What to Do if AirPods Go Through the Wash?
The Apple AirPods were one of the most popular products the company ever released. The small wireless buds are quite stunning, comfortable to wear, and have excellent sound quality. Over the years several models have been released.
Regardless of the model, they aren’t exactly cheap, despite their immense improvements compared to the original AirPods. At $250, you want to make sure that the pods are as safe as possible.
So, you happened to have left the AirPods in your jacket or jeans pocket and put the said piece of clothing in the washing machine. You are probably terrified that they won’t work. Maybe you didn’t even try turning them on. Here’s what to do if you wash your AirPods.
Are They Waterproof?
There is a myth roaming around that the AirPods are waterproof. That’s incorrect. It probably originated from the fact that the new AirPods Pros are water and sweat-resistant. The original model couldn’t work with moisture. The Pro pods can tolerate it to a certain extent.
But no, no AirPod is waterproof, and neither are the AirPods charging cases. Try and avoid exposing these pricey wireless earbuds to liquids and moisture.
Sign Up for AppleCare+
AppleCare+ is Apple’s program that lets you “insure” your Apple devices. You can do this for your AirPods by paying $29 for each earbud and $29 for the case. Sure, this isn’t a cheap addition, but the program covers you for up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage. Getting a replacement earbud is $89.
If you wash the AirPods with the case and you end up having to replace them, an AppleCare+ subscription will get you a replacement earbud and the case for $29. So, get AppleCare+ for all your Apple devices, including the AirPods.
Keep in mind that you must sign up for AppleCare+ within 60 days of purchase.
Jot Down the Serial
After you’ve washed your AirPods, there is no real way to take note of the damage done, especially if they won’t turn on. Charging the case is not the way to go. The worst part is, you may not be able to give Apple the serial number of your AirPods. You’ll find the serial number on the underside of the lid on the case. If you’ve washed your case, the serial may not be intelligible.
The serial is necessary if you want Apple to replace your case and earbuds.
As a precautionary measure, note down the serial numbers of every apple device that you own. Another way of finding the serial number is to use your iPhone. Go to Settings, then tap General, select About, and scroll down until you see AirPods. Select them, and you’ll be able to see their serial number.
You can also find the serial number on the original packaging and the receipt. So, don’t throw these away.
For the actual AirPods, you’ll be able to find their serial number painted on them. That’s true for AirPods 2nd Gen and AirPods Pros.
They Got Wet
So, you’ve just realized that you’ve washed your AirPods. Dry the earbuds and the case as soon as possible. First, take a paper towel and a dry cotton swab. Then, remove the AirPods from the case and start drying everything off as best as you can.
You mustn’t plug the case within at least 12 hours of exposure to water. Do not put the earbuds back into the case, either. Leave the devices in a dry, room-temperature place.
Try Silica Gel
You’ve heard that a bag of rice works miracles for electronic devices exposed to water. Whether it does a good job here or not is a matter of debate. What is true is that silica gel is excellent at absorbing moisture.
That’s why manufacturers ship small bags of silica gel with many devices. If you don’t have any silica gel bags at home, try visiting the local Walmart. They should have these available. Oh, and buy a Ziploc bag.
Then, put the AirPods inside the Ziploc together with a few silica gel packets and leave them like that for a couple of days. That will hopefully remove all the water from your AirPods. Do the same thing for your AirPods case. Make sure that you leave the lid open when you put it in the bag.
What About AirPods Pro?
Again, a waterproof AirPod model doesn’t exist as of yet. The AirPods Pros are water and sweat-resistant, which means that they can withstand a splash. That said, this resistance wears down as time goes by, so you can’t count on it forever.
If you happen to wash your AirPods Pro, don’t postpone drying them off. Do the exact thing that you would do if they were the original AirPods. Get silica gel bags, a Ziploc bag, the whole nine yards.
Keep in mind that the AirPods Pro charging case is not resistant to sweat and water. So, transport your AirPods with care. Also, check your pants and other clothes before putting them in the washing machine.
Go to the Local Apple Store
If you’ve done everything instructed here and the AirPods aren’t working, don’t purchase a new pair of AirPod Pros yet. Instead, go to the vendor you’ve bought the pods from and ask them for a replacement. They may still allow you to replace the earbuds individually.
If at least one of the three main AirPods components works, you may be better off replacing the parts that don’t.
That said, if the AirPods aren’t under warranty and none of the parts is working, you are probably better off buying a brand-new set.
Frequently Asked Questions
My AirPods won’t work after going through the wash. What can I do?
If your AirPods are a lost cause, you aren’t completely out of luck. Even if you never purchased AppleCare+ you should contact Apple for replacement options.
If only the buds themselves aren’t working, Apple will still replace them for a fee. If you have a 1st or 2nd generation set, check with a friend or family member for a case. On the earlier models, the cases were interchangeable so if only the case was damaged you may find luck getting a new case at a lower cost.
Are AirPods waterproof?
No. Although many users assume they are. It isn’t uncommon for users to accidentally wash and dry their AirPods with no problems whatsoever. But, Apple’s official word is that the tiny Bluetooth devices are not, in fact, waterproof.
The term “waterproof” doesn’t even really exist when it comes to electronics. Simply because electronics and water never end well. This is why most manufacturers stick with terms like ‘Water Resistant’ meaning these devices are not impenetrable.
Careful with the AirPods
AirPods are a relatively expensive piece of technology that you don’t want to break. Make sure that you properly check your clothes before washing them to avoid soaking the pods inside a washing machine. Try the silica gel solution, follow the outlined steps carefully, and visit your local Apple store to see what your options are.
Did this article help get your AirPods working correctly? Did you go to your local Apple store and bought AppleCare+? Hit the comment section with anything you have to add. Questions and extra tips are more than welcome.