I Washed My AirPods: What Should I Do?

Uh Oh! I accidentally put my AirPods in the washer and dryer.

Now, what am I going to do?!

Well, don’t panic!

~ my Grams

If you’ve accidentally washed your AirPods, you need to immediately dry them off with a lint-free cloth and then leave them to air dry for half a day. Next, put them in an enclosed jar with some silica gel to soak up the micro moisture particles. If these things don’t work, bury the pods in a container full of dry, uncooked rice.

While the AirPods aren’t waterproof, you can still save them by taking these quick actions. Here, we’ll cover these drying and recovery methods in more detail.

Not only that, but we’ll also be discussing all the dos and don’ts that you must follow to properly revive your soaked AirPods without causing any further damage to the delicate components inside.

And for those of you asking, ‘What to do if I washed my AirPods case,’ you don’t have to worry either, as we’ll be covering not only the AirPods but also the AirPods case. After all, they both are just as likely to be left behind in a washing machine.

But before diving any deeper, let’s take a quick look at Apple’s stance, as well as its legal policy regarding water-damaged AirPods.

Apple’s Policy on Washed-out AirPods

Will Apple Replace Water-Damaged AirPods?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Apple’s one-year limited warranty doesn’t cover any kind of accidental damage, which also includes water damage.

Per Apple’s latest One (1) Year Limited Warranty legal documentation (dated April 22, 2022):

This [one year limited] Warranty does not apply . . . to damage caused by accident, abuse, misuse, fire, liquid contact, earthquake or other external cause.

Worse still, the warranty only covers so-called “materials and workmanship” defects and basically nothing else! Per Apple’s aforementioned legal documentation:

Apple warrants the . . . Apple-branded accessories contained in the original packaging (“Apple Product”) against defects in materials and workmanship when used normally in accordance with Apple’s published guidelines for a period of ONE (1) YEAR

In layman’s terms, you’re pretty much on your own in terms of accidental water damage to your AirPods!

Now you must be wondering:

Can the Apple Store Fix Water Damage?

Sadly, no. As per Apple’s official AirPods Replacement, Repair, & Service page, Apple Stores—as well as Apple’s authorized service providers—only offer AirPod battery service and brand-new replacement earpieces and charging cases.

Apple’s sole solution to water damage is a complete replacement via their AppleCare+ insurance service.

Does AppleCare Cover Water Damage on AirPods?

Yes. AppleCare+ insurance does cover accidentals, including water damage. However, there are a few things that you should be wary of:

  • For AirPods and AirPods Pro, AppleCare+ has a fixed-term plan with a flat fee of $29.
  • To claim insurance, you’ll have to pay an additional service fee of $29 (excluding taxes) each time.
  • AppleCare+ insurance is only valid for up to a maximum of 2 years.
  • You won’t be able to renew AppleCare+ once the two-year period has passed. You will have to purchase new coverage within 30 days after the expiration of the previous one for the continuation.
  • Lastly, AppleCare+ doesn’t cover lost or stolen AirPods.

You Washed Your AirPods – What Should You Do Now?

With Apple’s (not-so-good) one-year warranty, and AppleCare+ service out of the way, it’s time to get back to the original question: How do I get water out of my AirPods?

Fortunately, there are a few steps that you can take to dry out your AirPods with next to no prerequisites or any particular technical knowledge, for that matter.

Here are the top three surefire ways to save your AirPods from water damage and prevent any problems from arising in the future:

1st Stop: Air Drying

Well, the first—and most important—step is air drying. Air drying is necessary to prevent water from staying in the AirPods and causing corrosive damage to the fragile components inside.

First, remove your AirPods from the washer and blot all the water with a lint-free cloth. We recommend a microfiber cloth for blotting, typically found in cleaning kits and eyeglass cases.

Once cleaned, place the AirPods somewhere safe to dry. You can put them under direct sunlight if it’s a bright, sunny day with low humidity. Otherwise, you can keep them in your room and let them air dry for a few hours. Our recommendation is at least 12 hours.

As for how to dry AirPods’ case, just open the lid and place the case upside down on a flat, dry surface. Leave the case in this position for at least six hours.

Try Silica Gel for Moisture Absorption

You might be aware of Silica Gel. Silica Gel is a form of quartz that’s highly effective in preventing condensation from humidity, hence why it’s commonly found in food packets, medicine, vitamins, and other products that are highly prone to moisture.

You may not be aware that Silica Gel’s desiccant properties can also prove to be highly effective when it comes to removing moisture from electronics, including AirPods. If you don’t have Silica Gel at home, you can find it at any local store.

Start by placing your AirPods in a small zip-lock bag, along with some loose beads or small packets of Silica Gel. For best results, store the bag at room temperature, away from heaters, radiators, and air-conditioners.

Once everything is in place, carefully seal the bag and leave it for an entire day. We recommend a bare minimum of 12 hours. Now wait, and don’t be tempted to open the bag, as that’d reduce silica gel’s effectiveness.

Put AirPods in Rice as the Last Resort

Another method that should work in a pinch is the rice drying method. For decades, uncooked rice has been used by professional photographers and videographers to keep analog cameras, microphones, film reels, and other recording equipment dry in humid, tropical climates.

While the method isn’t yet scientifically proven to work with electronics, many people have reported the rice method to be highly effective in drying out soaked gadgets, including AirPods.

The rice method is pretty simple to follow and execute: Take a small plastic container with an airtight lid. Then, fill roughly 2/3rd of the container with raw, uncooked rice. And lastly, completely submerge the AirPods in the rice and cover the airtight lid. That’s pretty much it.

For optimal results, do not open the container for at least 12 hours, nor shake it or move it around.

Things to Avoid While Drying Washed/Wet AirPods

Now that we have covered all the Dos, it’s time to highlight the Don’ts of drying AirPods.

There are three things you absolutely must not do with your soaking-wet AirPods under any circumstances:

Don’t Immediately Test Them

While you might feel tempted to immediately pick up the soaked AirPods and see if they’re working on not, it’d be a monumental mistake.

Water is a good conductive medium; hence, turning on wet AirPods can cause a short-circuit inside, completely ruining your gadget.

Avoid Excessive Blow Drying

It’s not advisable to blow-dry your AirPods after they’ve been submerged. The heat from the blow dryer could cause permanent damage to the delicate, fragile components inside your AirPods.

Not only that, but the heat will do little to remove the moisture. If anything, the gust of air from the blow drier will force the water to seep deeper into the AirPods, making the drying process even more difficult.

Don’t Use Electric Heating

Electric heating is another method that can potentially cause more harm than good. An electric heater can cause condensation in humid environments, which is never good for any kind of electronic gadget, including AirPods.

Hence it’s best to leave the AirPods outside to dry (as long as the weather isn’t too hot and/or humid) or just let them air dry at room temperature.

How to Protect AirPods from Water Damages?

As the saying goes, it’s best to be safe than sorry. Here are all the preventive steps you should take to protect your AirPods from water damage.

  1. Always check your pockets before throwing clothes in the washer or dryer. It’s surprisingly easy to leave your AirPods behind in your clothes!
  2. Use waterproof external casing for your AirPods to prevent water damage and general prevention from dings and dents.
  3. Don’t wear your AirPods in a bathtub or in the shower, even though it sounds pretty tempting!
  4. Don’t go out for a swim while wearing AirPods. Nothing kills electronics faster than salt water and chlorine.
  5. Avoid wearing them when it’s raining. However, a minor drizzle is usually fine.
  6. Never wear AirPods inside a sauna, as steam can cause corrosion to internal components. 


How Much Does It Cost to Repair AirPods with Water Damage?

When it comes to AirPods’ battery replacement and water damage, Apple charges a fee of $29 via their AppleCare+ warranty service. However, they’ll give you a new pair of AirPods instead of repairing your existing one.

The reason for this is that AirPods can’t be repaired. Apple has designed them as disposable products. Once they get damaged, there isn’t much you can do to revive or repair them. Apple doesn’t offer replacement parts for AirPods either.

Are AirPods Waterproof?

No, AirPods aren’t waterproof. However, they’re ‘water resistant.’ Per Apple’s support page:

Your AirPods Pro (1st and 2nd generation), AirPods (3rd generation), MagSafe Charging Case for AirPods (3rd generation), Lightning Charging Case for AirPods (3rd generation), and MagSafe Charging Case for AirPods Pro (2nd generation) are water and sweat resistant, but they are not waterproof or sweatproof.

Can AirPods Survive the Washing Machine?

No. AirPods can’t be submerged in water for extended periods, and that includes washing machines. Plus, chemicals from laundry detergents and fabric softeners have the potential to severely damage and corrode the internals.

Can AirPods Survive the Dryer?

No. Dryers’ rotating inner drums and electric agitators can cause severe shock damage to the AirPods’ fragile internal hardware. It may also cause cosmetic damage, making AirPods uncomfortable to wear.

Lastly, AirPods inside a dryer also pose a safety hazard because of the internal lithium-ion batteries.

Does Rice Work to Dry AirPods?

Yes. Rice has the potential to soak and absorb excess moisture from wet AirPods. However, it’s not the most effective technique to dry wet AirPods. We highly recommend using Silica Gel instead.

How Do You Know If Your AirPod Has Water Damage?

Water-damaged AirPod will have bad noise cancellation and poor battery life, and the audio sound quality will also greatly suffer. In worst cases, the AirPods might even overheat due to blocked ventilation.


And with that, our AirPods water damage guide comes to a conclusion. The above discussion makes it clear that you only have DIY methods to deal with your washed-out AirPods. Neither Apple nor third-party electronics experts repair water-damaged AirPods.

Therefore, always exercise caution and check your clothes before washing them. AirPods are well-built devices designed to endure regular sweating and moisture, but they will probably not withstand complete water drowning.

Nonetheless, we sincerely wish you the best of luck in fully reviving your washed AirPods!

Tracy has been working for RealGear since the first day it went online. She reads every e-sports related newspaper and website. She is a huge Twitch.tv fan and a gamer with a soft spot for Lineage 2, WoW, and Guild Wars 1 and 2. She says she does not suffer from PvP insanity, she enjoys every minute of it. Tracy defines herself as a person who’d spend two hours customizing a character rather than indulging in an activity that would not be as nearly rewarding as playing games and testing hardware.

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