Car key in the washing machine! Forgot my 2023 Verna’s key in my shorts

Expecting the worst and thinking if I would have to claim the insurance for this stupidity, I ran towards the washing machine and took out the shorts.

BHPian MyLife_MyCar recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

My car key goes a full cycle in a washing machine

About 3 weeks ago, on a lazy morning, I was just done with my coffee and turned on the laptop to start the routine office work while still yawning!

Bzzz, bzzz, bzzz vibrates my mobile phone and I was cursing the work people for calling me so early in the morning (it was 11 am, but still early for me :P). A quick glance at the phone and it was my building watchman calling.

Relieved, I picked up the call and he goes, “Bhaiya, 2 ghante baad car hatana padega. Kuchh samaan nikalna hai parking se. (Saar, You’ll have to move your car a bit after 2 hours as I have to take out some stuff from the parking).”

I would be in a meeting after two hours, so thought of moving the car right away. Told him I’ll be down in 5 minutes. Logged into my laptop, opened Teams, waited for the status to turn green which indicates I’m available (hehehe!) and got up from my chair to go to the parking.

Opened the cabinet drawer where I keep my car key and, of course, it wasn’t there!

Vrrrrrooooommmmmm… I realised that the washing machine was doing its duty, and it had my shorts that had the key in one of the pockets!

Expecting the worst and thinking if I would have to claim the insurance for this stupidity, I ran towards the washing machine and took out the shorts. Then, took out the key from its pocket, and surprisingly it seemed dry.

Not trusting what I saw, I frantically started googling what to do next. Wait! At least I should open up the key first and check what’s the situation inside.

To open up the key:

Look at the back of the key. Push the small lever in the direction shown

Take out the physical key completely

Take a flathead screwdriver and use it to open up the case by inserting it in the gap (as shown between the two red arrows). While doing this, I was careful not to press any button that might damage the electronics inside.

The inside of the key

I was again surprised, and somewhat relieved, as there was no trace of water inside it.

The circuit board is mounted on a plastic platform and very well covered by a silicon casing

Separated all the parts carefully. Everything felt dry and not a single drop of water anywhere.

Then, used my wife’s hair dryer to blow hot air on all the parts and left those in the open for the entire day.

Next day, assembled the parts and it was time to test if it was working properly. With the keys in hand and the butterflies in my stomach, went down to the parking and clicked the unlock button.


At this point, I was wondering if it was the (Decathlon) shorts or the good packaging of the Hyundai key that did not let the water inside. Or was it the “spin cycle” of the washing machine that took out all the water, if any? Can’t say for sure.

But all is well that ends well!

Here’s what BHPian ashis89 had to say about the matter:

In the past 3 months, I have experienced 3 such incidents already.

In August, a few of us friends were meeting in Goa. After the long drive to Goa, each one was looking forward to that dive into the swimming pool. I got in talking to everyone and after a few minutes, realised my pocket felt heavy. It was my phone – a Samsung S20 FE 5G. Took it out and kept it in the sun for an hour. The phone has been working fine as if nothing ever happened. Some moisture got into the camera lens which took 3-4 days to dry up.

The same day, half an hour later one of us felt something fallen on the pool floor. Took it out and it was my friend’s car key – Nissan Kicks. Left it to dry for an hour in the sun, just like the phone. Has been working fine.

And finally last week, my car key fob went through a complete washing machine cycle after it sneaked in via my dirty pair of jeans. Wife was shocked to discover it in the wet jeans. I took the key and left it near a window which sees some sunlight, for a day. And it has been working fine.

Here’s what BHPian greyhound82 had to say about the matter:

For me following went through the wash and dry cycle:

  • Punto Keys: Had to be replaced
  • Apple Watch: Intact. Not even a scratch on the glasses
  • Apple AirPods Pro with case: Partially damaged. Repaired on Apple Care

Here’s what BHPian Jeroen had to say about the matter:

On these keys, the most likely parts that get damaged or get worn out for that matter are the micro switches. Just a tiny bit of moisture is enough to have them malfunction.

You did the correct thing by opening up the key and letting everything dry out. On most of these keys, the micro switches can be replaced by anybody handy with a soldering gun. Eventually, those switches will wear out. Replacing the micro switch is a fiddle job but usually a hell of a lot cheaper than replacing the whole key.

Here’s what BHPian Blow Horn Ok had to say about the matter:

3 years ago, the same incident happened to me. My Aspire’s key got completely washed in the washing machine. It’s a flip key so the key blade has a rotating mechanism and I thought water must have entered through any crevice. In a hurry to figure out if the key was damaged, I wiped it and pressed all buttons and to my relief, everything worked as usual.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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