Dropping a pair of AirPods in water has to be one of the most heartbreaking moments for a tech or music fan. However, unless your AirPods are still submerged in water, there is a good chance you can get them to work again!
If you get your AirPods wet, Apple recommends using a microfiber cloth to dry the earbuds and charging case. Then, on the cloth, place both the earbuds and the charging case upside down. The charging case should be open and face down.
Wait at least 4 hours before putting them to the test. Ker-plunk. That’s not a sound you want to associate with your priceless AirPods. And, with all the swimming and water frolicking that’s sure to happen this summer, there’s never been a better opportunity for your AirPods to take an unwanted dip.
If you’re here, it simply means that your AirPods have gotten wet. What should you do if your AirPods have recently gotten wet? We have the solutions to get your AirPods working again. Here are some pointers to follow if you’ve accidentally dropped your AirPods in water.
To avoid damage, take these steps one at a time, as the least invasive and involved steps may be enough to save your AirPods. This quick guide will teach you exactly what to do with dropped AirPods in water, as well as how to avoid water damage in the future!
ARE AIRPODS WATERPROOF?
Apple AirPods are sweat- and water-resistant, but not waterproof. This means they won’t be harmed by light water contact, but they might not survive a trip through your washing machine. If you’re wondering whether your AirPods are waterproof, the answer is more complicated than a simple yes or no.
In reality, the question is more about the term “water resistance.” First, figure out which model of AirPods you have. The first generation AirPods, second generation AirPods, and AirPods Max (the over-ear ones) do not have any waterproofing or water resistance, so keep them away from water at all costs.
That’s bad news for people who like to exercise while wearing AirPods, because sweat can easily get into the openings. You must decide for yourself whether the risk is worthwhile. Some people appear to be able to exercise without incident, but sweat has been known to damage AirPods.
All of those open audio holes and ports are not water-resistant, especially if you’ve dropped your AirPods in water. Fortunately, the newer, more advanced AirPods Pro model is water resistant. Keep in mind that this is not the same as being waterproof.
You don’t have to worry about a little sweat or water beading up on your AirPods Pro, but give them a good wipe down after a workout with a microfiber cloth. Under no circumstances should they be immersed or soaked in water. That means no swimming or showering while wearing AirPods.
It’s best to keep your AirPods, regardless of model, as dry as possible at all times. As of now, none of the AirPods charging cases are waterproof, so keep those dry as well.
There are ways to give any model of AirPods case a boost in the water resistance department. Try some of our own AirPods case kits, like our Retro AirPods Case, to add some much-needed water resistance to the charging case. This will give you a leg up on watery days, but be careful when you take those AirPods out!
1. Light Water Contact
If you wear your AirPods on a rainy walk, don’t worry – they’ll be fine. People who work out while wearing AirPods and are heavy sweaters are in the same boat.
Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro are made to get wet, and they get wet a lot. They’re worn on your head and exposed to the elements, and they’re designed with exercise in mind. As a result, they can withstand more than a little moisture without being irreparably damaged.
2. Fully Submerged in Water
If, on the other hand, your AirPods have been fully submerged in water for more than a few seconds, they are most likely damaged. AirPods, unlike iPhones, are not designed to be submerged and can be severely (and sometimes permanently) damaged if they are.
If water gets inside the charging case or one of the earbuds, it could mean the end of the game. Drying only goes so far; fully submerged AirPods frequently short circuit and lose some or all functionality.
If you drop your AirPods in water, get them out as soon as possible – time is of the essence. The sooner you get them out of the water, the better your chances of saving them. If you only submerge your AirPods for a few seconds, they should be fine.
Any delay of more than 10-15 seconds can be disastrous. So, while it should go without saying, I’ll say it again to be clear: never put your AirPods in the washing machine!
(Note: my AirPods have been washed twice and still work! Just the headphones, not the case; they don’t sound as good as they did the day I bought them, but they’re not terrible, so there’s still hope…).
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HOW TO DRY AIRPODS THAT HAVE BEEN DROPPED IN WATER?
If you’ve dropped your AirPods in water, your new life’s mission is straightforward: dry them out. Drying AirPods is similar to drying a phone, though the bowl of rice you use to dry your phone may not be the best thing for your AirPods.
Rice can still dry out AirPods, but the small grains may get into the AirPods and cause additional damage. So, save the rice for another day. If you want to dry out a pair of AirPods, follow these steps:
- Obtain a clean, dry microfiber cloth.
- Completely clean the earbuds.
- Completely clean the charging case.
- Place the earbuds and charging case on the cloth, upside down. This indicates that the earbuds are “face down” and that the charging case is open.
Your AirPods should dry out over time. I recommend waiting at least 4 hours before testing them – longer if you submerged your AirPods for more than 15 seconds. You can also dry your AirPods by placing a bamboo charcoal packet or two next to them.
These tiny packets are excellent at absorbing moisture and can have a minor (but still significant) impact on the drying of your AirPods. They are intended to absorb odors, but they also work well at sucking up moisture!
You dunked your AirPods in water, and they’re now soaked. Fortunately, Apple’s own maintenance advice may just solve the problem. Simply dry them thoroughly with a microfiber cloth and leave them upside down to air out before attempting to connect or use them.
The same procedure should be followed in the charging case. If your AirPods appear dry after a few minutes of drying time, go ahead and use them. Don’t give up if they still don’t work. There are a couple of more advanced methods that may be able to revive those soaked AirPods.
Bonus tip: After you’ve dropped your AirPods in water, do not put them back in the charging case. The enclosed space will not allow the AirPods to dry properly, and any water that leaks out of the AirPods is likely to damage the charging case. It’s a lose-lose situation. Only put your AirPods back in their case when you’re sure they’re completely dry.
USE AIR WAVES TO EJECT WATER FROM INSIDE YOUR AIRPODS
Another option is to use air waves to help eject any water that has gotten inside your AirPods. This is very similar to the water-ejection feature on the Apple Watch. To begin, connect your AirPods to your iPhone and turn the volume all the way up (don’t put them in your ears!).
Then, on your iPhone, download the Siri Shortcuts app. Cover the sensors on each AirPod before activating the Water Eject shortcut. You should notice your AirPods vibrating and water slowly leaking out. You can repeat this procedure as many times as necessary.
This also applies to AirPods Pro! Once dry, try to connect your AirPods to your iPhone. Remember to listen to them first-thing. Even though they connect, the audio quality could be permanently distorted.
You may be tempted to try the old dry rice trick, which can be useful for drying wet phones (If you don’t know, submerging your phone in a container of uncooked rice will absorb all the moisture over a few hours or so). We don’t recommend doing this with AirPods.
The rice grains and particles can become lodged inside the AirPods, causing more harm than good. If this method does not work, move on to Method 3.
If your AirPods still don’t work after they’ve dried out and you’ve tried the Water Eject shortcut, your only option is to replace them. Unless, of course, you can persuade Apple to give you a free pair of AirPods…
DOES APPLECARE+ FOR AIRPODS COVER WATER DAMAGE?
AppleCare+ is the brand name for Apple’s extended warranty, which covers far more than the standard one-year warranty. It is available for a fee when you first purchase your AirPods. AppleCare+, for example, covers “accidental damage,” which includes things like drops, water damage, and heat damage.
This warranty is only valid once per year, so if you soak your AirPods twice in a year, you’re out of luck. You can have your AirPods replaced if you have AppleCare+. You will have to pay a $29 service fee, but that is far less expensive than paying $200 or more for a brand new set!
Alternative Video: How To Fix AirPods Water Damage?
DOES THE APPLE WARRANTY FOR AIRPODS COVER WATER DAMAGE?
The standard Apple AirPods warranty does not cover water damage or other accidents that may damage your AirPods. If you only have the standard warranty, you are only covered for problems caused by Apple or the retailer from which you purchased it, such as a charging case that is broken out of the box.
AppleCare+ is required if you want your AirPods and other Apple devices to be fully protected in the event of an accident. The extended warranty for AirPods costs $29, which is a great deal if you have the cash!
GET A NEW PAIR OF AIRPODS
Finally, if you don’t have AppleCare+ and your AirPods are ruined due to water damage, consider purchasing a new pair! Apple released the third generation AirPods in October 2021, and they sound fantastic.
The AirPod 3rd generation can be used for up to 6 hours of simultaneous listening time and up to 30 hours when fully charged. That’s a significant upgrade over the AirPod Pros. If you’re interested, you can find the most recent price for the third generation AirPods on Amazon here.
HOW TO PROTECT AIRPODS FROM WATER DAMAGE?
What’s better than fixing AirPods with water damage? Making sure they never get water damage in the first place! These three tips will help you extend the life of your AirPods and make them *virtually* impossible to harm by dropping in water:
1. Always Check Your Pockets Before Doing Laundry
This should always be a part of your laundry routine. You never know what’s in the pockets of that pair of jeans you haven’t worn in a week.
It could be your phone, your wallet, a random $20 bill, or your AirPods. Back when we all used Apple EarPods, it wasn’t a big deal to throw them in the washer. However, with AirPods, it can be disastrous. As a result, make sure to check your pockets every time!
2. Get a Water-Resistant AirPods Case
This tip is especially important if you live in an area with a particularly wet or humid climate. A good, water-resistant AirPods case will keep moisture away from the sensitive electronics and keep your AirPods in good condition for a long time.
AirPods cases are inexpensive, come in a variety of styles, and protect your AirPods from physical damage. If you’re concerned about what might happen to your expensive Bluetooth earbuds if you drop them in water or on a hard surface, pick up a case and relax!
3. Always Clean Your AirPods After Workouts
This is possibly the best way to ensure that your AirPods live a long and happy life. When you exercise, you sweat, which deposits water and salt in your AirPods. The longer you wait to clean or dry them out after a strenuous workout, the more likely it is that water will get inside and damage the electronics.
After your workout, remove your AirPods and use a dry cloth or paper towel to clean both earbuds and the charging case. Because this is a preventative measure, you don’t have to be overly thorough – just make sure they’re completely dry before storing them! (You should do this every time you use your AirPods outside in the rain, by the way.)
If your AirPods got wet and are permanently damaged, there is still hope for you other than purchasing brand-new retail models. AirPods are covered by Apple’s warranty program. If you have AppleCare+, the fee is actually quite reasonable.
Out-of-warranty fees are slightly higher, but in both cases, you’re getting a better deal than brand-new AirPods. Your particular circumstance is most likely addressed on Apple’s official AirPods Repair page.
CONSIDER ADDITIONAL PROTECTION WITH SAHARACASE
So you’ve read our advice, learned a little about water resistance, and are now ready to try to resurrect your drowned AirPods. We can only wish you the best of luck! Don’t give up if you’ve dropped your AirPods in water!
Stop by our store for cases designed specifically for AirPods, AirPods 2, and AirPods Pro to increase the water resistance of your charging case. We also have a good selection of other useful AirPods accessories. With SaharaCase, you can stay dry while listening to your favorite music!
If you let it, water can do a lot of damage to your AirPods. Avoid submerging them in water as much as possible, and dry them out as soon as possible if you must. Don’t forget to clean them on a regular basis, and if you’re worried about damaging them, consider purchasing AppleCare+ to ensure a (mostly) free replacement!
Have you been able to save your water-damaged AirPods, or have you had to replace them? In the comments section below, please share your thoughts, questions, and advice for other readers!
Frequently Asked Questions
Which AirPod is the best?
AirPods Pro by Apple The AirPods Pro are the best AirPods you can buy in 2022, with active noise cancellation, a snug fit, and an improved design over the company’s previous true wireless earbuds.
Is it possible to use AirPods with Android?
Though designed for the iPhone, Apple’s AirPods are also compatible with Android smartphones and tablets, allowing you to enjoy Apple’s wire-free technology even if you own both Android and Apple devices.
Why are the new AirPods cheaper?
They are less expensive than the others because they lack noise-cancellation and transparency models, as well as spatial audio support. They’re also the only AirPods available without a wireless charging case (though a wireless charging model can be purchased for an additional $30-ish).