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Can an Apple Watch Survive the Washing Machine?

If you’ve just washed your Apple Watch, you probably are experiencing a ton of emotions. Fear, panic, frustration, and many more. Take a moment, stop, and breathe. You may not have lost your Apple Watch for good.  

Apple Watches and Water 

That feeling of sheer terror is one that many people find themselves experiencing after accidentally washing their Apple Watch. You will be relieved to learn that your Apple Watch might in fact manage to make it through the wash (and dryer) totally unscathed.  

Though Apple does not claim that their watches are waterproof, they do say that they are water-resistant. Depending on the model you have, it might have newer water-resistant technology that allows for you to use it while swimming. 

According to Apple’s website, the 1st generation, and the Apple Watch Series 1 both use water-resistant technology. Their water-resistant technology for these generations adheres to the IEC standard 60529 and received a rating of IPX7.  

If you have an Apple Watch Series 2 or a later model, it uses even newer water-resistant technology that has a rating of up to 50 meters. However, this is just about exposing your watch to water and not to soaps or detergents. 

Soaps and detergents can damage the water-resistant technology on your watch, making them more susceptible to water damage. It is for this reason that you would not want to wash your Apple Watch

Washing your Apple Watch once in your washing machine, will likely not ruin your watch, but it should definitely be avoided.  

What To Do If Your Apple Watch Does Get Wet 

Apple specifically states that their Apple Watches are technically not waterproof. This means that you will want to take all necessary precautions to dry off your watch whenever it comes in contact with water.  

The first thing you should do if your watch comes in contact with water is to take a dry, non-abrasive cloth and wipe away any water. Also, make sure to allow your watch band to dry thoroughly.  

If the speakers on your watch are not working properly, then you should wait for the water to evaporate and let your watch charge overnight. Avoid shaking your watch or try to insert any foreign objects into the speakers or the microphone, as this could cause damage to your watch.  

After you’ve left the watch to charge and dry overnight, if you don’t see any improvement, consider taking it to a specialist to help you repair your speakers or microphone. It is best to avoid doing any major work on your Apple Watch because you do not want to damage it further. 

Your Apple Watch and Other Water Based Activities 

Now that we have established that washing your Apple Watch in the washing machine once, will not be the death of it, the next question you might be asking is, “what about other water activities?”  

If you have an Apple Watch Series 2 or one that is newer, you can use it for swimming, but again, it is not waterproof. Therefore, should you take it swimming, you’ll only want to wear it while doing activities that are in shallower waters.  

Never wear your Apple Watch in the water while scuba diving or any deep-sea activities. You also should not wear your watch if you are doing activities like jet skiing or water skiing. You should also avoid using your watch in a sauna or room that has a high concentration of steam.  

After using your watch in shallow water activities, you must follow the proper steps to maintain your watch. You should rinse off your watch with slightly warm water and then dry it off with a cloth.  

You will also want to take care to make sure your band has a chance to dry if it is wet. You can dry it by taking a cloth and removing any excess moisture, then letting it sit to dry.  

Showering is safe to do with an Apple Watch Series 2 or another newer model, but you should ensure you don’t expose your apple watch to soaps or other bathing products.  

It is important to note that while your watch is water-resistant, the water-resistant technology can degrade over time, making your device more susceptible to water damage. It is good practice to avoid soaps, detergents, deepwater activities, and high-velocity activities that involve water. Water resistance is also not the same thing as waterproof – although it can survive rain and the occasional swim, it’s not meant to be submerged for more than 90 minutes at a time.  

Many newer versions of the Apple Watch have a water lock. It is important to remember to activate your water lock before going swimming. The water lock helps to prevent any water from turning on the touchscreen.  

If you start performing a swimming exercise, it should automatically enable the water lock function, but if not, you can turn it on yourself by tapping on the water droplet icon.   

No Need To Panic About Accidentally Washing Your Apple Watch 

Accidentally washing your Apple Watch is certainly something that should be avoided, but it will likely be ok if it happens. This is especially true for Series 2 models and later generations.  

Apple knows that accidents happen and designs its products with this in mind. Water-resistant technology has made a difference in the lives of those who find themselves having accidentally washed their watch.  

If you perform any water activities, make sure that they are shallow-water activities. Finally, after any water activities, including showering, make sure to rinse your watch off with warm water and dry thoroughly with a dry cloth – do not blow dry or expose your electronics to any high heat.  

In the future, take all of the necessary precautions to avoid washing your Apple Watch in the washing machine and steer clear of any soaps or detergents. You want to make sure that the water-resistant technology lasts for as long as possible.  

Steven Carr

Steven is a certified IT professional and gaming enthusiast. He has been working in the tech industry for over 10 years, and specializes in all things Tech-related. When he's not geeking out over the latest hardware or software release, he can be found testing out the latest video game.

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