It happens. You dump a load of laundry in the washer, and your AirPods are tucked into the pocket of your favorite pants. Or you’re sitting on the toilet, and you know what happens next.
Electronics meet water, triggering a frantic search for a way to dry them off. Can they be saved? Maybe. Here’s what you can do if your AirPods get wet.
But wait...there are a few important things to clarify first.
In a word, no. No version of AirPods — standard AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max — are waterproof. Charging cases and Smart Cases are not waterproof, either.
It’s a no for the standard AirPods, the AirPods Max, charging cases, and the Smart Case. But there’s a bit of good news for AirPods Pro owners: They are sweat and water resistant, boasting an IPX4 water-resistant rating. That means that AirPods Pro hold up if they get splashed with water from any direction or wet from sweat. But you should know that their water resistance wanes over time. Normal wear can decrease the water resistance of the AirPods Pros.
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If your AirPods do get wet, it may be possible to salvage them. As soon as you can, use a soft, dry, lint-free cloth, such as a microfiber cloth, to dry them off. Then, place them in a safe spot to dry. Depending on how wet they were, it might take a day or longer for them to fully dry out. Cases dry best when the lid is open and they are stored upside down.
Before using your AirPods again or storing them away in their charging case, they must be completely dry, Apple warns. Putting wet AirPods into a charging case could cause further damage to the case itself.
Don’t try to speed up the process with a hair dryer or other heat source; the heat could cause more harm to your AirPods.
Some AirPods users claim success using rice or desiccant, in the form of silica gel packets, to suck out any moisture. Silica gel packets are those little packets that say, “Do Not Eat” and are typically found in shoe boxes, vitamin containers, and packaged with electronics to ward off moisture build up. To try to dry your AirPods off in this way, place them in a container with the packets. If you use rice as an alternative, wrap the AirPods in paper towels so an individual grain doesn’t get stuck in the device. Again, it may take a day or more for them to dry out completely.
If they no longer connect to your device or sound off after a couple of days, it’s probably time to call it quits and get a new pair.