I recently and very stupidly ran an analog (non-digital) meat thermometer through the dish washer. It came out full of water, like a fish tank or a pimp's aquarium heels, and it has not dried a milliliter since then (over a week).

The brand name is Thermo Geneve, if it matters, and the dial reads from 140 to 190 Farenheit, with each 10-step temperature segment (except the 190) featuring one, two or three cuts of meat optimal at that temp. For example, 140 F has ham, rare-cooked beef to 180 F that just lists fresh turkey.

Here's the image: Photo of Thermo Geneve Meat Thermometer

Imagine it foggy and water logged to the physical 160 or 170 F level, and maybe a tiny goldfish swimming around.

Any ideas on getting it dry?

Many thanks for reading fellow home cooks!

  • 4
    I was sooooo looking forward to the tiny goldfish, but your photo link is messed up....
    – Stephie
    Dec 5, 2016 at 7:05
  • ...maybe toss in a warm but cooling oven, to dry in the residual heat? I wouldn't want it in an actually hot oven unless I knew it could stand the temperature, but there should be a point as it cools where it's safe to leave it in to dry out a bit at a time.
    – Megha
    Dec 5, 2016 at 7:39
  • 2
    Due to thermal expansion of materials, it is well possible that the casing behaves as if sealed at room temperature but not at 60-70c as would be found in a fishwasher. Heating it (eg in your oven) to that temperature should be one of the things to try. If you have any way to create an under-pressurized environment (Eg with a vacuum sealer - check whether it can deal with swallowing water in the worst case!), that would also be worth trying. Dec 5, 2016 at 9:38
  • 2
    @rackandboneman typo or Freudian slip? fishwasher... ^_^
    – Stephie
    Dec 5, 2016 at 10:09
  • 2
    freudian slip, noticed before posting but left in since it fits in well with the goldfish theme. Dec 5, 2016 at 12:19

4 Answers 4


If water got in you can get it out. Your thermometer is the circular analog type and it has more than one piece. There's one piece with the probe and dial, and then there's a circular cover with the glass on it. The water got into the thermometer through the seam where the 2 pieces meet, and this is where you'll get the water out, you just have to figure out how.

What I would do first is to get a safety pin and see if I can pry the gap between the 2 pieces apart a bit to let the water run out. Be careful not to poke yourself if you try that though, it's easy to do. If you do get it dripping out then you'll need to find a way to hold it in place at about a 45 degree angle from vertical in the direction of the pin to allow the water to run out. Sticking it in a piece of styrofoam or a potato should do the trick.

Another option would be to put it in a warm (call it 150-160F, 70C) oven at about a 45 degree angle from vertical. Sticking it through a medium size potato will keep it stable, don't use styrofoam as the fumes will be toxic.

You could also combine these 2 methods.

Another option I would consider is to put the thermometer on its side in a sealed container full of uncooked rice. The rice absorbs water and makes the air very dry, it's a method which works to dry out watches and even mobile phones.


Do The rice. I just did the same thing and I am putting it in rice as it worked on my coffee drenched cell phone very nicely. Another thing I did first was to use a hair dryer on it and it did a pretty good job but there is still condensation so I think the rice is the way to go.


I would strongly suggest disposing of it and replacing it.

It is a device that you depend on for food safety which has (perhaps due to poor workmanship, as the majority of analog meat thermometers I've ever met are claimed to be dishwasher-safe) gotten water into its delicate working parts - they may no longer delicately work correctly, even if they are dried out.

If it does not claim to be dishwasher-safe, I'd put that down as a poor design choice and something to look for when buying a replacement.

  • ...And as a matter of personal shopping habit, if the brand is "Thermo Geneve" and it wasn't made in Geneva, Switzerland, I'd avoid it due to misleading marketing spin...
    – Ecnerwal
    Dec 28, 2016 at 18:10

use a shop vac. on the face and tilt from side to side.

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