See, I keep my non-work web-browser (and passwords file) on a flash drive (along with other stuff, but these two are the closest to important data on it). so you can imagine my concern when I went to use them a few days ago and couldn't find it. then suddenly a touch of panic sets in as I realize where it must be. I go, stop the dryer, and quickly pull out my shorts (being relieved to notice it hadn't yet fully warmed up yet). I reach in the pocket and, sure enough, there's my flash drive. the external markings have worn off and it's notably soaked, but it's there. I calm down, releived by a recent backup I made of the contents, and remember that I spoke with someone once who had the same thing happen and he said it was fine after drying out.
So I let it sit in our server rack for a day (nice and warm in there, help the water evaporate) and then tore it apart and let the circut board sit on my shelf for another day and tonight I finally decided to plug it in. Works fine, all the data is there, no corruption. I'm a happy camper.. now to go duct-tape my flash drive back together. :)
Yes, it's true. USB flash drives can go through the wash without any damage, just let them dry FULLY before plugging them in. :) also, I don't know how it would have fared had it gone through the dryer. plastic has been known to melt in there before..