It’s a simple fact that electronics and water don’t mix. And even though we live in a wonderful time where things like waterproof cellphones and earbuds are available, it’s still not ideal to have any of your electronics directly come into contact with water.
Unfortunately, accidents happen. So, when a pair of AirPods goes through the wash, it’s never a happy day. Luckily, there are some things you can try.
That’s why I decided to take an in-depth look at “What to do when AirPods go through the wash?” Furthermore, these steps might also help if they happen to fall in a swimming pool, down the toilet, or if some liquid got spilled on them. So, let’s get started…
The Short Answer
Start by using a paper towel to wipe off as much of the moisture as you can from the AirPods. After the initial wipe down, you can use the cotton swabs to get to those hard-to-reach places. However, be careful not to exert too much pressure; you might bend the contact points.
Take a hairdryer and set it to its lowest setting. Blow into the openings you can find, and do a once over of the earbuds and the case. Finally, place the items in the sun for at least twelve hours and don’t try and use them at all during this whole process.
The two most important things…
If your AirPods got wet, keep these things in mind. Number one, there is still hope for your AirPods. And, number two, everything depends on how quickly you act.
I’ve given you the crash course. But, there are quite a few things to keep in mind in this situation. So, let’s dive a little deeper.
What Went Through The Wash?
There are three possible scenarios for your AirPods ending up in the washing machine. Each will affect how well you can restore them, if at all.
- Both the AirPods and charging case went through the wash.
- Only the charging case went through the wash.
- Only the AirPods went through the wash.
If the earphones are inside the charging case when they go through the wash, they will be afforded quite a bit of protection. You see, the engineers at Apple are paid to sit and think about all these kinds of things so that we don’t have to. If Apple products are one thing, it’s well-built.
The second thing to bear in mind is the IPX4 rating of AirPods. They may not be fully waterproof, but they are resistant to sweat and splashes of liquid. This alone isn’t enough to save the AirPods from a journey through the washing machine, but it will make a difference.
Damage from the washing machine’s spin cycle?
Fortunately, AirPods can withstand a fall from a height of up to ten feet. Therefore, this should render them more than capable of withstanding the forces in a washing machine, even the faster ones.
As mentioned before, one of the most important things to consider when you’re in this kind of situation is time. You need to get those AirPods out of the washer and as dry them as quickly as possible. So, let’s take a look at getting rid of as much water and moisture as efficiently as possible.
What To Do When AirPods Go Through The Wash?
Once you get them out of the washing machine, you need to get water out of your AirPods as quickly as you can. Simply follow the steps below, and hopefully, your AirPods can be brought back from the brink.
Open up the case and take the earbuds out. Get a Microfiber Cleaning Cloth. If this is not handy, the next best thing is a paper towel. The key here is absorption ability. You need something that can soak up as much water as possible.
Next, try to get at all those small, hard-to-reach nooks and crannies inside the case. For this, you need some cotton swabs. Take care when you clean around the metal contact points; if you exert too much pressure, you might bend or damage them. This part is very important, so take extra care.
The next step is probably the most controversial…
Using a blow dryer can be beneficial in these types of situations since it’s very efficient at getting the moisture out. But, some users have complained of further damage to their AirPods using a blow dryer.
This is likely because they set their blow dryer to a high heat setting. Or, the blow dryer may just operate at higher levels and can’t be set lower. This can indeed cause damage to the AirPods, so take care when performing this step.
With all this in mind, there are things that you can do to ensure you use adequate heat for drying out AirPods. Simply perform the skin test. Let the blower blow onto your arm, and if it’s uncomfortably warm, then it’s too hot to use on your AirPods.
The last step…
Place your AirPods and charging case in a nice sunny spot. Preferably a spot on a windowsill where they can catch a nice dose of the morning sun. However, don’t place them in direct sunlight for long periods. If you must put them in the very hot sun, do so in short bursts to avoid damaging them.
The components need to dry independently. So, take the AirPods out of the case and spread them out in the sun. This part takes patience and a little bit of faith. Remember, you can perform the skin test to determine whether the spot you’ve chosen is too hot or shady.
I am going to repeat the importance of having patience during this part of the process. Don’t attempt to turn on the AirPods or charge them in any way for at least 12, but preferably 24 hours after they’ve been through the washing machine.
A final resort…
And, I do mean final, you can try the old trick of placing the AirPods inside a bowl of rice. Just make sure that there isn’t too much moisture in and/or on the AirPods, which will make the rice swell up too much and become mushy. And, once you have mushy rice inside the nooks and crannies or your beloved earbuds, it’s game over.
Alternatively, you can try using Silica Gel for this step since it’s designed to get rid of moisture.
Does Apple Offer Coverage for AirPods that Go Through the Wash?
Unfortunately, the AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max do not come with any kind of coverage for damage done by a washing machine or any water for that matter. They only come with an IP rating of 4, after all.
That being said, even some of Apple’s higher IP-rated products, like the iPhone 11 Pro Max, has a warranty that makes no consideration for damage done by water or a washing machine.
If you’ve got a pair of Apple AirPods Pro, I would recommend signing up for AppleCare+. It makes sense since you’ve forked out all that money for a pair of premium wireless earbuds. AppleCare+ is quite comprehensive and should cover you for most situations.
The AirPods Pro warranty doesn’t cover water damage. But, with AppleCare+ service, you ought to be taken care of even in the event of water damage. Although, it would be prudent to check with the people you purchased the item from.
Another great perk that comes from having AppleCare+ is that your replacement batteries are covered by this service. This gives you some peace of mind should you ever have to replace batteries for whatever reason.
Need More Help With Your AirPods?
We have you covered. Take a look at our detailed articles on AirPods Connected But No Sound, AirPods Blinking Orange? How to Fix It, AirPods Case Not Charging How To Fix It, How to Clean Your AirPods Pro, and Can I Use Two Different AirPods for more useful information.
Also, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best AirPods Alternative, the Best Apple AirPods Pro Alternatives, the Best iPhone Earbuds, the Best Noise Isolating Earbuds, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, and the Best True Wireless Earbuds you can buy in 2023.
What To Do When AirPods Go Through the Wash? – Final Thoughts
It’s always worrying when any electronic device goes through the washing machine or has any kind of water-related accident. Thankfully, Airpods, like all of Apple’s products, are well-designed, made with high-quality materials, and very well put together.
Therefore, if you keep in mind that they are water-resistant, and you act as quickly as you can, you could well save your AirPods from water damage.
Furthermore, quite a few users have reported saving their AirPods from water damage by acting swiftly, getting them dry as quickly as possible, not testing them for at least 24 hours, and taking care to get rid of the moisture as thoroughly as possible.
Until next time, happy listening.