We’ve all been there – the moment of panic when you realize you left your AirPods in your pocket, and they’ve taken an unexpected plunge in the washing machine. Accidents happen, but what happens to your beloved AirPods when they encounter the watery depths of a washer cycle? Let’s dive into the potential consequences and steps you can take if your AirPods get wet in the washer.
What To Do if AirPods Go Through the Wash?
If your AirPods have accidentally gone through the wash, follow these steps to potentially salvage them:
Act Swiftly: Remove Your AirPods Immediately
The first step is to act swiftly. As soon as you realize that your AirPods have gone through the wash, retrieve them from the washing machine promptly.
The longer they stay submerged or damp, the higher the risk of potential damage. Shake off any excess water gently and handle them with care to avoid additional pressure on the delicate components.
Power Down and Disconnect
To minimize the risk of short circuits or electrical damage, it’s crucial to power down your AirPods and disconnect them from any devices they may have been paired with.
For AirPods Pro, press and hold the button on the back of the case until the LED indicator turns off. For standard AirPods, simply open the case and let them sit, disconnected, for a while.
Patience is Key: Let Them Dry Naturally
After removing and powering down your AirPods, resist the urge to test them immediately. Instead, let them dry naturally.
Find a dry, well-ventilated area and place your AirPods on a clean, absorbent surface. Avoid using heat sources such as hairdryers or radiators, as excessive heat can cause further damage. Allow them to air dry for at least 24-48 hours.
Avoid Rice and Silica Gel Packs
Contrary to popular belief, using rice or silica gel packs may not be the best approach for drying your wet AirPods. These methods can be ineffective for removing moisture from the intricate internal components. It’s best to rely on natural air drying to ensure thorough moisture evaporation without risking further damage.
Check for Visible Moisture
Before attempting to use your AirPods again, visually inspect them for any signs of remaining moisture. Check the charging ports, speaker openings, and any other crevices for water droplets. If you notice visible moisture, continue the drying process until all moisture is gone.
Test and Assess
After allowing ample drying time, it’s time to test your AirPods. Place them back in their charging case and ensure they are fully charged before attempting to use them. Connect them to your device and play some audio to assess their functionality. Pay close attention to sound quality, connectivity, and overall performance.
Potential Consequences of Washing AirPods
Accidentally washing your AirPods can lead to various potential consequences, as water and electronics do not mix well. Here are some possible outcomes of washing AirPods:
- Reduced Sound Quality: Water can seep into the speaker and microphone openings, affecting sound quality and making audio playback muffled or distorted.
- Connectivity Issues: Moisture can interfere with the Bluetooth connectivity between your AirPods and your device, leading to frequent disconnections or difficulties in pairing.
- Battery Problems: Water damage might cause the battery to malfunction, resulting in erratic battery life or even rendering the AirPods unable to charge.
- Physical Damage: The physical integrity of your AirPods might be compromised, with water causing buttons, sensors, or charging ports to become unresponsive.
AirPods Getting Wet: What Not To Do
If your AirPods get wet, it’s important to avoid certain actions that could potentially worsen the situation or cause further damage. Here’s what not to do if your AirPods are wet:
- Do Not Use or Charge Immediately: Avoid using or attempting to charge your wet AirPods right away. Water and electronics do not mix well, and using or charging wet AirPods can lead to short circuits and further damage.
- Do Not Shake Vigorously: While it’s natural to want to remove excess water, avoid shaking your AirPods vigorously. This could potentially drive water deeper into the internal components and worsen the water damage.
- Do Not Use Heat Sources: Avoid using hairdryers, heaters, ovens, or other heat sources to dry your AirPods quickly. Excessive heat can damage the delicate electronic components inside the AirPods.
- Do Not Disassemble: Resist the urge to take apart your AirPods or the charging case to dry them. Opening the devices yourself can void warranties and further expose the internals to moisture.
- Do Not Freeze or Microwave: Freezing or microwaving your AirPods is not a recommended way to dry them. These methods can cause physical damage and will not effectively remove moisture.
- Do Not Ignore Drying Time: Patience is crucial when dealing with wet AirPods. Allow them ample time to air dry in a controlled environment before attempting to use them.
- Do Not Ignore Warning Signs: If your AirPods show signs of malfunction, distortion, or reduced audio quality after they’ve dried, do not continue using them. Continuing to use compromised AirPods could lead to further damage.
- Do Not Use Cleaning Agents: Avoid using cleaning agents, solvents, or alcohol to clean your AirPods. These substances can potentially harm the device’s materials and components.
Can I use my AirPods immediately after they’ve dried?
It’s recommended to wait at least 48 hours to ensure that all moisture has evaporated before attempting to use your AirPods.
Can water damage AirPods be repaired?
In some cases, Apple might be able to repair water-damaged AirPods, but it’s not guaranteed. Contact Apple Support for guidance.
Can a case protect AirPods from water damage?
AirPods cases are not designed to be waterproof. While they might offer some level of protection, they cannot completely prevent water damage.
Can I clean my AirPods with water?
Lightly dampened cloths can be used to clean the exterior of AirPods, but avoid getting water in the openings.
Accidents like washing your AirPods happen, but with quick action and patience, you might be able to salvage them. Remember that prevention is the best strategy, so always double-check your pockets before laundry day.
If the worst happens and your AirPods take an unexpected swim, follow the steps above to give them the best chance of recovery. If all else fails, Apple Support is your lifeline to potentially resolving water-related woes.