I found out just how much my flash drive could take. Well, actually, I think it can take a lot more, especially since it is still working. I left it in the pocket of my jeans and washed it. Then it went through the dryer too. I heard something flopping around in the clothes dryer, and I thought it was just the buttons on my jeans making noise. It was my plastic USB flash drive. I was not even damaged on the outside. I figured it was dry since it went through the dryer, so I plugged it into my computer. I had image files on it. I had put them on the drive to take to show to a friend who buys some of my images of architecture and nature.
I did a scan to check the flash drive. It checked out okay. I ran a program to compare the directory on the flash drive with the one on my PC that I copied from. It showed that they were identical. It did not seem that any digital information was corrupted. I had that dryer on the regular cycle to dry my jeans, so you know it was hot in there. The detergent in the washer had surfactants that make water wetter. That is so it can dislodge grime, but it also make water get into tiny cracks better. I am amazed at how tough a plastic USB flash drive really is.
I have seen people using ones with cracked housings and USB plugs that are wobbly. They still work. I read that the data on a flash drive maintains its integrity for about a decade before you start to see some missing ones and zeroes in your files. That is pretty impressive for a tiny device that many people lose and replace all the time. Think about it. All those flash drives you have lost are probably lying on the ground somewhere ready to give up their data to the people who find them. It does not matter if they have been in the rain or sun. Amazing to think about, huh?