You’d be amazed what people accidentally throw into the washing machine. Not even wireless AirPods (and wired Earpods) are safe from the washer or dryer. It’s likely you encountered this problem as well. So what can you expect once you pull your earbuds out of the machine?
AirPods are able to survive in the washing machine for up to 60 minutes. While AirPods are not completely waterproof, physical shocks and potential water damage are unlikely to damage the electronics. After taking the AirPods out of the washing machine, make sure to dry them for at least 12 hours.
There are numerous reports of users that left their wireless earbuds in the washer (and even more reports of people wearing AirPods Pro in the shower). Usually, they are left inside the pockets of people’s pants. This also happens to protect the AirPods from most of the water damage and physical movement.
AirPods Will (Probably) Survive The Washing Machine
So it’s one of those days again, huh.
You’ve arrived at a point in your life where the washing machine is destroying your AirPods. While you might be a bit of an idiot, you’re also a lucky idiot. Because Apple thought of people like you in their design process.
While it’s definitely not recommended to leave your expensive Apple earbuds in the machine, it probably won’t harm them that much. And that’s honestly quite surprising.
The wireless headphones can take the centrifugal forces of your washer without taking much damage at all. AirPods were designed to survive a fall of up to 10 ft, so a tumble wash is relatively tame in that context. Even when the earbuds fall out of your pocket, the hard plastic outer shell is able to take the punches.
However, they aren’t fully waterproof. That’s why it’s important to properly dry your AirPods right after your accidental washing session. The instructions below will give some practical advice on this. Make sure to follow the steps below to avoid long-term water damage to your wireless Apple earbuds!
Make Sure To Dry Your Airpods
The second you pull your headphones out of the washer, it’s time to start the damage control procedure. Because let’s face it: AirPods weren’t made for all that wetness. Your primary goal is to remove moisture from the electronics as soon as possible.
Do this to help your AirPods survive RIGHT AFTER their washing machine adventure:
- Get a microfiber cleaning cloth and clean your AirPods with them as thoroughly as possible. Get into all the little nooks and cranny’s, and make sure to soak up as much moisture as possible
- Let your AirPods dry completely for 12-24 hours. Do not use them, do not put them in your ears, do not recharge them, do not put them in the docking station. You should also never use a blowdryer or heater to dry your electronics. This will probably break them permanently.
- In case the AirPods are still wet inside, it might be worth it to use silica gel packs or a bowl of dry rice to pull out any leftover wetness. Yes, that’s a real method to dry electronics, and here are the detailed instructions.
How Waterproof Are AirPods?
Apple AirPods (Pro) and EarPods are not completely waterproof. AirPods are graded with an IPX4 resistance, which means that the earbuds are water-resistant to e.g. rain, sweat, and damp environments. The hard plastic protective outer shell will avoid most water from getting into the electronics.
That being said, washing machines will not fall under the ‘water-resistant’ category. These wireless earbuds aren’t designed to be placed inside a washer. But despite their IPX4-grade water resistance, they will usually perform a lot better in reality. Or so it seems from the many reports from users.
Here are some real-life user testimonies from Reddit, from users that tested the water-resistance of their AirPods by accident:
- “Once I had dried them they were still working perfectly. I was more thankful than I have ever been in my entire life. […] Thank God Apple made them somewhat water-resistant.” – /u/kingtommy123
- “I accidentally left them (inside charging case) in one of my pants and my girlfriend washed them. They work perfectly fine ever since.” – /u/zwilley09x
- “Today I learned to my pleasant surprise that the AirPods are somewhat waterproof. […] I’m happy to report that it doesn’t appear to have suffered any noticeable damage and has worked properly pretty much minutes after being externally dried off.” – /u/tvjames
Going from the user-based testimonies on the internet, the IPX4-rating for water resistance is a somewhat conservative rating. AirPods can withstand quite a bit more water than IPX4-rated products usually can.
And just to reiterate my point from before… That’s not an encouragement to just dump your expensive headphones into the washer, but it will be a word of reassurance to people that accidentally might have done just that. What has your experience been? Share it with the world in the comment section below!