Less Ovaltine, please :(
March 30, 2010 1:34 PM   Subscribe

I've spilled chocolate milk all over my power strip (with surge protector). What to do?

I immediately unplugged everything. I wiped off the plugs of my computer and lamp and so on with a damp towel and left them to dry. I set the power strip itself upside down to drain, as milk seems to have pooled inside the sockets. Will it be shot? Can it be saved? Is there anything else I should worry about?
posted by a sourceless light to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
I would get a new one.
posted by The World Famous at 1:36 PM on March 30, 2010

I'd probably never trust the protector again, so would cut my losses.

This said, allow it to fully dry out before trying it again.

If it was water I wouldn't worry about it, but chocolate milk is going to leave behind residual sugar and such. It make stink, it may short. Who knows.

You could take it apart and clean it internally with a damp cloth or with alcohol (not like you can hurt it worse), but I'm not sure I'd bother.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:39 PM on March 30, 2010

I wouldn't risk it. Getting a new one would probably be your best option.
posted by Telpethoron at 1:40 PM on March 30, 2010

They're cheap. If you value your time at all, junk it any buy new.
posted by jon1270 at 1:41 PM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

posted by Danf at 1:43 PM on March 30, 2010

Sounds like a possible fire hazard. Cut your losses and be glad it wasn't on the computer itself.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 1:46 PM on March 30, 2010

As long as there's no current flowing, many "passive" devices are surprising tolerant of getting wet. Some people use a dishwasher to clean their keyboards, something I've never tried, despite being tempted.

If it were to happen to me, I might just go whole hog and shoot the thing off with a hose -- try to get all the sugar out. I'd then wait long enough to be sure the thing was dry before plugging it in again.

Keyboards, of course, don't take 120V, and so might be more tolerant of this treatment than power supplies. So unless you're interested in the experimental value of the thing, it's probably best to take the advice above and buy a new one.
posted by lex mercatoria at 1:47 PM on March 30, 2010

My boyfriend routinely washes his surge protectors in the sink (sometimes letting them soak), and then dries them out thoroughly for a couple of days, and then they work fine. I thought he was crazy, but he's been doing it for years. When my cat puked on my cable modem and it quit working, he washed it the same way, let it dry, and voila... the damn thing worked again.
posted by kimdog at 1:49 PM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

would probably be fine if rinsed and set out to dry for a couple of days, but another vote for getting a new one to replace it - if nothing else, surge protectors wear out. consider this a handy way to make sure your equipment has good protection from surges.
posted by mrg at 2:35 PM on March 30, 2010

I dismantled mine in a juice spill situation. I wiped things down with a toothbrush dipped in vinegar, soaked up liquid with a dry rag, and left it in some rice in the sun for the weekend. Everything felt fine/non-sticky to the touch so I labelled it and hooked it up to some non-essential electronics. It has been fine since then.

Another friend had luck with rubbing alcohol and distilled water. It evaporated, leaving things cleaner.

posted by beardlace at 11:59 PM on March 30, 2010

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