As recounted previously here and here my doughty little 8GB USB stick has now survived two inadvertent but complete trips, two months apart, through the washer and dryer. After a day-long bath in WD40 and a thorough air-drying process, it is now back in duty... and again working like a champ!
I had been sobered by the expert view that, despite its brave initial recovery from the trauma, the USB was already doomed because corrosion of its tiny circuits had begun. It was bound to fail in four to eight weeks. Then another expert said that WD40 could reverse the process...
It's now 10+ weeks since the first wash-dry cycle. Every four weeks or so I'll report on its health -- until I get bored, or I have to report its demise.
Meanwhile, I have received a note about a kind of "Survivor" USB stick designed to go through the washing machine -- and nuclear winter, and whatever other torture test you have in mind. I'll try to take this in the right spirit -- and not as if I were a diner in a restaurant being offered a bib after repeatedly dripping food all over myself. Thanks, I think, to Dave Proffer for the tip.