5 things to do after getting wet

Main points

  • AirPods are not waterproof, but most models are rated IPX4 so they can withstand water splashes.
  • If your AirPods get wet, remove them from the water, dry them with a lint-free cloth, and let them air dry for 24 to 48 hours. Then open them and check for any signs of water damage.
  • Don’t put wet AirPods into rice; instead, if you really need to speed up the process, consider using a silicone bag to wick away the moisture.

With each new generation, tech products tend to get faster, more feature-rich, and most importantly, manufacturers come up with better, more interesting designs. However, if there’s one thing that remains consistent, it’s that your electronics, whether they’re the newest or those at the bottom of your “might be useful” drawer, absolutely hate water.



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Of course, over the years, manufacturers have gradually incorporated various seals and other methods of protecting circuits from moisture, making the technology we use every day more waterproof.

That being said, no electronic product is waterproof, but your AirPods or any other Bluetooth headphones are one of the most vulnerable items to be damaged by water. They’re small, the box is slippery, and you can carry them anywhere. This means they are always vulnerable to being submerged in puddles, lakes or oceans.


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Even if your AirPods are submerged in water, all is not lost and there may still be a chance to save them, but you need to be careful when doing so. What to do if your AirPods get wet:

Are AirPods waterproof?

No, AirPods (or any type of electronic product) are waterproof. However, some of them are waterproof, meaning they can withstand certain conditions involving water. Unfortunately, even this is reserved for specific models of Apple’s wireless headphones.

Water resistance is often described by an IP rating, which indicates how dust- and water-resistant they are. This is a short code you’ll find on your device’s spec sheet, usually consisting of four symbols: preceded by the letters IP, followed by two numbers. These numbers, in turn, indicate how dust- and water-resistant the device is. If you see the letter X instead of one of the numbers, it means the device has not been certified for dust or water resistance.

So, back to the AirPods: the first of them weren’t IP certified at all, so they weren’t (officially) dustproof or waterproof. This is just one model, the first AirPods to hit the market:


However, later models (including all current models) do have some sort of waterproofing, being certified with an IPX4 rating. This means they are not dustproof, but they can withstand splashes of non-pressurized water. That said, AirPods are only splash-proof, not water immersion, or even splash-proof at higher pressures. IPX4 rated models include:

  • AirPods second generation
  • Third generation AirPods
  • First generation AirPods Pro
  • AirPods Pro second generation
  • AirPods Max

What should you do if your AirPods get wet?

Unfortunately, water is the enemy of electronics, so it can be difficult to bring them back, but there are some best practices you should follow to ensure they have the best chance of survival after being fed one of these elements:

Refurbished AirPods Set

1. Remove AirPods from the water as soon as possible

If your headphones are submerged in water, it’s crucial to act quickly. Remove them from the pond or wet bag as soon as possible and start drying them immediately.

AirPods Pro 2 in hand

2. Take the AirPods out of the charging box

The first thing to do is to take the headphones out of the box. If only the case or earphones come into contact with water, remember not to plug them into the case until all drying steps have been completed, as this may cause them to short out and damage them further.

Clean AirPods Pro

3. Dry the earphones and case with a lint-free cloth

Once you’ve separated the earphones and case, you’ll want to dry them all with a soft, lint-free cloth. Try to be as thorough as possible and remove every drop of water from the device. Of course, there’s no need to force it into all the little holes on your AirPods. Don’t use cotton swabs or paper towels – they can leave pieces of paper or cotton on your device, which can then get stuck in various openings, making it harder for moisture to escape and even further damaging your device.


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Once the outside is dry, you can also remove each earphone, turn them upside down and shake them gently to remove the water.

You can also play the sound of water spraying, but we recommend not doing this as it requires you to open the device, making it more susceptible to damage.

Gently shaking the headphones should be enough to remove excess moisture from inside.

Third generation AirPods in an open charging case on a colorful background.

4. Dry the earphones and charging box

After drying the device with a lint-free cloth, the only thing you have to do is let the headphones and case dry. It’s important to clean separately – don’t store the headphones in the case and don’t charge the device while it’s dry.

You should dry your electronics at room temperature, without using a radiator or, worse yet, a hair dryer—just leave them on a table for at least a day.

It’s best to leave the box open, preferably upside down – if a lot of water gets inside, it’s more likely to leave the box.

Silicone bag

Romeda Desiccant

5. Use a silicone pack

One thing you can do to speed up the process is to use the silicone packets found in many packages. These small packages help draw out moisture and no dust or debris, thus speeding up the drying process. However, this is not necessary and the device will eventually dry out on its own.


Q: How long will it take for you to know that your AirPods are damaged after getting wet?

Let the headphones dry for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if you live in a cool or humid environment), then try connecting them to your device. You may be lucky if your headphones are connected, but you still need to check that they are connected correctly, sound normal, and if there are any charging or battery issues.

Q: Should I put wet AirPods into rice?

While putting your AirPods in rice is a well-known way to absorb moisture, it can also cause further damage to your electronic device. Rice does absorb moisture, but it also releases many small particles, such as dust and debris, that can wreak havoc on already fragile equipment.

If you really want something to wick away moisture, try the silicone method. It absorbs moisture better than rice, and it doesn’t leave behind any particles that could get into your device, so you don’t risk any damage while using it. However, air drying is also perfectly fine and should get the job done just as easily.

Q: How do you know if your AirPods have been damaged by water?

If you put your AirPods in water and followed these steps, you may still experience the consequences of the water exposure. Unfortunately, you can’t see the water damage indicators on the AirPods because they’re located inside the device, but you’ll notice other issues. The following are the most common:

  • Your AirPods (one or both) have stopped working completely
  • Sound distortion on AirPods
  • Your AirPods can’t connect to your phone
  • AirPods cannot be charged in the charging case
  • AirPods charging case won’t charge
  • AirPods or charging case get very hot while charging

If you encounter any of these problems, please stop using your device immediately, and it is best to go to an authorized Apple service center for inspection. Also, keep in mind that water damage may not be apparent right away, and the device may function normally for a while before any of these symptoms appear.

Q: Should I use isopropyl alcohol on wet AirPods?

One thing to remember is. If larger electronics get wet, the best thing to do is to disassemble them and clean their insides using a lint-free cloth and most importantly 99% isopropyl alcohol.

The latter may be a bit counterintuitive, but since it evaporates quickly and is non-conductive, it’s completely safe for circuits and won’t cause short circuits like water. Unfortunately, you can’t actually disassemble your AirPods at home without sufficient skill and experience, but a non-invasive alternative is usually to submerge your electronic device in water. However, you should really only use this as a last resort.

Isopropyl alcohol will not cause any electrical problems, but it may have other undesirable results. Some plastics tend to react badly when in contact with isopropyl alcohol, causing them to harden and crack. This won’t happen on the outside of the AirPods, but the isopropyl alcohol may react with the plastic drivers inside the earphones, making them sound worse.

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