What to Do When Headphones or Earbuds Get Wet or Water Damaged

There are several methods to dealing with wet or water-damaged headphones or earbuds. Getting them dry again quickly is essential to help prevent permanent damage. Some headphones are more water-resistant than others. 

This post will show you what to do when your headphones or earbuds get wet or water damaged. I’ll walk you through some steps to deal with this issue to hopefully prevent your headphones from becoming inoperable. 

Let’s get to it. 

Key Takeaways

  • If your earbuds or headphones get wet and aren’t built to be water-resistant, it’s important to try to dry them off as quickly as possible. 
  • You can dry your headphones using rags, tissue, cotton balls, or other soft, absorbent material. 
  • You can also use a blow dryer or fan to help dry your headphones out. Make sure you don’t use the hottest cycle on a blow dryer, or you can melt or damage the headphones. 
  • Disassembling headphones or earbuds can help you dry them out and remove moisture, which can help fix the issue.

Water Damaged Headphones or Earbuds

With so many people using headphones and earbuds, water damage often happens. Whether you accidentally drop them in a source of water or get caught out in the rain, there are many ways in which water damage can occur. 

It is possible to fix water-damaged headphones or earbuds in some cases but not all. It’s important to realize this as you start exploring the steps below. While some of these fixes work, there are no guarantees that they will work for your particular headphones. 

Some headphones are built to be more water-resistant than others, which can be a significant determining factor in whether you can fix water-damaged ones. Keep that in mind while exploring how to get them operating again. 

What to Do When Your Headphones or Earbuds Get Wet or Water Damaged

If your headphones or earbuds aren’t working after getting wet, try the methods below to get them working again. These are not guaranteed to work, but they are your best shot at getting music out of them again. 

The first step for almost all headphones is to disassemble them somehow. By taking your headphones or earbuds apart, you can get more moisture out of them when you attempt to dry things out. 

Even if you have earbuds and can only take off the silicone earpieces, you should do so to assist with the drying process. If you have larger over-the-ear headphones, there might be more parts to disassemble. 

Method 1 – Dry Headphones/Earbuds with a Towel or other Absorbent Material

You want to get your headphones as dry as possible quickly, so you can use a towel or other absorbent material to do this. Make sure you use something soft that won’t damage the small parts of the headphones. 

A regular dish towel will work well for this because it’s soft and soaks up moisture well. You can also use paper towels or cotton balls. Basically, anything that soaks up water can do the trick. 

Method 2 – Dry Using Rice or other Desiccant 

Believe it or not, you can also use a bag of rice to help dry your headphones out. You want to use uncooked rice because it does a good job of absorbing moisture. Most people have rice sitting around the house, so this is a good method to use. 

You can fill up a ziplock bag or small dish with uncooked rice. Then put your wet or water-damaged headphones into it and ensure they are covered completely. From there, it’s a waiting game. 

Using this rice method, you’ll need to keep the headphones or earbuds in the bag or container for a few days. The longer they sit, the more moisture will get soaked up. So just be patient and don’t give up if the headphones don’t work immediately. 

You can also use other desiccants, which are moisture-absorbing materials. Desiccant packets are commonly included in many household and food items. Find a few of these packets and put them in a bag with your headphones. 

Regardless of which desiccant you use, it will take a while for the moisture to be absorbed. So again, be patient. 

Method 3 – Use a Fan

You can also use a fan to help dry out your earbuds or headphones. You just want to ensure that only cool air is blowing on the headphones because hot air can melt them, which obviously won’t help you out here. 

You might need to put your headphones on a table or position the fan just right for optimal airflow. But once everything is in position, just let the fan run for a day or so and then check to see if the headphones are working. 

If you have a blow dryer with an air-only setting, you can also use this. But never use a warm or hot blowdryer because it can further damage or destroy your headphones or earbuds. 

Additional Tips

In addition to the methods for drying out your headphones mentioned above, there are some other things to keep in mind to help fix things. 

You don’t want to put your headphones in direct sunlight. This might seem like a good idea for quick drying, but remember that heat is not a good idea and can cause melting and other permanent issues. 

And if you think your headphones or earbuds are water-damaged, it’s best not to try to plug them in until they are dry. You might want to see if they are working, but if you plug them in when wet, it can damage your headphones and the device they are plugged into. 


Here are a few quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to what to do when your headphones or earbuds get wet or water damaged. 

Will headphones work after getting wet? 

Some headphones are designed to be water-resistant and should work after getting wet. Others are not capable of getting wet and might be damaged beyond repair. But you can try to dry them out and hopefully get them to work again. 

How do you save wet earbuds? 

It’s essential to get wet earbuds dry again as quickly as possible to get them to work again. You can let them air dry for a few days, place them near a fan, or put them in a bag with a moisture removal packet to assist. 

Can you fix water-damaged Bluetooth headphones? 

If the Bluetooth headphones are water-resistant or have not gotten too wet, you can probably fix them by drying them out. If they are not water-resistant and were submerged for a long time, they might not be fixable. 

Is it possible to fix water-damaged AirPods?

It’s not always possible to fix water-damaged AirPods. If your AirPods got really wet and are still not working after you dry them out, there might not be too much you can do to fix them. An Apple technician probably can’t do much, either. 

Final Thoughts

There’s a good chance that you’ll be able to fix your water-damaged headphones or earbuds. The key is getting them dried out as quickly as possible. Follow any of the tips mentioned above to make this happen. 

Water-resistant headphone models are available, which can be a good solution if you struggle with getting your headphones wet. 

Have you had luck fixing wet or water-damaged headphones or earbuds? How did you fix them? Let me know in the comments below.  

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