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How to Get Rid of Mold on Electronics

Corey M. Mackenzie

Although electronics are not prone to mold growth, nearly any item exposed to the right conditions (warmth and moisture) can develop mold. If you’ve experienced a flood, or an electronic product has gotten water damage for some other reason, mold can develop if these items are not dried out quickly.

Nevertheless, even after mold has developed, you can still try to save the item. Removing mold cannot guarantee the electronic item will still function. However, removing mold is one step in your attempt to restore life to any electronics that have gotten wet.

Tip

Remember that the sooner you dry out the electronic item, the better. If you cannot safely disassemble an electronic item to get to the mold inside, letting it dry out completely might be sufficient--mold needs dampness and warmth to remain alive. If you don’t want to wait, take it to a qualified professional for cleaning.

Warning

Do not disassemble any electronic components unless you know exactly what you are doing. Some electronic equipment may still carry an electrical charge even when not plugged in. Do not remove batteries from cell phones, laptops or similar items without first consulting the manufacturer. These batteries may be damaged and require special precautions.

  1. Turn off any and all power sources to the electronic item. You must make sure the electronic item is completely without power before doing anything else or you risk electric shock.

  2. Ventilate the area very well and turn on a fan. Place the electronic item on paper towels.

  3. Wipe the visible surfaces with a lint-free cloth. Microfiber should work nicely, but many kinds of cloths will do. Unless the product has been stored wet for a long time, the mold should come off easily. If a dry cloth isn’t working well, dampen it slightly.

  4. Pour a very small amount of rubbing alcohol onto a clean cloth. Rub away all remaining visible mold from the electronic product.

  5. Remove all parts that can be safely removed. Dab a cotton swab in small areas to get at hard-to-reach mold.

  6. Place desiccants (specially packaged drying agents) around the electronic item. Leave these overnight, or longer, to absorb any additional moisture.