How to save a pair of earphones from a full cycle in the washing machine


I opened the washing machine door and started pulling out the damp clothes. There was something strange in here though. With a feeling of dread I realised what it was — my earphones! And not just a cheap pair of Apple buds either, but my beloved (and expensive) Shure Se535 earphones.

They’d been in my hoodie pocket and I stupidly hadn’t checked before putting them in the washing pile.

On closer inpection, my heart sank further. The clear earphone case allowed me to easily see the little droplets of water inside.

Water in my earphone.

Surely I was screwed…

I was tempted to plug them into my phone and listen to them, but I resisted. All I could think to do was plunge the earphones into a bowl of uncooked rice and leave them for a few days to dry out.

Bowl of uncooked rice.

After a couple of days there was no change. I put them back and waited longer. After a week there was still no change. The little droplets stared back at me resolutely.

I had been hoping to take them with me on holiday, but instead I left them in the bowl and forgot about them for two weeks.

When I returned home, one of the first things I did was check them. The water had gone! I plugged them into my phone and listened. To my joy and relief they sounded as beautiful as they had before their watery adventure.


I’m thankful for two things:

  1. That the Shure earphones are clear, allowing me to see the water droplets and not just assuming that they had dried out after a couple of days.
  2. My holiday forced me to wait a couple of weeks which allowed them enough time to dry out completely.

If you find yourself in a similar position, have the patience to wait a good few weeks. It might just save your earphones.

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