A Handy Guide: How To Dry Out Wet Power Tools

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Dealing with wet power tools is a common yet daunting challenge faced by many DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike. Whether it’s a sudden rainstorm or an accidental spill, wet power tools can cause a headache and, if not dealt with immediately, can lead to serious damage. In this article, ‘A Handy Guide: How To Dry Out Wet Power Tools’, we will walk you through the essential steps to rescue your tools from water damage. Statistics show that a lot of power tools get broken when they get wet, which means they have to be repaired or replaced at high costs. Don’t let this happen to you! Follow our guide to ensure the longevity and safety of your tools.

The Dangers of Wet Power Tools

Let’s get straight to the point: wet power tools are a recipe for disaster. Not only do they pose a significant risk of electrical shock, but they can also lead to long-term damage to the tools themselves.

Risks Associated with Using Wet Power Tools

Symptom Possible Solution
Electrical Shock Immediately disconnect from the power source.
Fire Hazard Unplug the tool and remove any power source.
Corrosion and Rust Clean and wipe parts, use anti-corrosion spray.
Motor Damage Allow to air dry, check for damage before use.
  • Electrical Shock: The most immediate danger is the risk of electrical shock. Water is a conductor of electricity, and using a wet power tool can lead to a shocking experience—literally.
  • Fire Hazard: Yes, water can cause a fire. If water gets into the electrical components, it can cause short circuits that lead to sparks and potentially a fire.

For more on this, check out our article on Electrical Power Tool Safety.

Potential Damage to the Tools

  • Corrosion: Water can lead to rust and corrosion of the metal parts.
  • Motor Damage: The motor is the heart of any power tool. Water can cause it to seize up or fail entirely.

Curious about the specifics? Here’s a detailed look at what happens when a Cordless Drill Gets Wet.

How To Dry Out Wet Power Tools

Initial Steps to Take When Power Tools Get Wet

So your power tool took an unexpected swim. Don’t panic! Here’s what you need to do immediately to minimize the damage.

Disconnecting the Power Source

  • First things first, unplug the tool from the electrical outlet. If it’s a cordless tool, remove the battery. This is crucial to avoid any electrical hazards.

Removing Batteries

This will prevent the battery from short-circuiting and causing further damage.

Dismantling the Tool

  • Take apart the tool to expose as many internal components as possible. This will make it easier to dry out each part thoroughly.

Drying and Cleaning Wet Power Tools

Air Drying Wet Power Tools

So, you’ve unplugged and dismantled your soggy power tool. Now comes the crucial part: drying and cleaning. This is where you’ll learn How To Dry Out Wet Power Tools effectively.

Methods for Drying Out the Parts

  • Air Drying: The simplest method is to let the tool air dry. Place all the parts on a dry towel and let them sit in a well-ventilated area.
  • Rice Method: Submerge the wet parts in a bowl of uncooked rice. Rice is excellent at absorbing moisture.
  • Compressed Air: Use compressed air to blow out any remaining water from the nooks and crannies.

For more detailed steps, you can refer to this guide on How to fix water-damaged power tools.

Cleaning and Removing Corrosion

  • Isopropyl Alcohol: Use a cloth soaked in isopropyl alcohol to wipe down the parts. This will help in removing any corrosion.
  • Wire Brush: For stubborn rust, use a wire brush to scrub it off gently.

For more tips on keeping your tools in tip-top shape, check out our article on Maintaining Your Power Tools.

Tips for Preventing Water Damage

Cordless Drill Recovery Process

Prevention is better than cure, they say. And in the case of power tools, they’re absolutely right. Here are some pro tips to keep your tools dry as a bone.

Proper Storage of Power Tools

  • Toolboxes: Invest in high-quality, waterproof toolboxes.
  • Climate-Controlled Storage: If you’re a serious DIYer, consider a climate-controlled storage unit for your power tools.

Precautions When Working in Damp or Rainy Conditions

  • Weather Forecast: Always check the weather forecast before starting any outdoor projects.
  • Tarps and Covers: Have tarps and plastic covers on hand to quickly cover your tools if it starts to rain unexpectedly.

How To Dry Out Wet Power Tools: Special Cases

Tool Condition Recovery Steps
Wet Drill Battery Remove, wipe, air dry for 24 hours.
Wet Cordless Drill Remove the battery, disassemble, and dry each part.
Safe to Reuse No corrosion, a smooth motor, and no sparks on testing.
Damaged Beyond Repair Visible corrosion, motor issues, electrical sparks.

Sometimes, the universe conspires against us, and our most cherished power tools end up taking a dip. Here are some special cases and what to do if they happen to you.

  • The first thing you should do is remove the battery from the drill.
  • Wipe the outside of the battery with a dry cloth.
  •  Leave the battery to air dry in a well-ventilated area for at least 24 hours.

What to Do if Your Cordless Drill Gets Wet

  • Remove the Battery: As with the drill battery, remove it immediately.
  • Disassemble the Drill: Take apart the drill as much as you can to expose the internal parts.
  • Dry Each Part: Use a dry cloth to wipe each part and then leave them to air dry.

For more tips on recovering flooded power tools, check out this forum.

And if you’re in the market for a new drill, here’s a guide on Choosing the Right Power Drill.

Alternative Solutions and When to Replace

Let’s face it, sometimes our beloved tools are beyond saving. Here’s how to know when it’s time to let go and what to do next.

When It Is Safe to Reuse the Tool

  • No Signs of Corrosion: If, after drying and cleaning, there are no signs of rust or corrosion.
  • Motor Runs Smoothly: The motor runs smoothly and doesn’t make any unusual noises.
  • No Electrical Sparks: When you plug in the tool, there are no sparks or signs of electrical issues.

Signs That the Tool Is Damaged Beyond Repair

  • Visible Corrosion: If there is visible rust or corrosion on any of the parts.
  • Motor Doesn’t Run: The motor doesn’t run or makes unusual noises.
  • Electrical Issues: There are sparks or other signs of electrical issues when you plug in the tool.

For more information on this topic, check out this article on Can Milwaukee Power Tools Get Wet?.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the initial steps to take when power tools get wet?

The initial steps to take when power tools get wet include:

  • Disconnecting the power source
  • Removing batteries
  • Dismantling the tool as much as possible
  • Placing the parts on a towel in a well-ventilated area

Can water-damaged power tools be repaired?

Yes, power tools that have been damaged by water can usually be fixed by drying out the parts, getting rid of any rust, and replacing the broken parts. But sometimes the tool is broken so badly that it can’t be fixed and needs to be replaced.

Is it safe to use power tools in the rain or damp areas?

No, it is not safe to use power tools in the rain or damp areas as water and electricity do not mix well, and it can be very dangerous. Additionally, power tools can create sparks which could potentially start a fire if there is any flammable material present.

How can I prevent my power tools from getting wet?

To prevent your power tools from getting wet:

  • Store your tools indoors or in a shed or garage
  • Cover your tools with a tarp or plastic sheeting when not in use
  • Wear appropriate clothing and safety gear when using power tools in the rain

Can cordless power tools get wet?

Do not use a wet cordless tool again until you take out the battery, dry all the parts well, and check for any harm.


Dealing with wet power tools can be a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and approach, it is possible to salvage them and prevent further damage. Remember, the key to successfully drying out wet power tools is to act quickly, thoroughly dry all parts, and check for any damage before using them again. By following the guide on ‘How To Dry Out Wet Power Tools’, you can ensure the longevity and safety of your tools, saving you time and money in the long run.

Thank you for reading!