7 Steps To Fix Water Damaged Earphones – Quick Emergency Guide

water damaged earphones emergency guide

Have you accidentally put your wireless earbuds or Airpods through a washing machine? Have you dropped your earphones unintentionally into the water? and have water damaged earphones? Are you afraid not to have them work again? so stick to this quick emergency guide.

Table of Contents

What To Do If I Get My Earphones Water Damaged?

When your earphones get wet, do not panic, turn off or unplug them from your mobile immediately, you need to dry your earbuds/AirPods quickly using soft tissue to eliminate any possible damage that your earphones could get.

4 Things You Should (Not) Do When AirPod Dropped In Water

[1] – Do Not Intend To Operate The Water Damaged Earphones

Headphones or earphones that have soaked into water should not be used like usual, they have electronic circuits inside of them including the speakers so those electric circuits will be having a short circuit if they have power while they are wet, hence instantly they will get damaged.

[2] – Do Not Use a Hair Dryer

Hairdryers produce very high heat temperature that is very harmful to any electronic device, especially when applying their heat flow directly on the earbuds or headphones.

From my experience and other experience, I found on the internet that using a hairdryer to dry out earbuds will damage its plastic and change the shape of the cords, and might cause more damage than what the wet one could, so simply do not use a hairdryer to dry out or fasten the drying process for your wet earbuds.

[3] – Do Not Use an Oven Or Microwave

Do not try or intend to use your kitchen’s microwave or oven to expedite the drying period, first of all, using a microwave with an electronic device is a hell wrong way to think, it might destroy your microwave or cause an injury to you, with regards to the oven, this could be so critical and might damage your earphones, remember earphones made of plastic which can be melt easily by heat.

[4] – Do Not Waste Time

When you discover that your earbuds got soaked with water, or washed inside a washing machine with your clothes, do not wait and waste time, instead take action immediately to reduce the chances of losing your earbuds for good.

So what to do then? what actions to take? simply follow the easy 7 Steps guide steps below immediately.

7 Steps How To Fix Water Damaged Earphones

Step 1 – Remove The Foam/Rubber/Silicone Tip Sleeves

multiple silicone earbuds

Immediately remove any attachable parts such as foam or silicone tips and sleeves from your earbuds, and put them aside on a soft towel to get dry.

Now the main focus should be on the main part of the earbuds which are the drivers themselves, those parts which they might damage if you do not proceed with the next steps.

Step 2 – Disassemble Your Earbud Parts

disassembled water damaged earphones

This is a very important step, you need to disassemble your earbuds to expose their internal parts and prepare them to step 3 where the distilled water is.

Most earbuds or even Bluetooth earbuds nowadays have no screws or a complex method to open, simply using a knife or a small screwdriver can do the job, open the plastic external driver caps using the screwdriver and expose their internal components.

Be sure to open both earbuds drivers, blow up the extra caps (or covers) air using your mouth and then keep them beside the tips on the same soft towel for drying purposes.

WARNING: If your earbuds are made by Apple, DO NOT TRY TO OPEN IT as this will damage it and you won’t be able to fix it anymore anywhere, Apple intends to glue all its parts from inside making it impossible for anyone to open the Airpod without damaging the internal parts, I have lost one of my Airpods doing so as you can see in the below photo.
a broken water damaged earphones
NOTE: If your earbuds are from Apple, better to skip this step to STEP 3 below, and in the end, if your earbuds did not fix go directly to the Apple store and replace them with new ones, they replace the damaged parts even if a single Airpod is damaged and even if you are running out of warranty they will replace it with some payment, but if you open it they will not accept replacing it in any way.
Only for informational purposes, I am showing those images as this is how to disassemble Apple AirPods, but I guarantee you it will not work anymore if you try this out.

Step 3 – Use Distilled Water (Also Called de-ionized)

Distilled water is safe with electronics, as it is a non-conducting and non-corrosive medium, so it will almost certainly not cause any problem with your earbuds.

How to use it? take your earbuds that had soaked with water and put them into a glass filled with distilled water and shake it while it is there; The reason why you do that is to mix the water inside of it with the distilled water, and by keep on shaking it eventually there will be only distilled water inside (hopefully).

NOTE: If you do not have distilled water or de-ionized water at home, simply skip this step to step 3.

Step 4 – Shake The Water Damaged Earphones

Hold both earbuds drivers firmly with their components by your hand and shake them several times to remove water droplets as much as possible, thus expediting the drying process.

NOTE: Do not try to expedite the drying process by using a hairdryer or leaving them under the direct sunlight, cause doing so if not ruin them, their lifespan might be reduced.

Step 5 – Blow Up Your Earbuds With Air

This step comes after the distilled water step, however, if you do not have distilled water at that moment when you need it, you can skip step 2 and go directly to step 3.

Hold both earbuds in your hand and start blowing air from your mouth into it several times, you could also use an air blower for that but keep a big distance between the earbuds and the air blower, blowing your earbuds with an air blower machine could ruin your earbuds because of the massive airflow, so be careful when intending to perform this step.

NOTE: The importance of this step is to eliminate as much water as you can out of your earbuds preparing them for the next step.

So, applying air pressure onto it from your mouth could save the life of your watered earphones. check the below video on how to blow up your wet earphones and give them a second chance to live.

Step 6 – Use A Soft Towel

Try using a dry towel to touch the internal components of the earbuds firmly and smoothly to grab the extra wet and distilled water drops, try applying the same idea to different places of the driver on all sides.

Step 7 – Use A Rice Bag (Is A Must)

dry your water damaged earphones in rice bag

This is the most important step in all the steps, bring a rice bag from your kitchen, uncooked rice, open the bag, and insert both the earbuds with their drivers and components inside the rice granules.

Be sure to keep this bag safe so no one uses it for cooking :). Keep your earbuds in the rice bag for around 48 hours.

CAUTION: DO NOT try to use your earbuds and operate them before completing all the steps above including the 48 hours waiting period, if you do so and they did not work, it means you lost them forever and you need to purchase new ones.

Why Should I Use A Rice Bag To Dry Out My Earbuds?

Uncooked rice can be used as a desiccant. When you put your earbuds directly into a small bag of rice granules, the rice will absorb moisture over time.

How To Prevent My Earbuds From Being Wet?

To prevent your earbuds and headphones from being wet you need to have a disciplined habit of storing your earbuds in a proper saving bag every time you finish using them and not by keeping them always in your pocket or putting them here there.

This way will not only prevent your earphones from being thrown by mistake in water or in a washing machine but also will prevent several chances of being damaged.

NOTE: If you want to learn how to prevent your headphones and earphones from break you can check my other article 19 Untold Hacks – How To Stop Headphones From Breaking?

What Could Happen To My Earphones If They Got Wet?

There are a couple of scenarios that could end up with your headphones if they got wet:

  • Your Earphones Ruined Up: If your earphones were active when they dropped into the water, then chances are they have been ruined and become water damaged earphones because earbuds work based on electrical circuits which became damaged if water or any other conductive medium interfered with them.
  • Your Earphones Not Functioning Properly: Sometimes it happens, when you got your earphone dropped into the water, then you tried to use them after a day or so you might find them not functioning well, as the sound that comes from one speaker sounds a bit like if it had a lot of echoes, in this case, most likely if you follow the above procedure you might get them to work fine just like before.
  • Your Earphones Functioning Properly: If you took action when your earphones got wet and did not waste that much time, and followed the steps I mentioned above, chances are very high that you will get back your earphones to their original state and work normally just like before.


This is rare to happen that someone missed his earphones in his pocket while he was washing his clothes in the washing machine, or Bluetooth earbuds or Airpod dropped into the water while jogging or so, at the end if this happens still there are chances you can get back your earphones like before if you take the precautions and the correct steps I mentioned above.

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Firas Sameer

This is me Firas Sameer the one behind “How To Fix Headphones” wearing my Beats headphone, I like listening to music a lot but since I had some issues with my headphone jack and I had to replace it my self, I decided to create this website and help you guys with headphone hacks all the way I am learning new ones and other stuff which helps you fix your own.

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