Technology Explained

Your AirPods Aren’t Waterproof, But Here’s What You Can Do

Dan Helyer 12-02-2020

Your AirPods are not waterproof. You should avoid wearing them in the shower, in the swimming pool, or even in the rain. If you have AirPods Pro, they might be water resistant, but they don’t stay that way forever so you’re always better off safe than sorry.


Still, no matter how hard we try, sometimes it’s impossible to avoid getting your AirPods wet. If that happens, you need to know how to dry them off safely and you probably want to know how to protect them from water in the future. Keep reading to find out.

Waterproof vs. Water Resistant

When a device is waterproof, it’s impossible for water to get inside and cause damage. This is the case no matter how long that device is underwater or how deep it goes. None of Apple’s AirPods are waterproof.

In contrast, a water-resistant device only stops water from getting inside for a limited time or at limited depths. We measure water resistance using the IP rating system.

Standard AirPods are not water resistant at all, but AirPods Pro have a water-resistance rating of IPX4. This is quite a low rating; it means Apple only designed the AirPods Pro to withstand small splashes of water, such as rain or sweat.

AirPods Pro Sweat and Wate Resistant information


Unfortunately, water-resistant seals degrade over time, which means the AirPods Pro become less water resistant as they age. There’s no way to find out if a water-resistant seal still works or not and there’s no way to re-seal it either. So the older your water-resistant devices get, the more careful you should be with them.

Are My AirPods Water Resistant?

There are no waterproof AirPods, and only the AirPods Pro are water resistant. You should still avoid getting AirPods Pro wet on purpose, but they should survive the odd splash.

The original AirPods or AirPods (2nd generation) aren’t waterproof or water resistant at all, so don’t ever let them get wet.

The same is true of any AirPods charging case. Even the AirPods Pro charging case isn’t water resistant due to the metal connectors inside. You might want to use a Catalyst waterproof AirPod case Catalyst Has the Best Cases to Protect Your Apple AirPods Pro Catalyst's waterproof Apple AirPods Pro cases offer great protection. They're easy to handle, look great, and add a premium touch. Read More to keep your charging case and the AirPods inside it dry at all times.


What Can I Do With My Water-Resistant AirPods Pro?

Although your AirPods Pro are water resistant, you still shouldn’t let them get wet on purpose. The water-resistant seals will deteriorate eventually, which means even a splash of water could damage your AirPods Pro in the future.

Since a lot of people ask these questions, here are some common activities you can not do with your AirPods or AirPods Pro, even though they are water resistant:

  • Do not:
    • swim with them
    • shower with them
    • wear them in heavy rain
    • use them while doing water sports
    • let them go in the washing machine
    • take them into a sauna or steam room

Your AirPods Pro should be okay in light rain or if you sweat on them at the gym. But you still need to make sure you dry them properly before returning them to the case.

What to Do If Your AirPods Get Wet

Whether you have standard AirPods or water-resistant AirPods Pro, you need to carefully dry them whenever they get wet. Make sure you dry your AirPods before returning them to the charging case, so you don’t damage the case.


If your AirPods are wet, wipe off any excess water using a dry, lint-free cloth. We suggest a microfiber cloth for this, although you could use a cotton swab to dry the small ports.

Clean Your AirPods Microfiber Cloth

Then leave your AirPods out in the open for at least two hours to let them air dry. Don’t use them during this time and if possible, leave your AirPods to dry overnight. The best spots to leave your AirPods are those cool, dry places with a gentle airflow.

Regardless of what other people say, you shouldn’t put your AirPods in a bag of rice to dry them. This isn’t any more effective than the open air and can lead to bits of rice getting stuck in the various ports and holes.


You should also avoid extremely hot or cold temperatures. Don’t put your AirPods on a radiator and don’t use a blow dryer to try and speed up the process. Doing so could easily cause your AirPods to overheat and damage the circuitry inside.

If you get your AirPods charging case wet, remove the AirPods and stand the case upside down with the lid open to let it dry. Again, you should allow at least a couple of hours for it to dry, preferably more.

If You Get Anything Other Than Water on Your AirPods

Different liquids can damage your AirPods in different ways. Solvents or lotions can eat away at the water-resistant seals, soda forms a sticky residue that blocks the speaker, coffee can stain the white plastic, and seawater might leave a salt residue when it dries.

If you get anything other than clean water on your AirPods, wipe them down with a damp cloth to remove it before letting your AirPods dry. When using a damp cloth, be careful not to get more liquid inside your AirPods.

If you still can’t remove the dirty liquid, try other ways to clean your AirPods How to Safely Clean Your AirPods and the Case If you've had AirPods for a while, they're probably nasty. We show you how to clean AirPods properly and keep them polished. Read More instead.

How to Avoid Water Damage to Your AirPods

If your AirPods get wet, there’s no guarantee they’ll keep working even when you follow the instructions above to dry them. Sometimes, water affects your AirPods instantly, other times it slowly rusts the circuits over weeks or months.

Whatever happens, you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket to replace your AirPods Are Apple AirPods Worth Your Hard Earned Cash? If you've been wondering are Apple AirPods worth it, we're here to help. Let's take a look at the AirPods' features to help you decide. Read More if they stop working. Apple doesn’t cover water damage under the warranty, not even for water-resistant AirPods Pro.

Follow these extra tips to keep your AirPods as safe as possible:

  • Don’t leave your AirPods on wet surfaces
  • Put your AirPods away when it starts to rain
  • Keep your AirPods away from people’s drinks
  • Check your pockets before putting clothes in the wash
  • Keep your AirPods in the case when you aren’t using them
  • Avoid dropping or crushing your AirPods to keep the water-resistant seals intact
  • Immediately remove makeup, perfume, sun lotion, or other substances that get on your AirPods

Accessorize Your AirPods to Keep Them Protected

If you’re worried because your AirPods aren’t waterproof, look into buying a waterproof charging case or AirPod ear hooks to keep them protected. The waterproof charging case keeps your AirPods dry when you aren’t using them, while the ear hooks stop them falling out of your ears and into a puddle.

But why stop there?

There are loads of great AirPods accessories The 7 Best AirPods Accessories to Improve Your Earphones Want to power up your Apple Airpods? Check out these best AirPods accessories for wireless charging, earhooks, and more. Read More you can use to improve your AirPods in other ways. You might enjoy a charging dock, a wireless transmitter, or a strap to keep your AirPods together. Whatever your fancy, you can find it online.

Related topics: Apple AirPods, Audiophiles, Headphones.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Aaa
    February 13, 2020 at 8:17 pm

    This article is wrong! The original AirPods exceeded the requirements for IP67; mine went through the washer and dryer and still worked for two years

    • Dan Helyer
      February 14, 2020 at 3:07 pm

      Hey, I'm really glad to hear your AirPods didn't break going through the washing machine. I've read about quite a few other users who have had the same experience, and so I agree that it's quite likely the AirPods are more water resistant than Apple gives them credit for.

      That said, the original and second generation AirPods still have no official water resistance rating, and Apple only claims the AirPods Pro as being IPX4.

      You're definitely better off playing it safe and keeping your AirPods dry whenever possible.