Can You Wear an Apple Watch in the Shower?


Whether you’re a proud owner of an Apple Watch or are only planning on getting one, you might have heard that these devices are water-resistant. What does that actually mean, and can you, for example, have a shower with the watch on?

You can wear your device in the shower if you have an Apple Watch Series 2 or newer. However, you should not expose it to shampoos, soaps, and conditioners as these things can cause damage to the watch.

If you decide to get in the shower with your Apple Watch on, what can you do to keep the device safe, and how do you take care of it afterwards? Here is everything that you need to know.

Can You Wear an Apple Watch in the Shower?

It is not recommended to wear the first generation of Apple Watches Apple Watch Series 1) in the shower.

However, Apple confirms that Apple Watch Series 2 or newer can be worn when swimming, bathing, or taking a shower.

It is still recommended to take the watch off before taking a shower because the device should not be exposed to shampoos, soaps, conditioners…etc. Moreover, daily showers with your Apple watch can end up affecting the device’s water resistance. If enough water pressure and immersion contacts the watch, it might have enough pressure to penetrate the device’s membrane. In any case, it will contribute to the device’s overall wear and tearApple confirms this by stating, “Water resistance isn’t a permanent condition and may diminish over time.”

So, even though it is okay to have a shower with your watch on, if you want your device to be able to perform at its best, you should take the watch off before jumping into the shower or ensure that the device is only exposed to what it can handle.

How Water Resistant Is Your Apple Watch?

There is a huge difference between water resistance and waterproof.

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All Apple Watches are not waterproof. At the same time, these watches are considered water-resistant.

The term ‘waterproof’ means that water cannot penetrate this object. “Water-resistance”, however, is used to describe the objects that can withstand contact with water under certain circumstances and for a certain amount of time.

The first generation of Apple Watches has a water-resistance rating of IPX7 (under IEC standard 60529).

The IP rating can be given only to the products that have undergone special testing by a certified company. ‘Ingress Protection’ shows how well the device is protected from liquids.

IPX7, for example, means that the watch can be submerged up to a meter (3.3 feet) in water for 30 minutes. Bear in mind that even though the device can ‘survive’ underwater, such a rating does not indicate that the watch is resistant to water splashes.

All the other generations of Apple watches (Apple Watch Series 2 and up) have a water-resistance rating of 50 meters (under ISO standard 22810:2010).

The devices that meet this ISO standard are not only resistant to the actual liquid. They are resistant to overpressure and when strain is placed on certain components.

This means that these watches are resistant to water even during aquatic activities when the temperature and the pressure can vary. However, the devices are not suitable for scuba diving as they won’t be able to withstand pressures under 50 meters (164 feet).

What Should You Do Before Getting Your Apple Watch Wet?

You might have heard about ‘Water Lock’ – a feature that Apple Watch Series 2 and the newer watches have.

Do bear in mind that Water Lock will not make your watch more water-resistant. Its main aim is to block the screen so that it doesn’t interact with drops of water or accidental taps.

Another thing that Water Lock does is expels the water from the speakers, which is certainly something that you should take advantage of.

Water Lock will turn on automatically as soon as you pick a swimming workout. However, you can always choose to turn it on manually.

  1. Swipe up to open the Control Center.
  2. Tap on Water Lock.

How to Expel the Water from the Speakers?

After getting out of the shower, you can turn off Water Lock, and the watch will automatically get rid of the water that could have gotten inside the speaker.

Here’s what you should do:

  1. Simultaneously press the side button and the Digital Crown (the rotating button on the side of your watch).
  2. Turn the Digital Crown. You might hear a few beeps that will get louder (this is how the watch is removing the liquid), and you may feel the water on the wrist.
  3. Swipe right and then tap ‘end’.

Don’t worry if you forgot to activate Water Lock.

After getting out of the shower, turn on Water Lock and then turn it off to expel the water.

If you have the first-generation Apple Watch and you want to check if there is any water in the speaker, simply place the device on a dry cloth (speaker side down).

The water will drip on the cloth. Any liquid that is left in the watch should soon evaporate.

How to Care for Your Apple Watch After the Shower?

If you have an Apple Watch Series 2 or a newer device, then right after the shower, you should gently rinse the watch with warm water (tap water would do).

  • Don’t leave the water splashes on the device – wipe them down with a lint-free cloth.
  • You would always want your device to dry naturally. You can place the watch on a towel, for example, and leave it there for a few hours.
  • If you take the watch off, it is going to speed up the drying process.
  • Do not apply any heat or compressed air.
  • Ideally, you would want to switch the watch off and take off the band.
  • Avoid shaking the watch as it can make the water get even deeper into the mechanism. 

If your speakers started sounding differently or the measurements from the altimeter have become less accurate, allow the watch to dry naturally.

As soon as the liquid evaporates, the device should be able to get back to normal operation.

Hint: once you have dried the watch with a cloth, you can leave it to charge overnight – this trick might make the water evaporate faster.

How Water Resistant Are the Straps?

Even though the actual watch might be water-resistant, it doesn’t mean that your strap is going to ‘enjoy’ the shower.

Here are the bands that are not water-resistant:

  • Classic Buckle
  • Modern Buckle
  • Milanese
  • Leather Loop
  • Link Bracelet

All in all, try not to wear the watch in the shower if the band is made out of leather or stainless steel.

Silicone and nylon are the most water-resistant materials available. So, if you’re planning on swimming and showering in your Apple Watch, you should opt for the Solo Loop, Sport Loop, or any other band made out of silicone or nylon.

Things That Can Diminish Your Apple Watch’s Water Resistance

Bear in mind that once your watch becomes less water-resistant, you can’t ‘return’ this feature. Even though all the devices have impressive water-resistance ratings, that doesn’t mean that the watch can’t get damaged by water if you have had it for years.

Here are the main things that affect the water-resistance of the device:

  • Any kind of physical impact (for example, the water-resistance expectancy will suffer if you tend to drop your watch a lot).
  • Exposing the device to soapy water, lotions, shampoos, and so on. This, of course, might happen in the shower.
  • Exposing the device to acids (even acidic foods), solvents, perfume, detergent, hair dye, and oil. Sunscreen and insect repellant can also affect the watch.
  • Have your watch on while in the steam room or sauna (high temperatures and moisture are not a great combination for these kinds of devices).
  • Exposing the watch to high-velocity water. For example, it is not recommended to wear the device while water skiing as such activities can ‘push’ the water very deep into the ports and cause damage.

To Sum Up

Apple Watches are water-resistant, and you can wear them in the shower.

However, considering that these devices should not be exposed to soaps and shampoos (that many of us tend to use in the shower), it might be better to leave your watch on the vanity.

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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