Arduboy in the washer? [SOLVED] 🍚

I think one of the ones I gave as a gift is now dead. I found it at the bottom of the washer when I emptied it for them. It’s currently drying out to try powering it, but I’ll be surprised if it comes on since the battery was in it.

I was wondering if anyone could provide some guidance as to possible repairs. Seems to me the most likely scenario short of major damage that still leaves it dead is the battery is now shot. Is that indeed the case? If so, would just plugging it into USB power be sufficient to power it up with a dead battery? Or do I need to disassemble it and provide an alternative power supply?

Failing resuscitation, any chance of salvaging useful parts off of it?

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If it was turned OFF when it got wet it may be OK as long as you 100% dry it out before powering it back on again. It all depends on what temperature the water was and if the heat has damaged anything.

However, the battery would have shorted and is most likely no good and probably in a dangerous state. Maybe someone else can offer advice on the battery but I would suggest replacing it.

It depends on how the Arduboy circuit is configured but you MAY be able to power it from USB. If so the current from USB is more than enough for the low power devices on the board.

Try and remove the PCB from the case and then leave it in a bowl of rice for a day or two before you try it out.

The battery is sealed, so likely wouldn’t have been damaged by contact with liquid. Water, even soapy water, isn’t very conductive, so the battery might not have been discharged enough to cause damage either.

I would consider:

  • Open it up (be careful not to lose the small screws).
  • Thoroughly wash and dry the case and buttons.
  • Carefully but thoroughly rinse the board with distilled water.
  • Pat the board dry as best as possible with a microfibre cloth or other lint free absorbent material.
  • As @TheArduinoGuy recommended, let it dry for a few days in a container with rice or other desiccant.
  • Before reassembling it, hook it up to a USB port to see if it works when powered via USB.
  • If it does, let it charge until the red charge LED goes out.
  • Check that it still works on battery power.
  • Reassemble it.

So… What’s the verdict?

After spending a few days with the PCB in a bowl of rice, it powered on and worked fine.

Thanks for all the suggestions!


Arduboy is [almost] invincible!

+1 for rice


What a thread! :laughing:


Glad to report this method also worked for my Arduboy that was thrown (switched on) in the toilet bowl by my 1 yo son…

It spent ~10s in the water before I took it out (black screen of course). I opened it immediately, removed the water with a soft tissue, and put the pcb alone in a bowl of rice during 24 hours.

After the 24 hours I plugged it on a usb charger and it successfully charged, then switched on like brand new :wink:


Yay! \o/ \o/ \o/ \o/

i live in a little shack on hawaii so this geting wet is ultimatly inevitable good to know that they hold up well


That plastic case is fairly water tight. I’m wondering if that was done on purpose.

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That’s weird, my arduboy has been in the clothes washer 7 WHOLE TIMES and still works perfectly.


Fool me once fool me twice … damn pockets :joy:


Is there a badge for this?


Honestly I think this should go on the front page as an advertisement

2 Likes :rice::rice::rice:


I am more interested int the battery though. Soooo thin, but are there any replacements? I mean for a digital device the most important thing is battery life span (although 5 hours is enough) and the first charges are the ones that determine wether the battery would work at 100% or at 80% the capacity.
Honestly I thought that you guys can stuff something at least 0.5mm thicker inside…
Good thing, everyone have their off before getting wet(a wet AtMEGA32U4 still is a AtMEGA32U4 after drying up), but a short-circuited one is just…a pile of gold and silicon.

This made me a bit anxious. Could you explain?:fearful:

For maximum battery life, the 10 charge cycle(like, from full to empty) must be COMPLETE drain (not over-discharge) and charge (not over-charge). If you didn’t do that, you lost something from 3% to 10% of the battery. Further charge cycles are a lot less forgiving though…
That only applies to older batteries. (Li-ion batteries. Li-Po? I am not sure.)
The new ones seems to not be greatly influenced by that, buy doing the said procedure wasn’t bad for it, so…just do it.
Didn’t make that in time? It is okay. Just get a new piece of battery when the old one is not holding up.(That being what I am asking Batesake for. I guess he is busy, so I will wait.)
DON’T WORRY TOO MUCH, this thing can still run for more than 4 hours EVEN IF the battery is down to 60% healthy, and that is not going to happen to a battery not 10 years old. (and by then you probably is rocking another Arduboy or your clone anyway)

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