Will My Headphones Work After Being Washed?

I can certainly say there are countless times where I’ve ended up putting something in the washing machine that I wasn’t supposed to, whether that be a dollar bill or an electrical appliance. And, yes, it’s even possible to accidentally wash your headphones.

There is a 50-50 chance, however, for your headphones to still work after a wash. Multiple factors affect this probability, though, such as the IPX rating of your headphones in question and how long and thorough the wash was in question.

If you’ve accidentally left your headphones in the washer, there still might be some hope for them. However, regardless you should keep in mind that rushing to turn your appliance on to check is counterproductive.

The better option is to make sure that you wait a while after the wash to turn your device on. During that time, we suggest that you attempt to follow our provided steps to dry the device out so that it is far more likely that it continues to function properly.

Related: How Long Should You Keep Headphones on Per Day?

Will Your Headphones Work After A Wash?

If you accidentally washed your expensive headphones then it isn’t necessarily the end of the world. However, if you don’t do anything about the situation then your headphones will most definitely stop working eventually.

There is a 50-50% chance that your headphones will survive the wash. We’ll discuss the various parameters regarding how that is possible later. But right now it is important to discuss how necessary it is for you not to lose hope in your device and be prepared to put some effort to ensure its continued action.

What steps you take is highly dependent on what type of headphones you have particularly. If you’re using regular earphones then we have an article that specifically deals with just that topic. However, if you have over-the-ears headphones instead then follow the steps that we’ve provided within this article.

Additionally, you might find some of our suggestions odd, such as washing your headphones again. But let me assure you that a proper rinse is crucial sometimes to get those types of particles out of your device that will not be removed simply by blowing on the device.

What To Do If You’ve Washed Your Headphones?

The first aspect of over-the-ear headphones that makes them significantly different from the likes of earphones is the size of their speakers. Their speakers are usually larger, but also have additional padding attached to them that covers the speakers in themselves. This can pose several issues.

One of the issues that this can cause is that water seeps into the padding around the speakers themselves. This makes it extremely difficult to extract water out of the pads as you don’t know just how wet the overall padding might have gotten.

Secondly, this makes it difficult to assess how much water has seeped into the speakers themselves. As some of the water entering the speakers is mitigated by the padding around them.

However, this also means that to check the entrance of water into the speakers you will have to remove the padding from your device. This can be quite a hassle.

The size of the speakers and the issues that padding around the speakers causes are the reasons why it can be difficult to get your headphones to work after they have been washed.

However, there are certain things you can do that can make it more likely that your headphones survive.

Related: How Much is Too Much for Headphones?

What Not To Do After Your Headphones Get Washed?

We should probably discuss what not to do when your headphones get washed. The biggest point of which is to make sure that you do not turn your headphones on soon after they have been washed.

This might sound pretty intuitive, but many people panic and in the end, attempt to turn on their device even though they know they probably should not do so. The reason why is pretty simple as well. There are electrical circuits inside each of your headphones.

These electrical circuits can conduct electricity that is accentuated by the water inside of them. This can cause the system to short-circuit, or send charge in areas that otherwise should not have current flowing through them. It can also reduce the total electricity running through the circuit and your device might not receive sufficient current.

Another thing to avoid is to try to force dry your device by using things such as a blow-drier or something that emits hot air. The problem is that hot temperatures are extremely incompatible with several parts of the essential circuitry within your headphones and this can cause more damage then good to the overall system.

This is why we recommend not to use high temperatures to dry your device and not to turn on your device immediately after it has been washed.

Related: 7 Reasons Why Wireless Headphones Are So Expensive

What You Should Do If Your Headphones Get Washed?

The process of getting water removed from your device should be as quick as possible, but should not be reliant on any of the aspects that we told you to stay clear of in the previous section.

So in order to make sure that your headphones work after being washed then we recommend that you follow these steps:

  • Remove excess water from the padding by pressing on it and using water absorbent cloth
  • Blow air into the smaller openings in your device to dislodge water particles.
  • Try to remove any excess water if possible
  • Act as quickly as you possibly can.
  • We suggest you purchase Distilled water.
  • Distilled water can be used to remove excess particles and materials that might have entered your device through the wash
  • Dip your over-ear headphones in the alcohol for the last soak
  • Let them dry in a warm place 
  • Optional: put the device into some rice to draw out the any water that might still be lodged inside.

And that’s about all you have to do to ensure that you have the best chance possible to save your headphones. Unfortunately, not many headphones come waterproof and even have lots of space within the devices themselves, their speakers, for water to seep into.

Whether or not your device will work again is dependent on the quality of your headphones and how long your device was in the wash. Essentially, the better the quality device the more it is likely that it will continue to work after a wash.

And if it spent more time in the wash or was exposed to a lot more water then it is likely that the device is probably going to be less likely to work again. Hopefully, however, in most instances, your headphones will not be wasted, and you will be able to use them again.

There you go guys, your headphones have a high possibility to work if you follow these steps. But you have to ensure that you don’t make the situation worse for yourself. For any other questions let us know. Till next time! Ciao.

Audiophile Haven

AudiophileHaven is a site dedicated to Hi-Fi audio, and helping others learn more about premium quality sound equipment.

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