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Your AirPods Aren’t Waterproof, But Here’s What You Can Do

AirPods

Your AirPods are not waterproof. You should avoid wearing them in the shower, swimming pool, or even in the rain. If you have AirPods Pro or third-generation AirPods, they might be water-resistant but they don’t stay that way forever, So you’re always better off safe than sorry.

Still, no matter how hard we try, sometimes it’s impossible to avoid getting your AirPods wet. If that happens, you need to know how to dry them off safely, and you probably want to know how to protect them from water in the future.

Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant

When a device is waterproof, it’s impossible for water to get inside or cause damage. This is the case no matter how long that device is underwater or how deep it goes. None of Apple’s AirPods are waterproof.

In contrast, a water-resistant device only stops water from getting inside for a limited time or at limited depths. We measure water resistance using the IP rating system. It’s common to confuse waterproof and water resistance.

First- and second-generation AirPods are not water-resistant at all, nor are AirPods Max, but third-generation AirPods and AirPods Pro have a water-resistance rating of IPX4. This is quite a low rating; it means Apple only designed the AirPods Pro to withstand small splashes of water, such as rain or sweat.

AirPods Pro Sweat and Wate Resistant information

Unfortunately, water-resistant seals degrade over time, which means third-generation AirPods or AirPods Pro will become less water-resistant as they age. There’s no way to find out if a water-resistant seal still works or not, and there’s no way to re-seal it either. So the older your water-resistant devices get, the more careful you should be with them.

Is My AirPods Water Resistant?

There are no waterproof AirPods, and only the AirPods (3rd generation) or AirPods Pro are water-resistant. You should still avoid getting water-resistant AirPods or AirPods Pro wet on purpose, but they should survive the odd splash.

The original AirPods or AirPods (2nd generation) aren’t waterproof or water-resistant at all, so don’t ever let them get wet.

The same is true of any AirPods charging case. Despite what some websites say, like MacRumors, the MagSafe charging case with the third-generation AirPods or AirPods Pro is not water-resistant. Apple states this in the small print on its website. You might want to use a Catalyst waterproof AirPods case to keep your charging case and the AirPods inside it dry at all times.

What Can I Do With Water-Resistant AirPods or AirPods Pro?

Although your third-generation AirPods or AirPods Pro are water-resistant, you still shouldn’t let them get wet on purpose. The water-resistant seals will deteriorate eventually, which means even a splash of water could damage your AirPods in the future.

Since a lot of people ask these questions, here are some common activities you can not do with your AirPods or AirPods Pro, even if they are water-resistant:

  • Don’t swim with AirPods.
  • Don’t shower with AirPods.
  • Don’t wear AirPods in heavy rain.
  • Don’t use AirPods while doing water sports.
  • Don’t let AirPods go in the washing machine.
  • Don’t take AirPods into a sauna or steam room.

Your AirPods Pro should be okay in light rain or if you sweat on them at the gym. But you still need to make sure you dry them properly before returning them to the case.

What to Do if Your AirPods Get Wet

Whether you have standard or water-resistant AirPods or AirPods Pro, you need to carefully dry them whenever they get wet. Make sure you dry your AirPods before returning them to the charging case so you don’t damage the case by letting any residual water get inside.

If your AirPods are wet, wipe off any excess water using a dry, lint-free cloth. We suggest a microfiber cloth for this, although you could use a cotton swab to dry the small ports.

Clean Your AirPods Microfiber Cloth

Then leave your AirPods out in the open for at least two hours to let them air dry. Don’t use them during this time and, if possible, leave your AirPods to dry overnight. The best spot to leave your AirPods would be a cool, dry place with a gentle airflow.

Regardless of what other people say, you shouldn’t put your AirPods in a bag of rice to dry them. This isn’t any more effective than the open air and can lead to bits of rice getting stuck in the various ports and holes. You should also avoid extremely hot or cold temperatures. Don’t put your AirPods on a radiator and don’t use a blow-dryer to try and speed up the process. Doing so could easily cause your AirPods to overheat and damage the circuitry inside.

If you get your AirPods charging case wet, remove the AirPods and stand the case upside down with the lid open to let it drip dry. Again, you should allow at least a couple of hours for it to dry, preferably overnight.

If You Get Anything Other Than Water on Your AirPods

Different liquids can damage your AirPods in different ways. Solvents or lotions can eat away at the water-resistant seals, soda forms a sticky residue that blocks the speaker, coffee can stain the white plastic, and seawater might leave a salt residue when it dries.

If you get anything other than clean water on your AirPods, use a damp cloth to wipe them down before letting your AirPods dry. When using a damp cloth, be careful not to get more liquid inside your AirPods.

If you still can’t remove the dirty liquid, try other ways to clean your AirPods instead.

How to Avoid Water Damage to Your AirPods

If your AirPods get wet, there’s no guarantee they’ll keep working even when you follow the instructions above to dry them. Sometimes, water affects your AirPods instantly; other times, it slowly rusts the circuits over weeks or months.

Whatever happens, you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket to replace your AirPods if they stop working. Apple doesn’t cover water damage under the warranty, not even for water-resistant AirPods or AirPods Pro.

Follow these extra tips to keep your AirPods as safe and dry as possible:

  • Don’t leave your AirPods on wet surfaces.
  • Put your AirPods away when it starts to rain.
  • Keep your AirPods away from people’s drinks.
  • Check your pockets before putting clothes in the wash.
  • Keep your AirPods in case when you aren’t using them.
  • Avoid dropping or crushing your AirPods to keep the water-resistant seals intact.
  • Immediately remove makeup, perfume, sun lotion, or other substances that get on your AirPods.

Accessorize Your AirPods to Keep Them Protected

If you’re worried because your AirPods aren’t waterproof, consider buying a waterproof charging case or AirPods ear hooks to keep them protected. The waterproof charging case keeps your AirPods dry when you aren’t using them, while the ear hooks stop them from falling out of your ears and into a puddle.

But why stop there?

There are loads of great AirPods accessories you can use to improve your AirPods in other ways. You might want a charging dock, a wireless transmitter, or a strap to keep your AirPods connected to one another. Whatever your fancy, you can find it online.

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