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What Do You Do if You Drop Your AirPods in Water? (Don’t Panic!)

Last Updated Oct 1, 2022
Water splashing in a jar

It’s not uncommon to drop your devices in water, especially if your AirPods fall out of your ears while you wash your hands. People’s first instinct when they drop their AirPods in water is to panic because AirPods are pricey.

AirPods are somewhat water resistant and can withstand small drops of water as long as you dry them off right away. However, if they do not work properly for a few days, they may need to be replaced.

Please continue reading to learn more about what you should do if you drop your AirPods in water, so you don’t have to worry. We will discuss the different methods you can use to dry your AirPods and when to buy a new pair.

Use a Microfiber Cloth

When you use a microfiber cloth to dry your AirPods, you’ll usually be fine if they weren’t submerged in the water too long.

You’ll want to try getting in every nook and crevice of your AirPods to ensure that there’s no water damage on the inside.

If you dropped your AirPods in water with the case still on, you must take the microfiber cloth and dry the case.

After you wipe down both devices, lay them face down onto a flat surface and allow them to dry for several more hours.

Some people let their AirPods sit in rice to dry out, but this is not always necessary. You can dry out your AirPods several ways if you don’t have rice on hand.

The Silica Gel Method

You can also use silica gel to dry your AirPods because this material will dry anything out if you keep it in an airtight container.

Before you add your AirPods and case into the airtight container with silica gel, you should dry it off with a rag. This method is only necessary if you feel your AirPods were underwater for too long.

  1. Dry your devices off with a cloth to remove excess water
  2. Use either loose silica gel or silica gel packages and place contents into an airtight container
  3. Place your devices into the airtight container. You don’t have to have them touching the silica gel beads.
  4. Allow devices to sit in the container for several hours to ensure they dry thoroughly. Do not open the container during the drying process.

You can find silica gel packages or loose silica gel online for an affordable price.

It would be best to keep a few of these packages on hand in case you drop any other devices in water.

Let Them Dry Overnight

If neither method works, you should let your AirPods dry overnight. Sometimes, they need a little extra time to dry out than you would initially expect.

In certain situations, AirPods can take a couple of days to dry out completely; if you leave them alone, you might be all right.

To dry out your case overnight, you must ensure that you leave the case open and upside down so the water can drip out.

It is unlikely you’ll get all the water out of your case if you leave it sitting straight up where the water has no escape.

When to Replace Your AirPods

If you try all of our methods and notice after a few days that your AirPods still won’t work, you might need to invest in a replacement.

These are the signs you need to look out for to help you determine that it’s time to buy a new set:

  • Your AirPods die much faster than before you drop them in water.
  • You hear no noise from your AirPods when you connect them to your phone.
  • Your AirPods won’t connect.
  • Sound stays muffled for days after you drop your AirPods.

Unfortunately, sometimes your AirPods are not salvageable after you drop them in water.

They only have a certain amount of water resistance, so if they stay submerged too long, you’re out of luck.

How Water-Resistant Are AirPods?

Third-generation AirPods are rated at IPX4 water resistance. However, first and second-generation AirPods do not have a rating at all.

However, even with this low rating, many people can salvage their AirPods after they drop them in water.

If your AirPods take a quick dunk and immediately pull them out, you’ll likely be able to rescue them before severe water damage occurs. Just dry them off thoroughly before trying to use them again.

Stay calm if something happens; they can usually take a little dampness and be fine.

Final Thoughts

If you drop your AirPods in water, you must stay calm and follow one of these aforementioned methods to rescue them.

Typically that means just making sure they’re thoroughly dry before use.

Panicking will only make it difficult for you to accomplish these steps promptly, which could cause you to lose your AirPods for good.

If you wait a few days and all these steps are complete, but your AirPods still don’t work, it’s time for you to invest in a replacement pair.

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