Apple Watches feature incredible technology that leaves messages, phone calls, and even health tracking just a finger’s tap away. Wearing a smartwatch throughout the day, including during a shower, is convenient and practical. But is it a good idea to wear an Apple Watch while showering?
Newer generation Apple Watches, including Apple Watch Series 4 and newer, can be worn in the shower. Older Apple Watches, including Series 2 and Series 3, can only be worn in the shower with caution. Do not wear a First Generation Apple Watch in the shower.
Of course, wearing an Apple Watch in the shower can cause some water-resistant protective materials to break down over time. Never expose your Apple Watch to caustic chemicals and materials, like some soaps and shampoos.
You also want to ensure to enable the Water Lock mode before showering and be sure to cleanse and dry the Apple Watch after your shower correctly. Protecting your Apple Watch after use in water can help increase the longevity and lifespan of the water-resistant materials, prolonging the overall life of your Apple Watch.
Does My Model of Apple Watch Matter?
As technology changed over time, Apple Watch improved its ability to repel water. Later model Apple Watches tend to do a much better job in the shower and wet environments compared to the earlier generation Apple Watches.
Newer watches have a water resistance rating of 22810:2010. This statistic means that the watch should be able to stay underwater for a short time, up to 164 feet deep, and survive. These newer watches also have a special coating that actively repels water instead of just keeping water out of the inner watch workings.
While there may not be a need to remove the latest Apple Watch while showering, first-generation Apple Watches should be removed. Below, let’s take a closer look at where your Apple Watch falls.
Apple Watch 7
Although the newest Apple Watch 7 is not considered fully waterproof, it boasts some pretty high standards regarding water resistance. The Apple Watch Series 7 is water-resistant up to 50 meters, or about 164 feet.
Apple suggests leaving the watch in place while showering and even swimming in shallow-water activities. Swimmers, divers, and snorkelers can continue to wear the Apple Watch through activities in pools, lakes, or oceans.
Apple Watch 6 and Apple Watch SE
One of the newest Apple Watch models is the Apple Watch 6 and the Apple Watch SE. These versions were released in late 2020 and come with some of the best water-resistant materials. It is safe to shower with these newer watches.
Remember to enable the Water Lock mode to prevent unnecessary actions. These watches also feature incredible health tracking technology, making them perfect for swimmers and divers. New technology can function in the water, including a heart sensor and oximeter. While these watches are not advertised as waterproof, they can withstand water depths over 150 feet for short periods.
Apple Watch Series 4 and 5
Introduced between 2018 and 2019, the Apple Watch Series 4 and 5 are still considered water-resistant. Not only are they safe to wear in the shower, but you can also wear these watches during water sports.
Swimmers and snorkelers can continue to wear the watch while in the water without causing any harm to the internal workings of the smartwatch. Remember to properly rinse and dry the watch after use, especially if swimming in saltwater. Over prolonged use in saltwater, the watch’s water-resistant barrier can break down, and the salt can start to creep into the watch’s inside.
Apple Watch Series 2 and 3
The Apple Watch Series 2 and 3 were released in 2016 and 2017. These watches have a water-resistance rating of up to 164 feet, but the coating and protectiveness may not be as durable as more recent models.
Water-resistant materials and technology have improved significantly over the past few years, and these early-model watches aren’t as durable. It is perfectly alright to wear a Series 2 or 3 Apple Watch in the shower, but it is a good idea to take the watch off if you plan on swimming.
More prolonged exposure to water, especially if the watch is submerged, may cause the water-resistant coating to degrade more quickly, causing potential harm to your watch. Removing the watch may also be a good idea if you plan on going for an extended run or jog with plenty of sweat. The sweat could ultimately penetrate and damage the smartwatch if exposed for long periods.
First-Gen Apple Watch
Although the first generation Apple Watches boast loads of technology, they are not known for their water-resistant capabilities. These watches should be removed before showering to protect the watch.
The watches advertise as being splash-resistant and water-resistant, but prolonged exposure, especially through wear and use in the shower, can quickly degrade and damage these early Apple Watches.
Is There a Difference Between Water-Resistant and Waterproof?
While Apple advertises its new watches as water-resistant, it is essential to understand the difference between water-resistant and waterproof. If a product is labeled water-resistant, it usually means that some water exposure, even if the watch is submerged for a short amount of time, is safe for the watch.
Waterproof, however, means that the entire watch could be submerged in water for hours on end and the watch won’t become damaged. Luckily, shower conditions usually pertain to water-resistant ratings rather than waterproof.
It is important to remember that even though an Apple Watch is labeled as water-resistant, exposure to certain conditions over time can begin to impact the water-resistant coatings.
Prolonged exposure to water, steam, or certain shampoos and soaps can cause the water-resistant barrier to break down. Over time and prolonged exposure, this could impact the integrity of the Apple Watch and cause potential damage.
What Erodes Water-Resistant Coatings?
Maintaining the water-resistant coating applied to the watch’s surface is part of keeping your Apple Watch in good shape. While several of the newer Apple Watches can repel or wick away water, certain chemicals and conditions can erode this protective layer.
To avoid damaging the water-resistant coating, you should:
- Avoid anything with potential high-velocity impacts with water, such as water skiing.
- Avoid exposing the Apple Watch to high heat in steam rooms or saunas.
- Try not to drop the Apple Watch on hard surfaces.
- Don’t expose the Apple Watch to shampoo or soapy water while showering.
- Avoid exposure to sunscreen, detergent, insect repellent, hair dye, acidic food, or solvents that could damage and penetrate the protective coating on the watch.
How Should I Prepare My Apple Watch for Water?
Newer Apple Watches, between a Series 2 and the newest Series 7, have a unique feature that enables the watch’s water-resistant barrier. Apple’s feature is called the Water Lock, and it works to lock the monitor on the watch’s screen automatically.
To avoid accidental taps on the screen, from impact or water droplets, the Water Lock mode notifies the watch that there may be inadvertent taps.
Before starting any type of water activity, including a shower, you should engage in Water Lock mode. Not only will this help protect your watch, but it can help avoid unwanted actions and monitoring.
Should I Dry My Apple Watch After a Shower?
After showering, it is a good idea to dry your Apple Watch to keep the smartwatch as protected and water-resistant as possible. It is important to clean the watch band, the watch itself, and your skin around the Apple Watch. It is a good idea to wash and dry your Apple Watch after boating, swimming, or snorkeling.
It is also a good idea to clean and dry your Apple Watch if you come in contact with potentially damaging solvents or materials. Remember that ink, acidic foods, acids, certain soaps and shampoos, hair dye, sunscreen, and oil can cause the water-resistant protective barrier to break down over time.
Keeping your Apple Watch clean and dry will help protect your watch, allowing it to function correctly longer. Of course, make sure to not overcharge your watch, which also affects its lifespan.