There is nothing trickier than AirPods falling down the drain or toilet. If they were not so precious, one may even consider not reaching in and picking them up!
But yes, these things happen, and now we are left with soaked and stinky AirPods. What can you do now?
If you drop your AirPods in the toilet you will need to remove the moisture from them and sanitize them, there are programs such as RoutineHub that can eject water from AirPods by pairing them and using certain frequencies.
If that is you, do not be too hasty to curse your luck. It happens more often than you think, and many people are curious to know what to do to salvage their devices. If they fell into a clean or dirty toilet, there are some things that we can do.
At this point, you have two priorities. The first is to remove the water and moisture from the device so that it does not cause any further damage. The second, which will happen later, is to sanitize and disinfect the AirPods so you can wear them without worrying about your hygiene.
There are ways in which you can properly dry them out and eliminate the chances of ruining your device with water damage.
We will go through all the steps you need to take after you drop your AirPods in the toilet or wet them in any other way. Everything but panic, which is.
Take a deep breath and let us get to it!
Cleaning AirPods after they fall in the toilet
You could have an ugly situation at hand if you accidentally dropped AirPods in a clean toilet. However, things could become worse if you dropped them into a dirty toilet. Either way, you have to go through the next few steps and follow them up with disinfecting them.
We will discuss how to disinfect them in the last section, so don’t forget to read that part too. For now, here is what to do if your precious AirPods fall into a toilet:
Step One: Remove them from the water immediately
AirPods are not waterproof and cannot handle being submerged. Even the AirPods (third gen) and AirPods Pro have an IPX4 rating, which means they can only manage a little water and sweat. If you dropped your AirPods (with or without the case) in the toilet, get them out ASAP.
Place them on a dry surface. You can stack paper towels if they fell into a dirty toilet. It would be great if you have an antimicrobial coating wiper at hand. If not, just move on to the next step.
Step Two: Use Water Eject from RoutineHub
If your AirPods are paired to Routinehub’s Water Eject, you can eject excess liquid from your device. You need to pair AirPods with your iPhone for them to work. Go to RoutineHub, download the Shortcut, and tap ‘Water Eject’ to run the program.
You should hear a low humming sound when it is activated, and water would come out from the speakers. It can be done more than once if needed. Please note that this tool has been used by Apple users successfully and has been reported on the forums. However, it is not an official Apple program.
Step Three: Wipe them with a cloth or swab
You can use anything from a cotton swab to an old t-shirt and a cleaning cloth. We recommend a lint-free microfiber cloth for the best results. Do not use an abrasive cloth or press hard as that may scratch the surface of the AirPods. Dab or blot the liquid on the surface with a gentle motion. Be especially gentle while dabbing the speaker mesh to prevent any damage.
Step Four: Dry them out further if needed
Do not put them into the charging case yet. We are not done. After a good wipe down, place the AirPods in a warm and well-ventilated place. The spot you chose should be in indirect sunlight.
You can place them under the sun if the temperature outside is under 30 to 35 degrees C and the humidity levels are low. Give the AirPods at least an hour or two to dry completely.
Please note that extreme heat can change the functionality of your AirPods or damage them permanently. No matter what, do not use a blow dryer or place them on a heated surface like a radiator or heater.
Step Five: Use a Desiccant like Silica Gel Packets (Optional)
Desiccants are hygroscopic crystal substances like DampRid or Silica gel packets. They absorb moisture from the air and reduce humidity in sealed containers. Desiccants are commonly used as a drying agent for wooden instruments and electronics.
Desiccants are available at an electronics store. If you have some lying around, you can use their dehumidifying properties to draw out any residual or excess moisture inside of your Apple AirPods.
Place your AirPods in a sealed container with a desiccant for 24 to 48 hours. You can use a plastic zip-lock bag or small food container for this.
Ensure the container is sealed tight and do not open it for a day or two. Allow the desiccant to absorb all the liquid and moisture from your AirPods. You can go back to this step again if you feel the need for it.
What to do if you dropped the AirPods charging case in the toilet?
You can follow the same steps as above to salvage an AirPods charging case if you drop it in the toilet. Place it on stacked paper towels and wipe it gently with a lint-free microfiber cloth. Use a Q-tip to wipe the inside of the charging case.
Open the AirPods charging case and place the case upside-down on a flat, dry surface. Doing so will allow it to drain any residual liquid. Give it an hour or two and wipe it with a disinfectant wipe. Either way, do not plug the case into a lightning cable when it is wet.
If you notice any change in the charging functionality, your case may be damaged. Contact Apple Support and inquire if it is permanently damaged. You may need to order a replacement.
Will Apple Airpods still work if dropped in the toilet?
If you are down on luck, your AirPods may not work even after you fully dried them using the aforementioned procedures. Water damage is fully possible because they are only slightly water-resistant and not waterproof. Moreover, 1st and 2nd gen AirPods are not water-resistant at all.
Most Apple products have a water damage indicator, but AirPods are not one of them. Many users have requested these on the forums, but they aren’t added to the latest version. It is important to learn about the signs of water damage on your AirPods until Apple decides to do something about it.
Water damage can render your precious AirPods useless. The biggest sign is if your AirPods would not charge, or the audio sounds distorted. Music may sound muffled and the audio on calls may be shaky. This indicates the AirPods are damaged by exposure to water.
You can try to dry them some more. Give them a day or two before you connect them to your iPhone. If their functionality is abnormal or the audio is distorted, you may have to call Apple Support and request a replacement.
How to disinfect Apple Airpods (the right way)
You can disinfect Apple AirPods with disinfecting wipes like Clorox. You can also use a wipe with 75% ethyl or 70% isopropyl. Experts suggest that you should wipe your AirPods with a lint-free microfiber cloth after every use and disinfect them at least once a week.
There are things to keep in mind when you clean and disinfect AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max. Firstly, they are not waterproof but it would be okay if you wipe them lightly with a disinfecting wipe. Do not use bleach or bleach-based products as they can ruin the finish.
Secondly, only use disinfecting wipes on the exterior surface. Do not use any strong-based wipe on the speaker mesh of the device. You can use earbuds (read: Q-tip swabs) or a specially designed AirPods cleaning pen to clean the mesh and dig out pesky earwax lodged in the cavity.
The AirPods cleaning pen is also called an ‘electronic cleaning brush.’ It is a brush with soft bristles on one end and a silicon tip to remove dirt and grime from hard-to-reach places. They are also available as a part of many 3-in-1 AirPods Cleaner kits.
This video does an excellent job of explaining how to clean your AirPods thoroughly:
AirPods are tiny and expensive.
We love them because of their portability and compact design. However, that means they will fall a lot and can be easily misplaced. We have covered how to locate a lost AirPods case if you have not checked it out.
We hope this article has helped you sort out this “mess.” But you ought to have a game plan to prevent it from happening in the future. We recommend getting an anti-slip AirPods cover or AirPods Grips to decrease the chances of it happening again.