.
So here we are, 6 weeks later. We are in possession of a netbook that has *been through the dishwasher* and yes, it still boots! The battery is fried, and the touchpad doesn’t work, but you can use a USB mouse with it and everything else works.
So there you have it: given enough time, it will not kill a netbook to send it through the dishwasher, and in this case, we may well have saved it to compute another day.
[update] We replaced the battery, and sure enough, with a replacement battery, the netbook is restored to cable free functionality (the trackpad still doesn’t work).