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Things to Do if Your Headphones Earphones Get Wet (Explained)

If you’re like most people, you probably rely on your headphones to block out the world and get some work or streaming done. But what if they get wet? You might be wondering what to do, and fortunately, there are a few things you can do to save your headphones. In this post, we’ll discuss the different scenarios in which headphones can get wet and explain what you should do if that happens. From there, it’ll be easy to decide on the best course of action!

Unfortunately, not knowing what to do to save your headphones can lead to great damage to the audio components.

Image of a wireless black and silver headphones. Source: parag deshmukh, pexels
Image of a wireless black and silver headphones. Source: Parag Deshmukh, Pexels

In this article, we’ll explain how to retrieve wet headphones and earphones and give tips on preventing them from happening in the first place. So if you’re looking at how to keep your headphones from getting wet, this post is for you!

What should you do if your headphones get wet? If your headphones or earbuds become wet, make sure to immediately disconnect them from the audio source (if wired), remove the pairing information (if wireless), and turn off the power (if powered for wireless, noise cancellation, etc.). Drying by air or desiccant is required before use.

What to do if your headphones get wet

If your headphones or earbuds become wet, the first thing you should do is dry them off. This is significant because prolonged contact with water raises the probability that moisture will penetrate the circuitry.

Your headphones might malfunction if water enters the internal circuitry. This may occur if you use wet headphones/earphones or transmit sound via them. It’s possible that your earbuds may short out if you use water that has impurities in it. Your earbuds may catch fire, or the circuit may break if you do this.

Water (or any liquid) contains electrolytes, which are responsible for the conduction of electricity. Submerging headphones or earphones in water may cause electricity to flow in unexpected directions, perhaps causing a short circuit and rendering the headphones or earbuds useless.

Eliminating power and audio impulses from the headphones/earphones will enable the liquid to evaporate and restore appropriate operation.

Consequently, you must take extreme care to avoid submerging the headphones in liquid and remove them from your ears as soon as possible.

Sure, there are varying degrees of “wetness” that might affect a set of headphones. Drying them may be done in a number of different ways. Here are three such examples:

Earphones that got splashed and/or removed from the water immediately

The water probably only got to the outside of the earphones if you took them out of the water as soon as possible. The rubber or silicone cover of the speaker must be removed before it can be cleaned. Just put it down for now.

If water drops have accumulated in your earbuds, give them a little shake to dislodge them. Shaking the earbuds causes the water droplets to fall off. The earbuds may be dried by wiping them off with a damp cloth or paper towel and gently pressing down on the speaker mesh.

Do not shake the earphones by hitting them on a hard surface, as this might send shock waves into the earpieces, potentially damaging the delicate speaker system within. Give the earbuds a gentle shake or bounce in the open air.

Use your mouth to blow dry air into the earphones. There’s a good chance that this will free up any additional microscopic water droplets that were stuck within, too.

Earphones that got washed or submerged

It would take more time for your headphones to dry if they were soaked in water for a longer duration. It’s possible that water has made its way into your headphones due to their many crevices and openings if, for example, they were cleaned with your clothing or fell into a pool.

Use the same method described above to get rid of most of the moisture around the earphones: Remove any moisture from the headphones by shaking them. Then, wipe them down with a paper towel or soft cloth. Last but not least, use your lips to blow dry air into the cracks and crevices.

However, drying time will increase because of the increased volume of moisture within the earbuds.

Earphones that got submerged in other liquids

If your earbuds fall into unclean water or other liquids, you should dunk them twice in distilled water before drying them.

Note that electrolytes or “impurities” that may cause a short circuit are not present in distilled water.

Underwater, shake or wiggle the headphones to expel muck (other liquids). Then, wipe the earbuds dry with a clean cloth, blow dry air into the speaker mesh with your lips, or use a can of compressed air to remove any remaining water.

Once you’ve done that, set the headphones down on a towel or other soft surface. Earphones should be placed on an open surface, such as a table or counter, to allow air circulation. To keep the air surrounding the headphones dry, use an electric fan.

Do not use a hair dryer since the excessive heat it generates might melt the plastic in your headphones’ earpieces. To reiterate, never heat your headphones in the microwave.

Earphones may also be stored with a desiccant in a resealable plastic bag or Ziploc (e.g., silicone gel, uncooked rice). The desiccant will remove any remaining moisture from the headphones’ inside.

How to fix water-damaged headphones

A damp headset may be dried in a number of different ways. If your headphones or earbuds are broken, try one of the quickest and easiest fixes we’ve outlined below.

If you don’t follow a handful of those steps, your warranty could be useless. First, make sure that you haven’t voided the guarantee on your headphones by doing any of them. The fact that your headphones were wet doesn’t negate the fact that you may send them back to the manufacturer to have them mended or replaced, as long as the warranty covers water damage.

Dry headphones using a soft towel

The first step in fixing your headphones is to dry them off thoroughly using a towel. The chance of future water penetration may be drastically reduced by taking the basic precaution of wiping away the evident wetness. Use the up or down arrow keys to adjust the volume level. Prepare a clean, dry towel, preferably made of cotton. Use the dry cloth to gently but firmly wipe off your headphones or earbuds to eliminate any leftover visible wetness.

Remove ear tips or padding.

After being wet, your earbuds’ ear tips probably will contain some water. The earpads of the headphones are of equal importance. As effectively as sponges, their foams may soak up fluids. This is why the removable components should be taken out right away and dried in their own containers.

Disassemble your headphones

The only method to get rid of the water inside your headphones is to disassemble them, which may seem like a difficult undertaking. You can’t just take apart any old pair of headphones or earbuds. The specific brand and model you own will determine your next steps. There are certain instruments needed for disassembly.

However, you’ll need some technical know-how and firm hands to disassemble your headphones. If you don’t feel comfortable taking apart your own headphones or earbuds, you may always go for the hassle-free alternative. To get this done, you may hire a specialist. You don’t need to worry about them figuring out what to do or buying special equipment to get your headset working again.

Use distilled water

Because of the amount of water that has been trapped in your headset, we will need to use distilled water to dilute it. As it has been through the appropriate purification steps, distilled water is safe to use. Those processes filtered out the contaminants that act as a conductor of electricity and a corrosion agent for the electronic components of headphones and earbuds.

Diluting the water in your headphones or earbuds with distilled water can assist in spreading out the contaminants in the latter, reducing its conductivity. The corrosive effects will be neutralized to acceptable levels. Your headset should be protected against water damage now.

Lightly shake off excess droplets.

Lightly shaking your headphones or earbuds is the easiest way to eliminate extra water since it is not recommended to use traditional drying techniques on your headsets, such as utilizing hairdryers and sun drying.

Don’t jiggle your earphones around too much. Doing so might cause the internal components of your headset to break.

To adjust the volume, use the up or down arrow key. Keep your hands tightly around the headphones/earbuds you’re using. Reduce your body’s elevation by making rapid downward movements every second or so. Repeat this process many times (for around two to three minutes each time) until you can no longer see any drops.

Dry with desiccant

In order to speed up the drying process of a damp object, like headphones, a desiccant may be used to draw out atmospheric moisture. Uncooked rice, quick oatmeal, and silica gel are all common examples of desiccants found in the home.

Uncooked rice is by far the most common desiccant used in homes. Plenty of how-to articles and video guides exist to prove their usefulness. However, when compared to other common home desiccants, a Gazelle research found that uncooked rice performed poorly. In the same research, silica gel was shown to be superior to six other common desiccants.

Starches like rice and flour may also cause a ruckus and find their way into your electronics. And your headphones will need at least two days to dry up completely if you use uncooked rice. When compared, silica gel just needs to dry for one night. This allows you greater wiggle room in terms of taking your equipment to a repair shop.

What not to do when headphones get water damaged

Once you’ve learned the “does,” it’s crucial to remember the “don’ts” of repairing wet headphones.

In the event that your headphones become wet, there are a few things you should try to prevent. If an accident does occur, maintain composure and think clearly. Avoiding these hazards will greatly increase your chances of successfully rescuing your headset.

Do not plug in the headphones.

The temptation to double-verify the functionality of your headphones is understandable. However, unless you are certain that they are dry on the inside and out, you shouldn’t connect them to any audio device or power source.

A short circuit is a larger possibility for your headphones if you do this. Waiting is always the better option when quick repairs have been made.

If you’ve already given in to the urge to plug your headset back in, you may want to research how to repair a short circuit in headphones. Explains what goes wrong with a short circuit and how to proceed with headset repairs.

Do not put the headphones in the oven or microwave

Of course, the microwave and oven should only be used for cooking, but that goes without saying. They should not be used to dry off damp electrical equipment. Doing so will likely result in a melted mass of plastic, so prepare yourself accordingly. The risk of starting fires in your neighborhood is also present.

Do not use hair dryers or direct sunlight.

The hair dryer is another appliance you should not use on your headphones. There’s no risk of your headphones or earbuds melting as there would be in a microwave or oven. However, it still has the potential to generate enough heat to ruin your headphones. This might lead to a misalignment or bending of your headphones.

As an added precaution, headsets should be dried in the shade rather than the sun. Materials used to make headphones and earbuds may be damaged by exposure to sunlight. Foam, for instance, may degrade, whereas PVC plastic often becomes a yellowish tone.

Do not waste time

If water gets into your headphones, you need to act fast to preserve them. Do it now; you can’t afford to wait for them to dry out. It’s too late; your headset’s internals will have been damaged by then.

Do not eat uncooked rice after the recommended drying time of 48 hours has passed. Silica gel is more effective than raw rice. The latter may be dried in a single night.

Image of a woman wearing a white wireless headphones. Source: tirachard kumtanom, pexels
Image of a woman wearing a white wireless headphones. Source: Tirachard Kumtanom, Pexels

Ways to take care of your earphones

Nobody wants their headphones purposefully broken after using them. A careless question like “why won’t my AirPods play?” might bring you here.

Here are some precautions you may take to avoid such incidents in the future.

It’s best to keep your headphones out of the rain and wind while you’re on the go. It’s unlikely that your headphones would get wet if you left the cover on your vehicle. It will serve to safeguard the gadget. It’s crucial to store your headphones in a safe place while you’re not listening to music. Your earbuds would be safer in the event that they fell into the water if you carried them in a tiny, specially designed box.

Avoid going near any low-lying regions at all costs. It’s probably not a good idea to listen to music while doing dishes, washing dishes, or using the restroom. There’s a good chance you’ll ruin your headphones if you do that.

To avoid damaging your headphones, you should keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. In a high-humidity environment, the moisture level will be higher. Protect your headphones from dust and moisture with an airtight container.

If you want even more tips and insights, watch this video called “How To FIX AirPods Water Damage!” from the LoFi Alpaca YouTube channel.

A video called “How To FIX AirPods Water Damage!” from the LoFi Alpaca YouTube channel.
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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Do you still have questions? Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about what to do when headphones get wet.

Can headphones survive being washed?

Don’t give up hope on your on-ear headphones just because you cleaned them; there’s a 50-50 possibility that they’ll still function properly. Put off activating them unless you really need them. Give them a few days to dry in a warm area even though you won’t be able to use the over-ear headphones.

Do headphones get ruined in water?

Your headphones are susceptible to water damage in the same way that any other electrical equipment is. And it may occur wherever and at any time. It might be the result of a sudden downpour if you’re wearing your headphones outside, a flood, or anything as easy as knocking over a bottle of water and letting it land on your headphones.

Are headphones rainproof?

When looking for headphones, an IPX4 grade is the very least to look for. This implies you’ll be able to use your headphones freely for more than 10 minutes after being exposed to water (such as perspiration or light rain).

Can you get water out of earbuds?

Wait before reassembling your headphones. Don’t throw them out; instead, bury them (exposed components and all) in a rice bag or a rice-filled cup. Your headphones or earbuds may spend the remainder of their drying time in a bowl of rice. You should let them sit in the rice for at least 48 hours.

Conclusion

To sum it up, if your headphones get wet, don’t panic. Instead of panicking, use the precautions we mentioned above to help you save your headphones. Try not to leave them in direct sunlight (heat can affect how they sound), and keep them away from water as much as possible.

This article covered what to do if your headphones get wet, how to fix water-damaged headphones, and what not to do when headphones get water damaged. Here are some key takeaways:

Key takeaways

  • If your headphones or earbuds become wet, the first thing you should do is dry them off.
  • A damp headset may be dried in a number of different ways.
  • In the event that your headphones become wet, there are a few things you should try to prevent.
  • Make sure your headphones are safe by purchasing a protective case or cover for them. There are many options for both function and form on Amazon.
  • Keep your headphones in the same spot while you’re not listening to music, and you could just save them from a spin in the washing machine.
  • In today’s world, earphones and Bluetooth earbuds can be opened with nothing more complicated than a knife or a little screwdriver.

So, what do you do to save your headphones from getting wet? And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below (I read and reply to every comment). If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend, and check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on music production. Thanks for reading, and never stop making music.

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Audio Apartment Author
Written By Andrew Ash
Hey there! My name is Andrew, and I've been making music since I was a kid. I now run this blog all about home studios and music production. If you want to improve your home studio setup, this is the place for you!

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